Zonia’s Rainforest

Written by Juana Martinez-Neal (Candlewick Press 2021)

Zonia is Asháninka, a member of “the largest Indigenous group living in the Pruvian Amazon, with a poulation estimated at more than 73,000”. Zonia’s Rainforest details all of the friendships she has with the many different animals that live in the verdant and lush rainforest. Towards the end of her day she come across a deforested patch of land, where nothing grows, and none of her friends can be seen, all of the vibrancy and life of the jungle is gone. Zonia answers the rainforest call for help, and encourages the reader that it is a call “we all must answer”.

Discussion Questions:

What call do you think Zonia is being asked to answer?

How can you play a role in protecting rainforests/and stopping deforestation?

What are some things you think Zonia can do to protect her rainforest?

Additional Resources:

The Authors website

The Asháninka Peoples

Zonia’s Rainforest Classroom Activities

Region: The Amazon (South America)

Ages: 3-6

My Day with the Panye

Written by Tami Charles

Illustrated by Sara Palacios

(Candlewick Press 2021)

Who? What? Where?

Fallon is a young girl living in the mountainous region of Haiti. Her story begins with a an eagerness and insatibale desire to carry the Panye. To carry the Panye is a tradition that dates back hundreds of years and is done around the world, it is the act of carrying and holding important items in the Panye on top of the head, as such it is practically a rite of passage for young girls like Fallon. On a visit to the market, wit her mother, Fallon keeps wanting to prove that she is ready to carry the panye without much success, her mother however has some lesson to teach Fallon first. Carrying the Panye is more than a method of transporting important goods it is also about grace and strength, and along the way Fallon learns the meaning of her mothers XX “Pitit, pitit, build your nest.”

Principle Themes:

Fallon, is taught patience throughout My Day with the Panye, she is eager to carry the basket all at once and carry barely contain her excitement, and her mother has to teach her the virtue of taking it one step at a time, “pitit, pitit, build your nest.” A rite of passage is another theme in the book, Fallon is so eager to learn in part because she sees so many other young girls and their mothers’ carrying the Panye so gracefully, yet Fallon learns that she too will be ready in her own time.

Discussion Questions:

Why is it important for Fallon to carry the Panye?

What message do you think “Pitit, pitit, build your nest” is trying to convey?

Can you think of any other rites of passage?

Additional Resources:

Tami Charles’ Website

Candlewick Press Teacher Tips

Region: Caribbean (Haiti)

Age: 3-7

The Grief Keeper

By: Alexandra Villasante published by Penguin Randomhouse (2019)

Who? What? Where?

Marisol and her younger sister, Gabi, are seeking asylum in the United States. The book begins with Marisol’s credible fear interview at an unnamed detention center. The two have fled El Salvador, leaving behind  their family, their home and the lives they once knew in search of refuge. The burden of ensuring Gabi’s safety weighs heavily on Marisol. Marisol fears they won’t be granted asylum, securing their future in the U.S. becomes ever more precarious, that is until she is offered a deal. Marisol must participate in a new experimental study in exchange for asylum. The experiment requires Marisol hold the grief of another, but the study never intended for her to meet the beneficiary. As Marisol navigates the grief of another as well as her own in this new and unfamiliar place, a relationship between her and the beneficiary of the experiment deepens. The Grief Keeper is a story of immigration as much as it is a story of love, and the depths to which Marisol will go to protect the ones she loves most.

Principle Themes

The Grief Keeper explores the many facets of trauma. Trauma impacts the main characters in different ways. At times it drives them a part, and at others it creates a shared bond. Love is a theme as central to the book as trauma. It is Marisol’s love for her sister that drives her to persist despite all that Marisol has already endured. The Grief Keeper explores these themes in tandem, unearthing how love and trauma inform each other.

Additional Resources:

An interview with Alexandra Villasante

Teaching the Grief Keeper

Review of the book by Latinxs in Kid Lit Blog

Region: North America/United States

Age: High School

Maxy Survives the Hurrican / Maxy Sobrevive el huracán

By/Por Ricia Anne Chansky &/y Yarelis Marcial Avecedo

Illustrations by/Ilustraciones de Olga Barinova

Who? What? Where?/¿Quién? ¿Qué? ¿Dónde?

