Lesson 202: In the Shadow of the Volcanoes: Chile’s Melting Pot

Southern Chile is a land of forests, rivers, lakes, and volcanoes. It is also home to Native American and immigrant communities. We visit Mapuche Indians and German and Italian immigrant communities and the vast landscapes they inhabit.

Learning Objective

Students will learn about the Mapuche Indians and the German and Italian immigrants who live in Southern Chile.

Social Studies Standards

People, Places & Environments H, I, F

Discussion Prompts

  • What do you think David Yetman means by the phrase “stamp the landscape with their culture” and how do you think this happened?
  • How have volcanoes changed the landscape of Chile? Discuss the cycle of destroying and giving that occurs.
  • What foods mentioned in the video would you be most interested and least interested in eating? Explain why.
  • How does the environment in the video compare to that of your home? List three similarities and three differences.

Lesson Activities

  • Create a pamphlet that illustrates Chile’s landscape, vegetation, climate and geography.
  • Research Chile’s flag and describe the meaning of the colors, seasons, harvest and other symbols representative of the culture.
  • Write a personal narrative about a day you’ve spent with the Mapuche Indians. Include specific activities and a description of the meals.
  • Create a timeline with notes that describe the German and Italian immigration movement and how this affected local industry and architecture.


  • arid
  • basin
  • conifer
  • equilibrium
  • fortress
  • incorporated
  • oasis
  • primeval
  • proponent
  • thresher