Engraving of Doña Catalina de Arauso. Rare Book Collection, Benson Latin American Collection.


Students will learn about the Mapuche, their worldview, lifestyle, and resistance. Through primary sources, they will analyze the day-to-day life of Spanish women in the Araucarian wars, such as Catalina de Erauso, also known as Alonso Diaz. They will find more information to consider how women used the legal and societal conventions to defy gender identity in colonial Latin America. This is Lesson 3 of the Women in Colonial Latin America unit.

Date Range: 1500-1630
Grade Levels: 9-12
Countries: Chile
Course Subject(s): Indigenous Studies; Latin American Studies; Women & Gender Studies; World History Studies
Topic(s): Colonialism; Gender Identity; Araucarian Wars; Catalina de Erauso/Alonso Diaz
Teaching Time Frame: 1 day (90 minute lesson)

Guiding Questions

  • How did women defy gender identity during the colonial period in Latin America?
  • What gender rights did people have access to under the Spanish kingdom during the 17th century?
  • Were women allowed to participate in war as soldiers? Under what circumstances?

Learning Objectives

  1. Read a primary source and infer information about the author. 
  2. Support their claims based on textual evidence.
  3. Compare and contrast the biographies of Catalina de Erauso and Ines de Suarez. 
  4. Draw conclusions about the Spanish legal system based on the previous comparison.
  5. Generate audiovisual content to present their ideas.

Relevant Teaching Standards

TEKS Guidelines

  • World History
    • (c)-(7)-(A) – The student understands the causes and impact of increased global interaction from 1450 to 1750. The student is expected to analyze the causes of European expansion from 1450 to 1750.
    • (c)-(7)-(B) – Explain the impact of the Columbian Exchange.

C3 Framework

  • Geography
    • D2.Geo.6.9-12. Evaluate the impact of human settlement activities on the environmental and cultural characteristics of specific places and regions.
  • History
    • D2.His.1.9-12. Evaluate how historical events and developments were shaped by unique circumstances of time and place as well as broader historical contexts.
    • D2.His.14.9-12. Analyze multiple and complex causes and effects of events in the past.
    • D2.His.10.9-12. Detect possible limitations in various kinds of historical evidence and differing secondary interpretations.
    • D2.His.11.9-12. Critique the usefulness of historical sources for a specific historical inquiry based on their maker, date, place of origin, intended audience, and purpose.


Lesson Plan (PDF) | Primary Sources & Editable Plan (ZIP)

Rights Statement

Creator(s): Cinthia S. Salinas, Department Chair, Department of Curriculum and Instruction & Maria Jose Ramirez, Graduate Student, Department of Curriculum and Instruction

This assignment is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Public License (“Public License”). This license lets others share, remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as they credit the creators and license their new creations under the identical terms.

The Lieutenant Nun: More Than Catalina, More Than Alonso (Lesson)