Maxy the dog lives with Clarita and her family in Puerto Rico. Maxy has a great life with Clarita and the two of them spend their days with each other. On a day in September however Maxy notices a change in Clarita and her family, they all seem to be preparing for something, putting belongings on high shelves, collecting water and canned food and flashlights. Not long after Hurricane Maria makes land in Puerto Rico causing destruction of the land and its infrastructure. Maxy was terrified. After the hurricane was gone Maxy continued to be terrified of the rain, afraid it would bring the next Hurricane. Clarita and her family explain why rain and water are good, and that “not every rain is a hurricane.” Maxy Survives the Hurricane/Maxy sobrevive el huracán was written for the children of Puerto Rico whom in the wake of the hurricane were afraid of the rain and the dark caused by the power outtages. “The authors hope that Maxy helps children around the world who have had similar experiences with natural disasters.” 

Maxy el perrito viva con su family en Puerto Rico. Maxy tiene una gran vida con Clarita, los dos pasan su días juntos. Pero un día en Septiembre Maxy se nota un cambio en Clarita y su familia, todos parecen estar preparando para algo, poniendo sus pertenencias en sitios altos, recogiendo agua y aliementos enlatados y linternas. Poco después huracán Maria destruyendo tierra y infraestructura. Maxy estaba aterrorizada. Despues de que se fue el huracán Maxy seguio aterrorizada de la lluvia, pensando que iba a traer el próximo huracán. De repente, Clarita y su famili le explica que la lluvia es buena cosa y que “no todas las lluvias son huracanes”. Maxy sobrevive el huracán fue escrito para los niños de Puerto Rico quienes como resultado del huracán tenían miedo de la lluvia y la oscuridad a causo por las cortes de energía. “Las autores esperan que Maxy ayude a los niños alrededor del mundo quien han tenido experiencias parecidas con desastres naturales”.

Principle Themes/Temas principales

Fear is one of the principle themes in Maxy Survives the Hurrican, Maxy has to learn how to cope with his fear after the hurrican and with the help of his family is able to overcome it. Family is another principle theme in the text. Family comes together in preparation of the hurricane and is there after to support one another. Lastly, Resiliency is an apparent theme in the book as Clarita’s family perseveres after the devastation and continues to work towards rebuilding their communities and lives.

El temor es uno de los temas principales en Maxy sobrevive el huracán, Maxy tiene que aprender como enfrentarse con su miedo después del huracán, y con la ayuda de Clarita y su familia lo supera. Familia es otro tema principal en el texto. La familia se une en preparación para la huracán y se apoyan mutuamente después del desastre natural. Ultimamente, resistencia es aparente en el libro por la manera en que la familia de Clarita se reconstruya la comunidad tras el impacto del huracán María.

Discussion Questions/Preguntas de discusión

Why is Maxy scared of the rain after the Hurricane? Por que Maxy tiene miedo de la lluvia después del hurracán

How does Maxy overcome his fear of the rain? ¿Cómo supera Maxy su miedo a la lluvia?

Additional Resources/Recursos adicionales

A profile on one of the authors, Yarelis Marcial Acevedo: https://www.uprm.edu/english/student-feature-yarelis-marcial-acevedo/

A list of books that help children understand natural disasters: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tarahaelle/2017/08/30/8-books-to-help-children-understand-disasters-and-cope-with-anxiety/?sh=1cf2b6e042e9

Region

Caribbean

Age

Elementary

Hold Tight Don’t Let Go

Laura Rose Wagner (Abrams Books 2015)

Wagner’s book details the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, through the experience of two teenage girls. Magdalie and Nadine, are cousins turned twin sisters, who rely on each other as they try to re-build their lives. When Nadine is presented with the opportunity to leave Haiti the sisters’ bond is tested. The book details the grief and anger Magdalie faces surviving in the capital and among the tent cities as she attempts to save up enough money to buy a plane ticket to the United States. Hold Tight Don’t Let Go captures the complex experiences of life in Port-Au-Prince, from the ingenuity and tenacity of making ends meet to the belief in a better future and a stronger nation. Hold Tight Don’t Let Go is as much of a coming of age story as it is about not giving up.

