I was born in Peru, so when I was a child, going to the Andes was an annual event. I have a wonderful picture of myself in a cuzqueña costume at age eight or nine. My parents must have bought it there and I must have been trying it on. My childhood memories of going up to the Andes are not as happy because I always got soroche, altitude sickness. Apparently children suffer a lot from it. It went away after one or two days, but it always colored my views of going up to Cusco.
When I was a child the spelling was always Cuzco but it has now been changed to Cusco. I was told that all the spelling changes were to make the word sound more like the original quechua, but in the case of this word, there really is no good reason as far as I can see.
Here are brief descriptions of the two thematic units. I always start with a reading because my students needed to read as much as possible. You can preview all of my units by clicking on Preview.
Unit 1. El Cusco
Fiestas! Celebrations! The Incas had great gatherings in their capital, Cusco, to celebrate the winter solstice. Today Peruvians celebrate the same day in the same place. Learn all about Peruvian fiestas, combining Inca and Peruvian, past and present, new and old.
Unit 2. El señor de Sipán
An archeological dig is a huge challenge! The archeologists want to save the artifacts for posterity; the police are desperate to keep the peace; the local people would like to make some money (some legally, others illegally) from the excavation. Delve into the mysteries of one specific dig, the Señor de Sipán, considered as important as the discovery of King Tutankhamen's tomb in Egypt. As always, my content based units include some grammar, in this case the preterit and adverbs of place. It is completely contextualized.
Of the many units I have written, over a twenty year period, the story of the dig at Sipán is one of my personal favorites. It combines intrigue, excitement and discovery. I hope you and your students will like it.
If you click on Preview above, you can read them and decide if they fit your curriculum.
Here is what you will find in the two units:
1. Subject matter - Reading: celebrations; archeology
2. Vocabulary: celebrations; body; verbs of movement
3. Grammar: preterit
4. Oral practice: Neruda poem; express points of view
5. Homework: visit Machu Picchu; pretend being an archeologist
6. Internet: key words for research on topic and additional topics
7. Model tests
8. Teacher's guide
9. Answer key
All Miraflores resources are in the target language only.
If you have taken students to Cusco, please share in the Comments section below. I also have written a unit about Machu Picchu, so you can also comment there. I believe visiting another country is an unforgetable experience.