November 3rd | Week in Review

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¡Hola a todos! I cannot believe we are already in November! Time is going by fast. I hope you enjoy the compiled resources; I always enjoy gathering them.

– Puerto Rico is still very much in our hearts and minds here at The University of New Mexico, but apparently it’s not in most US classrooms. Courtesy of Teaching for Change, here is a list of “Puerto Rican Children’s Literature for Social Justice: A Bibliography for Educators” by Marilisa Jimenez Garcia, PhD. “Recent national news reflects the public’s lack of knowledge of the U.S. as a country in possession of colonies, such as Guam and Puerto Rico. In a 2016 poll, many Americans were unaware that Puerto Ricans born on the island were U.S. citizens. Moreover, Puerto Ricans remain one of the largest Latinx populations in the U.S. with a continuous migration and diaspora resulting from over a century and half of U.S. interventions and economic upheaval.”

– Latinx in Kid Lit continue with their excellent reviews of recent books by Latinx authors. Among their more recent reviews are Marta Big and Small and The Chupacabra Ate the Candelabra, as jointly reviewed by Ruby Jones. Ms. Jones has worked in public libraries since 2007.

– De Colores: The Raza Experience in Books for Children always brings us sharply focused reviews of Latinx children’s books – many not by Latinx authors. In one of their latest features, they share some of the reasons why Home at Last by Susan Middleton Elya is not recommended “…But this unrealistic and didactic story serves only to reinforce the stereotype of Mexican women…”

– La Bloga recently shared an interview with Hector Luis Alamo, an editor and publisher for Enclave as well as a guest columnist for Chile’s Prensa Irreverente. In this interview, this Latino artivist shares his experience of how he became passionate about reading, his favorite poems, and how he came to find his career path.

– In our offline conversations, we talk frequently about how books can serve as windows, mirrors, and doors. Lee & Low Books focused on the “mirrors: possibilities in their latest post on their blog, The Open Book, where they emphasized the importance of “Mirror Books” in the classroom.

– Lastly, as Día de los Muertos takes this week, we thought it important to share Teaching Tolerance’s recent post on Let Día de los Muertos Stand on Its Own. “This holiday, which is distinctly different from Halloween, presents a wonderful opportunity to foster empathy among students.”

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Monumento al Nazareno, Venezuela. Reprinted from Flickr user Wilmer Osarlo under CC©.

November 4th | Week in Review

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¡Hola a todos! The readings for this week are a mix between celebrating Día de los Muertos and bilingual education. I really hope you enjoy them.

After Nearly 2 Decades, Californians Revisit Ban On Bilingual Education. “Our children live in Spanish-speaking families, Spanish-speaking neighborhoods, and listen to Spanish television when they’re home. If school refuses to teach them English, where are they going to learn it? They’re not going to go to college if they don’t have academic English down well.”

– Our Teaching for Change friends shared on Facebook their favorite bilingual children’s book (and one of ours!), Just a Minute!: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book, in celebration of Día de los Muertos.

— Also on Facebook, Latinas for Latino Lit shared their list of chapter Books with Latina Protagonists.

–Here are 21 Of The Most Powerful Things Ever Said About Being An Immigrant shared by our friends at We Need Diverse Books. Warsan Shire writes, “You have to understand, that no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land.”

– Lastly, from Remezcla, we discovered 5 Virtual Día de los Muertos Altars to Women Who Defined Music History that you can share in your classroom.

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Día de los Muertos Art. Reprinted from Flickr user Kubetwo under CC©.

¡Mira Look!: The Spirit of Tío Fernando, a Day of the Dead Story/ El espíritu de tío Fernando

tio-fernandoSaludos todos! As we continue our October themes of death, grief and loss, this week I will be reviewing The Spirit of Tío Fernando, a Day of the Dead Story/ El espíritu de tío Fernando, Una historia del Día de los Muertos, written by Janice Levy, illustrated by Morella Fuenmayor, and translated into Spanish by Teresa Mlawer.  Although this year we’ve tried to expand our October themes to focus on the general concept of death, and not just as it relates to specific holidays, I felt it appropriate to feature at least one book on Day of the Dead. Since Day of the Dead is a celebration and cultural ritual that we’ve worked on extensively here on the blog, we wanted to expand our themes a bit this year; however, there is a reason that we’ve worked so extensively on Day of the Dead, and I find it nearly impossible to talk about the concept of death in Latin America without mentioning this beautiful holiday. Moreover, this particular story does a nice job of exposing readers to the various elements and practices of the holiday as it is celebrated in Mexico, while centering primarily on the young, male protagonist’s experience with death and grief.

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Reading Roundup: 10 Children’s Books About Día de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos Reading Roundup

¡Buenos Días!