Principle Themes:

Kinship is a principle theme. As old familial bonds are strained, and new kinship ties are forged, Magdalie creates community and family in the tent cities all the way to the countryside of Jeremie, relying on both old and new connections to sustain her spirit and keep her moving.  Hope, is a contradictorily fleeting and consistent aspect of Magdalies life after the earthquake. Magdalie is able to continue hoping despite the multitudinous obstacles she faces. Lastly, tenacity is a key theme, for when hope fails Magdalie tenacity is what propels her forward despite her the uncertainty of the future.

Language: English

Age: High School Reading Level (YA reading topics)

Region: Caribbean

Discussion Questions:

What are some of the challenges Magdalie faces in the wake of the earthquake?

How does Magdalie’s sense of community change?

Educator Questions:

Do you include Haiti in your Latin American Curriculum? Why or why not?

What are some ways to create intentional space for histories, culture, language (etc.) in your classroom when discussing Latin America? 

More Resources:

The authors website

Podcast Episode with the Author: “Bringing Back Radio Haiti, A Station That Told The Overlooked Stories.” Interview on WUNC’s The State of Things with Frank Stasio about the Radio Haiti Archive. With Michèle Montas and Laurent Dubois. (February 2015)

New York Times Book Review

Women’s History Month!

This month is Women’s History Month. Like Black History Month, women’s history should not be understood as a separate part of the history of the Americas but as a vital part, one that – if missing – would leave the canvas blank. We should always strive to elevate the voices and experiences of women. The LAII K-12 Outreach Team has created relevant educational content we encourage you to explore this month and every month!  

We have STEM guides featuring Latina women who have contributed to science, technology, engineering, and math. This includes:  

For all our STEM guides featuring women please visit: https://laii.unm.edu/info/k-12-educators/curriculum/latinxs-in-stem-guides.html

To celebrate Women’s History Month we thought it would be exciting to get to know some of the students who study Latin American Studies here at UNM. We conducted interviews to learn more about these brilliant women. Interviews are a great way for students to connect with the world around them and explore their interests. An idea to incorporate Women’s History Month into your classroom is to have students interview influential women in their lives. They can do written interviews or an oral history project where they work to create questions that would bring out the interviewees story in the most interesting way. They can also use this opportunity to think about their own goals and future plans and how they might achieve them. This could take shape as response paper after completing an interview with another person where the student reflects on how they conceive their own experiences brought forth by interviewing others. Following is our first interview and accompanying bio of one of the LAII graduate students. Stay tuned for more to come!

Joselin

Joselin is a MA student in the Latin American Studies program here at UNM. She grew up in LA with her older sisters and her mother who raised her daughters by herself once in the United States. Her family migrated to LA from Guatemala before Joselin was born so she had the unique experience of being the only one in her family born and raised in the United States. Her mother worked relentlessly to support her daughters which often put her older sisters in the roll of care givers.

This exposed Joselin to the diverse people who can and do occupy the position of ‘mother’ as her sisters were there for her in ways her mother was both emotionally and physically. She noticed at a young age that this was different from most of her friends’ families as they often had both father and mother present in a more traditional sense. She grew to appreciate the multiple ways to raise children and the many people who contribute to a child’s upbrining. Her experiences and feelings of pride surrounding her childhood would later inform her research interests.

She was always academically motivated, delighted and invigorated by learning. She was consistently told to work hard and seize the opportunities she had in the United States that she otherwise may not have in Guatemala. When asked how she thinks her educational experience would have been different had her family not migrated to the United States, Joselin responded that in Guatemala she believes she would still have pursued higher education but would have embarked on a more traditional career path such as being an accountant or lawyer. In the United States she had the freedom to branch out and explore her interests in the academy such as anthropology.

Navigating college as a high school student without experienced parents, was daunting and seemed unattainable. Luckily for Joselin her high school, though underfunded, had a wonderful college advisor who helped her and her classmates navigate the admissions process and understand how to fund their education. Upon her advisor’s encouragement she decided to attend Cal State LA where she studied Anthropology. While she experienced some growing pains at first as she wasn’t used to the rigor of a university education, she soon settled in and excelled. At times she was working up to three jobs while taking 5 courses in one semester. Reflecting, she believes her strong work ethic was inherited from her mother who was always working to support her family.

Through an undergraduate fellowship at her university supporting students to pursue tenure track careers and her experience working with two Central American professors who were brother and sister, Joselin was exposed to academia after a bachelors and was motivated and supported in her pursuit of furthering her education. The siblings gave her a glimpse of her potential and showed her that she too had a place in higher education. She applied to a few different PhD and masters programs eventually deciding on an MA in Latin American Studies because she was offered a wonderful financial package attesting to her qualifications and value to the university.

