Kindergarten to Secondary School (K-12)

Kindergarten to Secondary School (K-12)

At this level, CLAS shares its expertise on Latin America and the Caribbean with K-12 educators through:

Teacher Training Workshops

Teacher training workshops on Latin America and the Caribbean are designed to enhance educators' abilities to teach about this world region and to assist teachers in incorporating Latin American and Caribbean content into primary and secondary school curriculum. The workshops are held on weekday evenings or Saturday mornings at the University of Pittsburgh. CLAS professional development workshops are approved for Pennsylvania Department of Education Act 48 credit hours.

Professional Development Overseas

CLAS offers study/research abroad opportunities for area teachers. These programs are designed to contribute to the development and improvement of the study of modern foreign languages and area studies in the U.S. by providing training opportunities for teachers in Latin American and Caribbean countries. In the past, CLAS has sponsored professional development programs for K-12 teachers in Nicaragua, Cuba, and Northeastern Brazil. The Nicaraguan and Brazilian programs were funded by the U. S. Department of Education, Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad.

The Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) in partnership with the Andy Warhol Museum (AWM) are pleased to announce that we have received a Fulbright-Hays group project abroad grant to conduct a professional development program in Brazil.

Curriculum Development

As the result of CLAS professional development/teacher training workshops and the school visit program various lessons with Latin American and Caribbean content have been development. These are appropriate for K-12 classrooms.

School Visit Program

CLAS undergraduate and graduate students are available to visit K-12 classrooms to share their knowledge on Latin America. The presentations are interactive and engage area students in discussions and activities on various Latin American topics. The presentations are designed for a regular classroom period of approximately 40 minutes and no more than 35 students. Most lessons are available in Spanish or English. Current topics include but are not limited to:

  • Countries of Latin America
  • Día de los Muertos and other holidays
  • Molas: An art form of Panama
  • Musical Instruments
  • Saw Dust Carpets (Guatemalan Tradition)
  • Diego Rivera’s Murals (Mexican Artist)
  • Presentation around the story of Abuela’s Weave
  • Presentation around the story of Lucha Libre

For more information, contact Diana Shemenski at

Las Noticias Newsletter

A newsletter for K-12 educators designed to assist them with incorporating Latin American content into their classroom lessons. Las Noticias is distributed to teachers in Western Pennsylvania.

Resource Lending Library

CLAS maintains a collection of instructional resources on Latin America and the Caribbean available at the university, secondary, and upper elementary levels for classroom use. The resources include maps, videos, slide sets, books, lessons, and curriculum guides. A catalog, Latin American Educational Resources, resides on the website and is available in hardcopy.

Model United Nations Simulation

The University of Pittsburgh's Center for International Studies (UCIS) in conjunction with it's area studies centers, the Citizens for Global Solutions Pittsburgh, and the United Nations Association of Pittsburgh conducts an annual Model United Nations simulation on the Pitt Oakland campus. Throughout the day, local high school students, "call to session" six bodies of the United Nations and assume roles of diplomats. Each school delegation is assigned a country to represent in negotiations. Participants discuss controversial issues facing the world wide community within the formal context of a United Nations simulation. University of Pittsburgh students serve as secretary general and session moderators as well as mentors to the high school students. Keep in touch with the planning by visiting the Model UN website