Teaching Democracy & Diversity: a summer Seminar for Caribbean Teachers

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Teaching Democracy & Diversity:

A Summer Seminar for Caribbean Teachers
University of South Florida

By Maxene Cherisme


“Haiti’s contribution to the Independence Movements in Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador”

Concept/Main Idea of Lesson

After completing this lesson, the students will be able to consider the relationship between the Haitian Revolution and the Independence movements in Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador. They will understand Alexandre Petion’s assistance to Simon Bolivar in his struggle to free South American countries such as those above. They will define and explain the following words: colony, revolution, and Pan-Americanism.

Intended Grade Level


Infusion/Subject Area(s)

World History, Latin American History, Haitian History, Geography

Instructional Objective

The students will locate Haiti, Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador on a regional map. They will examine documents about the political situation in Haiti and in Latin America in the early 19th century. They will evaluate Alexandre Petion’s assistance to Simon Bolivar. In order to deepen their learning about these two leaders, they will compare the biography of each. They will also compare that part of the history of Haiti to the present-day situation so that they can have a better understanding of the country. Ultimately, they will be able to defend the disparagement tendency among Haitians themselves.

Learning Activities Sequence

  1. Set Induction/Lesson Initiating Behavior: The teacher will ask the students to write down their answers to the following questions:

  • Has Haiti ever provided assistance to another country?

  • Can Haiti provide assistance to another country today? Give a brief explanation of the answer.

The teacher will then tell each student to choose another student nearby to form a group of two so they can compare their answers and try to find common themes in their responses. Next, the teacher will ask pairs to come and share their answer with the whole class. A designated student will write the answers on the board.

b. Learning Activities: 1) After this, each group will be given a blank map of Latin America (http://www.jsu.edu/depart/geography/mhill/worldmapman/worldmapman/latinam/wblmapp.html) . They will use it to locate and label Haiti, Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador.

They will become familiar with the size of each country and the distance between them.

The students will watch some parts of a video on Simon Bolivar from Youtube.com (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSWfh1mefB8&NR=1(07/29/09). In this video, they will notice references to Haiti. After watching it, the class will briefly discuss what they have just learned.
The teacher will make a succinct recall of the Haitian independence history and will then

pass out to the class specific handouts with information about Simon Bolivar’s struggle to liberate South-American countries and about Alexandre Petion’s assistance to him. Students

will be reading these handouts and will need to identify at least three interest facts.

The teacher will provide some explanations and will emphasize the significance of the Haitian Revolution and Independence Movement and the significance of Alexandre Petion’s support to Simon Bolivar. The teacher will demonstrate that through Simon Bolivar (a.k.a. “The Liberator”), Alexandre Petion helped more than one country gain independence in South America.

At this stage, the teacher will ask the students to change partners and hand out a vocabulary chart to each student. Each group will use the chart to find the meaning of the following words: colony, revolution, Pan-Americanism.

An image of Alexandre Petion (http://images.nypl.org/index.php?id=497504&t=w) and an image of Simon Bolivar (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Simon_Bolivar.jpg) will then be displayed. Biographies of the two leaders will be handed out. The students will use a Venn diagram to list similarities and differences between these leaders.

c. Closure: The students will sum up the lesson by doing a 3-2-1 activity. They will write 3 new things they learned, 2 things that surprised them, and 1 question they have.

On a sheet of notebook paper, the students will write one-two paragraph response to the following questions:

1) How do you evaluate Alexandre Petion’s decision to help Simón Bolívar?

2) What evidence would you use from history to refute statements that

denigrate Haitians?
Materials and Resources

Internet access, a laptop or a PC, vocabulary chart, Venn diagram, pictures of Alexandre Pétion and Simón Bolívar.


Bernstein, H. (1964). Venezuela & Colombia. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.

Blank Map of Latin America. Accessed on 07/29/09 from http://www.jsu.edu/depart/geography/mhill/worldmapman/worldmapman/latinam/wblmapp.html
Simón Bolívar Photography. Thelouvertureproject.org. Accessed on

07/30/09 from http://thelouvertureproject.org/index.php?title=Sim%C3%B3n_Bol%C3%ADvar

Bushnell, D. (2004). Simón Bolívar: Liberation and disappointment. The library of world

biography. New York: Pearson Longman

Colombia, flag of. "Encyclopedia Britannica”.2009. Encyclopedia Britannica online. Accessed on 07/29/09 from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1355135/flag-of-Colombia
Fitzgibbon, R. H. (1971). Latin America; A panorama of contemporary politics. New York:


Galeano E. (No date) Pétion: From Faces and Masks (electronic version).Haitiforever.com.

Accessed 07/29/09 from http://haitiforever.com/windowsonhaiti/1816.shtml

Haiti map. Travelinghaiti.com. Accessed on 07/29/09 from http://www.travelinghaiti.com/map_large.asp
Holly, A. P. B. (1931, July) “Our Future Relations with Haiti”. Sagepublications.com. Accessed on

07/29/09 from http://ann.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/156/1/110

Jeananda Col.(2009). Venezuela Flag. Photography. Enchantedlearning.com. Accessed

07/29/09 from http://www.enchantedlearning.com/southamerica/venezuela/flag/Flagbig.GIF

Killah22(2009). Haitian Flag. Photography. Mediaphotobucket.com. Accessed 07/29/09 from

Langley, L. D. (1996). The Americas in the age of revolution, 1750-1850. New Haven, Conn:

Yale University Press.

Latin America map.(No date) Morris.umn.edu. Accessed on 07/29/09 from

Lynch, J. (2006). Simón Bolívar: A life. New Haven: Yale University Press.
General Alexandre Petion Photography. Digitalgallery.nypl.org. Accessed on

07/30/09 from http://images.nypl.org/index.php?id=497504&t=w

O'Leary, D. F. (1970). Bolívar and the war of independence.The Texas pan-American

series. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Simon Bolívar. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSWfh1mefB8&NR=1(07/29/09)
Steward, T. G. (1971). The Haitian revolution, 1791 to 1804; Or, Side lights on the French

Revolution. New York: Russell & Russell.

Unitedplanet (2009). Ecuador Flag. Photography. Unitedplanet.org. Accessed 07/29/09 from

Vanden, H. E., & Prevost, G. (2002). Politics of Latin America: The power game. New York: Oxford University Press.

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