“I’m a firm believer in whatever comes to you is meant for you.”

Her upbringing, both family and the diversity of LA, inspired her to pursue Latin American Studies and to focus on Central American mothering as a research topic. Here at UNM she is a fellow for the Center of Southwest Research where she works on a digitization project for an archive in Mexico City that focuses on post-revolutionary Mexico. She translates the meta data- all the information like key words and descriptions you use when you look things up. She is exposed to older versions of Spanish which is enlightening and difficult at the same time. Her work enables documents from the archive to be accessed remotely worldwide.

Joselin will be graduating this May and has been accepted into two PhD programs. She is deciding between Latino Studies at UC Santa Cruz and American Studies here at UNM. Her goal is to write a book and she believes working on her dissertation will give her the clarity and experience to achieve her dream of publishing her own work. Her focus is the narratives of Central Americans living in the United States. Specifically looking at the settlement experience of Central Americans and the differences between immigration and migration and how they negotiate their new place and ways of being in their new context. This stems from her mother’s experience of negotiating her new place in the US as a Guatemalan woman.

Her advice for young women who want to pursue higher education is to find someone who they can trust and who pushes, encourages, and believes in them. She says hold on tight to those people as they will help you navigate the complexities of higher education especially if you are a first-generation student who may not have the experience and support within your own family. This goes for educators as well, “having the patience to allow you to grow,” is vital according to Joselin. Educators have the power to make real and lasting difference in young women’s lives. Thank you Joselin!

Additional Resources:

We would like to highlight the Smithsonian virtual film festival in honor of Women’s History Month featuring Chilean-American artist Cecilia Vicuña including a “virtual conversation about her work that explores the deep histories, coastal traditions, and the ecology of her homeland of Chile. With Amalia Cordova, Latino curator for digital and emerging media at the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and Saisha Grayson, time-based media curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.” Click here for more information about how to register.  

City of the Beasts

By Isabel Allende

Age: 13+

Region: South America

Language: Available in English and Spanish

Who? What? Where?

Alexander Cold is a boy from northern California. The oldest of 3 children and the only boy, Alex is close to his father and looks after his younger sisters especially since his mother Lisa was diagnosed with cancer and undergoing treatment. As his mother’s condition worsens, his father’s attention is increasingly focused on his wife, forcing him to make the difficult decision of sending his children away to stay with family members until the worst of the treatment is over. Alex’s two younger sisters Andrea and Nicole are sent to stay with their grandmother Carla while Alex is sent to his dad’s mother Kate. Kate Cold is a bold, independent women who doesn’t coddle her grandson. She is a writer/explorer who works for the National Geographic who has assigned her a mission in the Amazon. Alex will accompany her there unaware of the magical and harrowing adventure awaiting him and his grandmother.

Once in the Amazon Kate and Alex are connected with the group they will be traveling with. They are on a mission to find the purported Beasts who are deadly, seem invisible, and leave an intoxicating stench wherever they go. No outsiders to the region have witnessed the Beast so Kate is eager to be the first to see it and write about it. The group includes the pompous professor Leblanc, a few soldiers, a Venezuelan doctor tasked with vaccinating the elusive Indigenous groups living deep in the Amazon, a local father and his daughter Nadia, and a few others. Nadia and Alex become fast friends. Nadia opens Alex up to his power within that enables him to connect to nature and help Nadia “save” the Indigenous people who are called the People of the Mist because they have never been contacted by outsiders. Through their connection to nature and the trust the Indigenous people come to have in the duo, Alex and Nadia uncover the mystery of the Beast and the intentions of certain members of their crew, both growing immensely in the process.

This is a fantastical adventure tale taking readers deep into the Amazon as they follow Alex as he grows out of the boy he was when he embarked on the journey with his grandmother Kate, and into the young man who understands the interconnectedness of humans and nature, leaving fear behind to find strength in love for the world around him.

