Education

Laborers Measuring Coffee Berries, Chiapas, Mexico, 1927


Essential Question
How does geography influence culture and economy?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and explain the role of geography in the development of culture and economy.
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Document Description
Laborers measuring coffee berries in the Mexican state of Chiapas, 1927.
Questions
  1. What are the people doing in the photograph?
  2. Is this a good way to measure coffee berries?  How do you think coffee berries are measured today?
  3. What kinds of people do you see in the photograph (age, gender, etc.)?
  4. Compare the clothing of the woman in this photograph to the clothing of the woman in the "Coffee Pickers" photograph. 
  5. What are the workers wearing on their heads? 
  6. How is the clothing of the workers suited to their work?
  7. Who do you think is the "boss" in this photograph?  Why do you think so? 
Historical Challenge
Research the labor laws (child labor, retirement age, etc.) in Mexico today. Is there anyone in the photograph who might not be there if the photograph had been taken in the 21st century?
Interdisciplinary Connections
Math: Using whole beans and a coffee grinder, find out the average number of beans it takes to make a cup of coffee. Calculate how many coffee beans would be necessary to make enough coffee for all the teachers in the school.
Science: Examine different types of coffee beans. Make observations based on sight, smell, etc.
English Language Arts: Create a poster based on different coffee beans. Write short explanations of how the beans are classified.
Resources
  1. Goodwin, William. Mexico (Modern Nations of the World). San Diego: Lucent, 1999.
  2. Heinrichs, Ann. Mexico (A True Book). Danbury: Children's Press, 1997.
  3. Jermyn, Leslie, and Mary-Jo Reilly. Mexico (Cultures of the World). New York: Benchmark, 2002.
  4. http://www.kidskonnect.com/Mexico/MexicoHome.html
  5. http://www.mexonline.com/history.htm
  6. http://www.timeforkids.com/TFK/specials/goplaces/0,12405,176090,00.html
  7. http://www.coffeeresearch.org/
  8. http://justaboutcoffee.com/
  9. http://www.nationalgeographic.com/coffee/