It’s that time of year! This week I’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite Día de los Muertos books, from which students can learn more deeply about the holiday’s traditions and history. The Día de los Muertos fiesta is a time for honoring and remembering. It is a time for celebrating family, ancestors, history, and loved ones who have passed away. It is mainly celebrated in Mexico, Guatemala and the United States, fusing Native Mesoamerican traditions with Spanish traditions. On our site, you can click on our Día de los Muertos tab under “Our Most Popular Themes” to see our many posts about Day of the Dead. Just this week Charla posted a video that teaches the meaning behind Día de los Muertos, and Katrina posted about Pictorial Input Charts for teaching about it in the classroom. Furthermore, we have a Halloween and Día de los Muertos Roundup of Books that is worth checking out. I hope you enjoy this month’s Reading Roundup, and that it helps with the teaching of this exciting holiday!

¡Saludos!
Kalyn

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En la Clase: Día de los Muertos, Chants, and the Cooperative Sentence Strip Paragraph

Dia de los Muertos | ELL and GLAD Strategies | Vamos a LeerThis week’s post will wrap up my En la Clase posts on Día de los Muertos.  The activities I’ll talk about today are great ones for the end of a unit, especially the Cooperative Sentence Strip Paragraph.  Just in time, our complementary guide with ELL and GLAD strategies for teaching about Día de los Muertos is now available online (just scroll down to the end of the activities, they’re right below our art activities).  We’ve gotten great feedback from teachers about the materials, so be sure to check them out.  Before we start talking about today’s activities, I want to make sure you saw Charla’s WWW post from Friday.  She highlights one of my favorite animated short films about Día de los Muertos.  It’s really beautiful.  It communicates so much in such a short amount of time and without a single word of dialogue! It’s perfect for classroom use.

Now, on to chants.  Chants are a fun way to engage students while encouraging language fluency and reinforcing important ideas, concepts, and vocabulary.  They can be adapted for any grade level and only take 10 or 15 minutes a day, maybe even less. Below I’ve shared the beginning of a chant our amazing graduate student bloggers Charla, Kalyn, and Alice created especially for Día de los Muertos. You can download the entire chant along with two others here. Continue reading

WWW: The Meaning behind Día de los Muertos

¡Feliz viernes a todos!

Thanks for stopping by the blog this week!  In light of the upcoming celebrations for Día de los Muertos, I am featuring a great short film (about three minutes in length) that really moves the viewer to understand the meaning and importance behind Día de los Muertos.

Vamos a Leer | WWW: The Meaning behind Día de los MuertosFrom the description of the publishers, “[In] this beautifully animated, and heart felt, short film about a little girl who visits the land of the dead, […] she learns the true meaning of the Mexican holiday, Día de los Muertos.”  The main character is first seen at the cemetery, visiting the gravesite of a loved one, when she finds a flower that pulls her into the party of afterlife.  She is given guidance by a friendly skeleton, who feeds her fruits and bread, and turns out to be the very loved one who’s gravesite the little girl was visiting.  It’s a brief, three-minute-long film that can explain Día de los Muertos in a much easier, more emotional relatable way than just reading a description of the holiday online or out of a book.  We think this short could be easily incorporated into a class discussion about Día de los Muertos, and could be used as a base for discussing traditions, afterlife, honoring the dead, and multicultural holidays. Continue reading

En la Clase: Día de los Muertos and Pictorial Input Charts

Today I’m sharing another GLAD (Pictorial Input Chart | Dia de los Muertos | Vamos a LeerGuided Language Acquisition Design) inspired strategy for teaching about Día de los Muertos.  But first, if you missed Alice’s post on Monday, be sure to check out her review of Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead.  It’s a really interesting book about Día de los Muertos and the the migration of monarch butterflies in Mexico–quite unique in terms of children’s literature about the celebration.

Last week I wrote about how to use a Cognitive Content Dictionary Chart as part of a unit on Día de los Muertos.  Today we’re going to talk about Pictorial Input Charts.  In this activity the teacher creates a large poster with important content knowledge overlaid on an image relevant to the unit or topic of study.  As you can see from the picture above, the content information is chunked or categorized with sub-headings.  If you’re studying multiple traditions or celebrations throughout the year, these categories could be used for all of them.  This would provide some consistency from unit to unit.  Typically, in preparation for the activity, the teacher would lightly trace the image and information on a large sheet of white butcher paper.  When it’s time to begin, the teacher hangs the butcher paper poster on the board and begins coloring parts of the image and tracing over the content information she/he had already written in, while presenting the information to the class.  When using this strategy, teachers want to follow the concept of 10:2 teaching: for every 10 minutes of direct instruction, students are given 2 minutes to discuss with the class, a partner, their table group, etc. the information that has just been presented. Continue reading