My issues:

While reading City of the Beasts I couldn’t help but notice several elements of Isabel Allende’s story that were problematic. The most glaring issue was her use of the word ‘indian(s)’ to describe the Indigenous people of the Amazon. Why is the word ‘indian’ problematic? The word was first used by European colonists when they arrived in the Americas to describe the Indigenous populations. They erroneously believed they had landed in the Indies therefore the word ‘indian’ seemed appropriate at the time but would later be revealed to be a misnomer. This term is considered offensive as it perpetuates the power of colonists, is a reflection of a complete misconception of the Americas, and groups many diverse people into a single category robbing Indigenous people of their individuality and distinct cultures. As a tool for discussing peoples who do share some commonalities, we still group them into distinct categories that may be beneficial at times and harmful at others.

‘“Indigenous peoples’ is considered a safe general term for many differed groups. ‘Amerindian’ can be used to refer to Indigenous people from North and South America… When possible, it is preferable to be specific about which group you are referring to, as there are distinct differences to each group.”

– “No Offense? Some Terms and Phrases to Become Aware of, Potentially Avoid, and Why” Compiled, written, and edited by Paula R. Curtis and Jacquiline D. Antonovich. (link below)

My second issue is rooted in the depiction of the People of the Mist, the uncontacted Indigenous group of the Amazon that Nadia and Alex save. Allende illustrates this group of people using rich descriptions of cultural practices and norms with no apparent research or prior knowledge about them. Their religious dedication to the Beasts who are a group of large, smelly, and extremely slow sloths could be offensive and promote misconceptions about Indigenous groups of the Amazon. It seems irresponsible to depict a group of people potentially falsely and from a position of her own power and privilege. Further, the idea that the Indigenous people of the Amazon, in particular the People of the Mist, need Alex as their savior is a tired and harmful narrative that we should question and avoid.

City of the Beast was an enjoyable novel to read but it is a good reminder that we should always read critically and look within ourselves and to our communities to question, research, understand, and explore topics, words and depictions that appear harmful and promote misconceptions and prejudices.

Discussion questions for educators: (Please post any responses in the comment box so together we can open up discussion)

Is it beneficial to introduce students to literature that may be problematic?

What lessons can be learned from books like City of the Beasts?

How do you confront difficult topics in your classroom? What are some strategies for teaching students the harm of using certain words and promoting misconceptions about marginalized groups?

Did this review bring up books you have read in the past? If so, which ones?

Additional Resources:

“No Offense? Some Terms and Phrases to Become Aware of, Potentially Avoid, and Why”

“Rethinking the Brazilian Amazon: A Conversation with Indigenous Poet Márcia Wayna Kambeba”

Isabel Allende’s Website

Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela

By Alexandra Alessandri illustrated by Addy Rivera Sonda

Age: 4-6

Region: Colombia

Language: Bilingual

Who? What? Where?

Ava Gabriela and her parents are in Colombia visiting relatives for the holidays. When they first arrive at Abuelita’s finca, Ava Gabriela is very shy and reserved. She has a hard time speaking up and enjoying her family members who do their best to make her feel comfortable and pull her out of her shell.

When her Tía Nena asks Ava if she wanted to make buñuelos Ava agrees and enjoys the quality time she spends with her primos while doing so. As her time at the finca progresses, Ava slowly becomes more comfortable allowing for more opportunities to connect with her relatives and participate in the festivities of the new year. She bonds further with her primos when they create Año Viejo and pop him together during the new year festivities. Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela reminds us that new situations can be hard for all of us. Through the kindness of her family and her own bravery and interest in the world around her, Ava breaks free of her fear and is able to fully enjoy herself.

Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela is a wonderful book that could be incorporated into any classroom. It would be great for Spanish language learners as the book includes many Spanish words. It is a great resource for teaching about Colombian culture and includes a glossary of terms including translations and explanations of customs.

Discussion questions for students:

  1. Does your family have a particular holiday they celebrate together? What kinds of things does your family do to celebrate?
  2. Can you think of a time you felt shy or scared? How did you overcome those feelings? What made you feel more comfortable?
  3. What new words did you learn? What do they mean?

Additional Resources:

Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela read aloud:

Chat with the author:

Author’s website: https://alexandraalessandri.com/feliz-new-year-ava-gabriela/

Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight

By: Duncan Tonatiuh

Published by: Abrams Comicarts (New York)

Age: 9-12

Region: United States

Language: English

Who? What? Where? Why?

