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The gauchada offered in this story is a necklace—a token made by a gaucho’s own hand and given with love. First it is given to a grandmother, who cherishes it until she feels moved to give an unexpected gift to someone else. In this way, the necklace passes from hand to hand—from heart to heart. It travels farther than the gaucho who made it will ever roam. But each time the necklace is given, his story is told and his message is understood: Love is meant to be given.

from Gauchada at amazon.com

Thanks to Celia Hartmann for preparing this Gauchada unit study.

Gauchada Unit Study Lessons

This unit study includes lessons and activities based on the book Gauchada by C. Drew Lamm.

Here is a sample of the lessons found in this Gauchada unit study:

Geography – Argentina:
Argentina is a country in southern South America. It is the 2nd largest country in South America (the largest is Brazil); it is the 8th largest in the world. Argentina occupies a continental surface area of 2,766,890 km² (1,078,000 sq. mi) between the Andes mountain range in the west and the southern Atlantic Ocean in the east and south.

It is bordered by Paraguay and Bolivia in the north, Brazil and Uruguay in the northeast, and Chile in the west and south. The country claims the British controlled territories of the Falkland Islands (Spanish: Islas Malvinas) and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

If you have an older student who is interested, you may want to print an outline map of South America and have him label the different countries.

Gauchos (Argentine Cowboys):
In North America, they are called cowboys. In South America, they are called gauchos. They are the people who tend and drive cattle on the open ranges, the wanderers of the Pampas. The early horsemen were skilled horsemen, loners who lived off the land and tracked down lost cattle for ranchers. They also provided protection and military service for the ranchmen.

Their life as wanderers meant little time spent at home, which they might have shared with a wife who raised their children. Sons followed their father’s traditions. Their clothing reflected their life on horseback: a wide hat, a woolen poncho, long pleated trousers, or loose baggy pants called bombachas and knee-high leather boots. They made their boots by wrapping the hide of a freshly killed calf around their legs and feet. As the hide dried, it took on the form of the foot and leg. They owned nothing of value but their horse and the long knife, the facon, that they kept sharp and ready. They had no way of preserving meat, and after butchering a cow, would cook it immediately over an open fire. Meat and maté (the tea mentioned in the story), were the mainstays of their diets; they brewed and consumed the mate’ frequently throughout the day.

At one time, they were looked down on as lower-class, but when the wars of independence against Spain began, and commanders looked for able-bodied men, the gauchos were called into service and commanded the respect of the military. Today, in Argentina, June 16 is a holiday which celebrates the gaucho contribution to the War of Independence.

Today, gauchos are still an integral part of the ranching areas of Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil.

You can grab a copy of the entire Gauchada unit study in an easy-to-print file at the end of this post.

How to Get Started with the Gauchada Unit Study

Follow these simple instructions to get started with the Gauchada unit study:

  1. Buy a copy of the book, Gauchada, or borrow one from your local library. This book is currently out of print, but it may be available through your library’s interlibrary loan program.
  2. Print the Gauchada unit study.
  3. Choose the lessons you want to use with your student (a highlighter works great for this).
  4. Enjoy a week of book-based learning with your student.

Download Your Gauchada Unit Study

Simply click on the image below to grab the free unit study.

Gauchada Unit Study

Learn More About Argentina

Learn more about Argentina with our Argentina Lapbook.

Argentina Lapbook