- PBS Newshour's timeline of the Guatemalan Civil War
- PBS Guatemala: The Secret Files. A comprehensive site with video, personal narratives, links to newspaper articles, interactive maps and more.
- Guatemala: Eterna Primavera, Eterna Tiranía. Photographs from the Guatemalan Civil War by Photojournalist Jean-Marie Simon.
From these resources I pieced together this PPT presentation that made use of the vocabulary structures we were studying (these structures were taken directly from the novel).
1. I had students write down the words "justo" and "injusto" with their English definitions in their notes. Then, I projected a series of sentences like "Hay una fiesta y solo los que lleven camisas rojas pueden ir" on the board and called on students to identify each as either fair or unfair. (This activity was taken directly from the Teacher's Guide to the novel.)
2. I then showed the class a three minute clip from the film, When the Mountains Tremble, in which Rigoberta Menchú describes her experiences working on the sugar plantations as a young girl. The clip also shows actual footage from the worker's movement in Guatemala and the military's decision to crack down on this movement. The clip runs roughly from 1:10 to 1:07 of the film. During our viewing I paused and asked students whether events were "justo" or "injusto" and had them explain.
3. I then began to present them with the PPT. The presentation took two days. After the first day, I had them complete the reading below which is essentially the text from the presentation. I wanted them to read first before we discussed the presentation.
4. After finishing the presentation, I had students write a personal reaction to the history. I explained that a formal personal reaction should start with an explanation of what they had read/seen/heard. The next step was to describe the emotion that they felt when reading, viewing or hearing a description of the events. (I gave them guided questions and sentence starters to help them with this activity. For example, ¿Cómo te sentías cuando leíste el artículo, «La Guerra Civil de Guatemala»? Me sentía ... porque...) I then wanted the students to give me details and examples (detalles y ejemplos) and, finally, they were asked to make a personal connection to the text (¿Has experimentado / leído / oído de una injusticia?).