Curricula - Indigenous Peoples of the Americas
The Mayan Palace of Palenque in Chiapas, Mexico; Credit: Megan O'Neil
Detail, Codex Reese, Aztec Land Map, c. 1565, Mexico; Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Wickerwork basket, Cherokee; Yale Peabody Museum Collections

Curricula - Indigenous Peoples of the Americas

The following curricula were written by teachers who attended the "Indigenous Peoples of the Americas" summer institutes for high school teachers held at Yale University. The first curriculum unit in each section was developed by Elise Weisenbach (Branford High School Spanish teacher), who served all three years as the Summer Institute Teacher Advisor. Curricula from 2012 and 2013 received significant input following the institutes from Institue Director Dr. Megan O'Neil and Ms. Weisenbach, whereas the shorter lessons developed during the 2014 institute received an initial review by program staff during the final day of the institute. Please see sponsor recognition information below.


Maya Cultures Across Time (2012)


Cultural Heritage: Traditional Mexican Cuisine Across Time

Elise Weisenbach



Mayan Art & Architecture

Pearl Lau


Ancient American Pottery and Techniques – Maya Pottery

Handouts for Maya Pottery

Marie Monks



Tourism vs Ecotourism: Which is More Sustainable in Developing Economies?

PowerPoint for Tourism vs Ecotourism

Marty Cruz-Bock


History/Social Studies

The Corn Identity: from Teosinte to Doritos to Ethanol

Handout for The Corn Identity

Anne Kinzie Culhane


Peoples and Civilizations of the Americas, 600-1500

Dawn Petry


Regarding Maya Apocalypse 2012: The End of the World?

Handouts for Maya Apocalypse 2012

Jeffrey C. Smith



Culture Mapping and Myths of Creation

Susan Bennitt


El Arte de América Latina y Mesoamérica

Giovanna Carbone


Reading Ancient Images: Using Murals to Interpret Maya History and Create a Personal Narrative

Vanessa Del Giudice


Dancing in Time: Bailando al compás del calendario Maya

Handout for Dancing in Time

PowerPoints for Dancing in Time: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Lynn Fernandez


Introduction to Maya Cultures Past and Present: Colors, Clothing, Food and Places

Smartboard Resources: Maps  Food  Clothing  Palenque

Victoria Neely Hart


Textiles of the Maya in Chiapas, Mexico

Virginia Hilyard


Exploring Culture and Communication

Allison Shuda


Mesoamerica across Time: Oaxaca and Chiapas Then and Now

PowerPoints for Oaxaca and Chiapas

Lisa Sragovicz



American Histories: Native Peoples and Europeans in the Americas (2013)


American Histories: Native Peoples and Europeans in the Americas

Elise Weisenbach



Soapstone Bowls

Found Object Sculptures

Marie Monks



The Mission Complexes of San Antonio, Texas

Marty Cruz-Bock


History/Social Studies

When Worlds Collide

Toni Criscuolo


The Diversity of American Colonial Societies

Dawn Petry




Susan Bennitt


Our Indigenous Heritage

Yoseli Castillo


New World, New People: Exploring Cultural Identity in Latin American through Painting and Film

Vanessa Del Giudice


Early Encounters: Native Tainos and Europeans Explorers

Angela Dominguez-Newball


The Grand and Glorious History of the Ordinary Potato

Lynn Fernandez


The History of Chocolate

Zak Foster


Queen Isabella of Castilla and the Name Santiago in America

Antonio Losada


Lesson extension for “Voices and Visions of the Conquest” (see Weisenbach, above)

Laurie Losada


Medicina tradicional

Kat Mendez


Native Peoples & Europeans in the Americas

Lisa Sragovicz



The Indigenous Atlantic: Encounters, Exchanges, and Endurance (2014)


Study of Columbus at the Court of Barcelona

Elise Weisenbach



Wampum Belts

Nicole Caracciolo


Indigenous Basket Making in the Northeast (one-day lesson)

Indigenous Beading/Quillwork Techniques in the Northeast (mini-unit)

Marie Monks




History/Social Studies

Introducing Black Seminoles (one-day lesson)

King Philip’s War (mini-unit)

Ruth Burson


The Indigenous Atlantic

Stephanie Factor


First Americans and European Contact: The Quinnipiac and the English Settlement at New Haven, 1638-1774

Lauren Goldberg


Discovering Identity

George Kraus


Native Americans/Indigenous Atlantic Cultures

Lauren Merriam


The Cultures of Native Peoples (one-day Museum visit)

Effects of Spanish Rule on Native Peoples (mini-unit)

Brian Rappelfeld



El intercambio colombino: Los comestibles

Vanessa Del Giudice


Es complicado: Reflexiones de identidad en la música del Caribe

PowerPoint for Es complicado

Lynn Fernandez


Are the Tainos Still Here?

Zak Foster



Funding and Support


Institutes in 2012 and 2013 were jointly sponsored and carried out by Programs in International Educational Resources (PIER) at the MacMillan Center, the Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies (CLAIS) and the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, and were supported by a Title VI National Resource Center Grant from the United States Department of Education. All of the "Indigenous Peoples of the Americas" Summer Institutes were made possible by generous support from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.


For more information, contact:

Tom Parlapiano, Institute Coordinator

(203) 737-3065 or