The picture book is about a young person named Juan, who comes to the United States from his small town in Mexico, to help support his family. Staying with his tío and other men who migrated to the United States Juan gets a job at restaurant working twelve hours a day, seven days a week for less than minimum wage. Until the day that co-worker and him discuss the unfairness of their pay for the work they do. Juan becomes involved in a Workers Right center and starts to organize his co-workers, after several months of organizing they are finally able to take legal action to challenge their bosses exploitation. Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight, is wonderfully illustrated, read from front to back, and then back to front in an accordion style layout, it is a must read and would be a wonderful addition to any educator’s classroom.

Amazon.com: Undocumented: A Worker's Fight: 9781419728549: Tonatiuh,  Duncan: Books

Principle Themes

Undocumented, a central theme of the book is Juan’s undocumented status and how it impacts his job security and the types of recourse at his disposal that won’t jeopardize his life in the United States. Despite the hurdles that Juan faces he challenges the labor violations his boss has been capitalizing on and asserts his rights to a fair wage. Workers’ rights, as we have seen in other texts, workers’ rights continues to play an important role in the fight for equity and justice. Collective Action, lastly, collective action is a tenet principle of the book. Juan believes that workers’ rights is based in collective action, and that the commonality of facing the same hardships and the fight for fair labor practices is what unites people in this struggle. Furthermore when Juan’s boss tries to pay him off Juan declines because he recognizes this struggle is not only about him it’s also about everyone else at the restaurant who aren’t being paid their fair wages.

Discussion Questions

What is the message of this book?

What hardships do Juan his co-workers face as they try to organize for better wages?

How does documentation status intersect with labor rights?

How do fair wages and labor protections impact workers?

Educator Questions we would love to hear your feedback in the comments section!

Do you have a book like this in your classroom already? If not why not? What other texts could you supplement with Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight?

How do you teach the intersection of labor rights and documentation status in your classroom?

Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin: Mi Version de Cinco de Mayo / Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin: My version of Cinco de Mayo

Written by Jose Angel Gutierrez

(Book review by Pablo Arias-Benavides)

Age: 6th Grade

Region: Texas / Mexico

Language: Bilingual Edition with separate English and Spanish texts

Who? What? Where?

This is the story of Mexican General and Minister, Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin, well known for his victory over a French Army at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It is written in an autobiographical style which will make the history approachable for students who are beginning to read longer narratives. The text deals with mature issues such as slavery, war, forced migration, gendered violence, and epidemic disease, so it is not appropriate for lower elementary grades.

The Hero of Cinco De Mayo/ El Héroe De Cinco De Mayo: Ignacio Zaragoza  Seguín (English and Spanish Edition): José Angel Gutiérrez, Stephen  Marchesi, Stephen Marchesi: 9781558858985: Amazon.com: Books

Ignacio details his life from his birth in 1829 to his death from typhoid fever shortly following his victory in Puebla. As one of several children of a Mexican Army officer, Ignacio experienced mid-19th century life in various parts of Texas and Mexico. His narrative gives readers a window into rural, small village, and city life of the place and period as well as a small glimpse of Mexico City. He describes both everyday life and the larger political struggles of the age; in particular, he is affected by the Texan war of independence, civil wars within Mexico, and the Franco-Mexican war of the early 1860s. Ignacio became the youngest General of Mexico in 1857 at the age of 28, and in 1862 was appointed as the Minister of Army and Marina. That year, his fame was cemented by an insightful strategic victory over superior French forces at the Battle of Puebla, which is now commemorated as the US and Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo.

This volume is a combined English-Spanish edition: the reader can finish the story in one language, then flip the book over and start again from the other side. This makes it a useful learning tool as it can be read first in the reader’s primary language and then again in the second language, although facing translations may have been a more convenient choice.

Discussion Questions

  1. How did Texas become a US state after being a Mexican territory?
  2. How was the dispute between Texas and Mexico related to the later war between the United States and Mexico?
  3. Why did France attack Mexico?
  4. Ignacio says that his success came from reading widely. Why do you think he says this?
  5. What is the job of a General?

Additional Resources

Cinco de Mayo: All About the Holiday. PBS
https://nm.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/84c2b3ff-131c-432d-8f96-78e88971b629/cinco-de-mayo-all-about-the-holidays/

Factsheet for Cinco de Mayo. History Channel

https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/cinco-de-mayo

Historical Context. Mexican History. Scholastichttps://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/mexico-history/