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  1. Aztec and Maya Marketplace

    The objects in this box are representative of goods and foods commonly used by peoples of the Americas, specifically Aztec or Maya societies, including pottery, stones, textiles, and plants. Discuss the possible uses for each object, role-play what it would have been like to be a part of an ancient Aztec or Maya marketplace, discover modern equivalents to marketplaces in Chicago and around the world, and create art using techniques of ancient Aztec and Maya artisans. ATTENTION: The feathers in this Experience Box protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and may only be borrowed by educational institutions that are open to the general public and are non-profit (such as public or charter schools), but may not be borrowed by private individuals or institutions without a special permit. If you have any questions about whether you, or your institution, qualify to borrow this box without a permit, please contact us. Learn More
  2. Day of the Dead

    El Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is an important holiday in many Latin American cultures. It centers on remembering and honoring deceased family members and the cycle of life. Marvel in the vibrant decorations and art used to adorn homes and altars during this holiday; infer cultural beliefs about death by looking at the details of masks, rattles, and other decorations; and make your own altar to commemorate a deceased historical figure. Learn More
  3. Living Together: Shoes

    By examining shoes, we can explore the needs and desires of individuals around the world. This box contains various shoes from diverse cultures. Use them to discuss measurement by analyzing and comparing different shoes and their sizes. Practice classification and categorization by sorting the shoes into different groups. Finally, analyze Van Gogh's shoe paintings and create your own interpretation of his work. Learn More
  4. Story of Chocolate

    Dive into the fascinating world of chocolate! Experience the ecological, biological and commercial importance of this treat, with a history dating back to the ancient Maya. Learn More
  5. Fishing in the Americas

    Over generations, various peoples of the Americas lived alongside seas, lakes and rivers. As a result, they developed a deep relationship with and understanding of native fishes and their ecosystems. Learn about how fishing technologies were both similar and different depending on the environment in which they were developed by exploring models and artifacts used for fishing in the Americas. Learn More
  6. Metate (Grinding Stone)

    The metate is a volcanic flat rock used in Mexico and Central America for grinding corn and other foods products. Students can experience grinning corn into meal. Learn More
  7. Shells

    These beautiful seashells were made by creatures called mollusks. Learn the many ways that humans have used shells throughout history, and find out where you can go to look for your favorite types! Learn More
  8. Vamos a Comer

    Latin American cuisine displays great variability. Different regions within Latin America are known for their distinct styles of cooking and signature dishes, made with local crops and tools both ancient and modern. This Experience Box introduces students to a few of these dishes by exploring the ingredients and tools used to prepare them. Along the way students can: research the history of various foods, including their introduction to new consumers and transport into new markets; interact with the culinary tools to predict their uses; and act out what it would be like to fry a plantain or grind dried chile peppers. Learn More
  9. Rubber

    Bounce into the fascinating world of rubber production. Rubber is, and was, an important resource in Middle America. Extracted from milkweed trees, rubber is exposed to acid, sulphur and high heat to create a variety of useful materials. Rubber was imported into Central Mexico from Veracruz. Learn More
  10. World Percussion

    Drums, cymbals, gongs, sticks and a variety of other instruments are percussion instruments. They are created and used all over the world by many cultures. Allow students to strike and shake instruments to hear the different tones produced. Compare and contrast the instruments in the box to better understand how an instrument's materials and shape affect the sound produced. Learn More

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