Reading Roundup: 10 Children’s Books about Latino Winter Celebrations

December 2015 Winter Celebrations

¡Buenos días! I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! This month I’ve compiled a list of children’s books about winter festivities celebrated in Latin America and Latino communities in the United States. Here at Vamos a Leer we have tons of resources for teaching Latin American and Latino holiday traditions in the classroom. Many of them have been compiled under the heading “Las Posadas,” given that we’ve found many search engines that bring people here just for that topic. Below I’ve compiled a list of ten exemplary books that can help you explore the topic further with your students. I hope you enjoy reading these books as much as I did!

Saludos y felices fiestas,
Kalyn  Continue reading

En la Clase: ‘Twas Nochebuena. . .

Twas Nochebuena | En la Clase | Vamos a Leer BlogToday’s En la Clase continues our December theme on winter celebrations by sharing how to implement another great children’s book into your teaching.  We’ve already shared posts on The Miracle of the First Poinsettia and A Piñata in a Pine Tree.  Be sure to check those out for some other fun resources if you missed them.

I recently remembered a recommendation a blog reader gave me last year about the beautiful book ‘Twas Nochebuena written by Roseanne Greenfield Thong and illustrated by Sarah Palacios.  Somehow I’d missed this book when it came out in 2014, but I’m really happy to be writing about it this year in time for one of our December posts.  Greenfield Thong and Placios have created a new version of the familiar ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas tale. Here, students will read about one family’s Nochebuena celebration.  This story, like some of the others we’ve highlighted this month, is filled with references to Latino Christmas traditions such as tamales, adornos, canciones, las posadas, and champurrado. Written in a mixture of English and Spanish, the book can be used with English speakers or Spanish speakers, as the surrounding words and illustrations provide plenty of context clues.  The glossary at the back is also a great resource. Continue reading

Sobre Diciembre: Resources for Teaching Latin@ and Latin American Winter Celebrations

Vamos a Leer | Sobre Diciembre: Resources for Teaching Latin@ and Latin American Winter CelebrationsHi, everyone,

In the spirit of the season, we’re spending our last few weeks of the year by talking about resources for teaching Latin@ and Latin American winter celebrations in the classroom. I could go into more detail about what each of our wonderful bloggers will cover, but suffice it to say that they’re each going to share some superb resources with you to help teach about cultural diversity during the month of December.

The idea of using this month to diversify the classroom is not a new topic on this blog. For some of our many past references to this theme, see our posts on “Las Posadas” and other winter celebrations.

Enjoy and let us know if there’s anything else we can address for you!

Cheers,
Keira

En la Clase: Tamales, Poinsettias, and Navidad

As I was researching books and materials for our last two En la Clase posts on Las Posadas, I came across some other really beautiful books and fun activities that are perfect for December.  These just may help you get through these last couple of weeks of school before winter break!

Too many tamalesOne of my favorite children’s books for this time of year is Gary Soto’s Too Many Tamales. In the story, the main character Maria is helping her mother prepare the tamales for Christmas dinner.  She decides to try on her mother’s diamond ring.  She only meant to wear it for a minute, but suddenly the ring was gone, and Maria and her siblings are left with 24 tamales that just might contain the missing ring.  It’s a fun story that my students always enjoyed.  It’s the perfect book to lead into a discussion about all the different foods that are part of students’ winter holiday celebrations.  Lots of times they are surprised to find out how different their classmates’ celebrations are from their own.  There are lots of different lesson plans out there for Too Many Tamales.  Here are a few that I found:

Continue reading

En la Clase: More Resources for Teaching Las Posadas

LuminariasLast week’s En la Clase shared a number of children’s books and ideas for how to teach about Las Posadas.  There were so many resources that I just couldn’t fit them all into one post, so today I’m sharing some other online resources and art activities that you can use to complement any of last week’s literature. Continue reading

En la Clase: Literature for Teaching about Las Posadas

Diego Rivera Las Posadas

I realize it’s still November, but based on our search statistics, many of you are already looking for books, lesson plans and resources for teaching about Las Posadas.  I’m impressed! You all are far more organized than I was when I was in the classroom.  In previous posts on Día de los Muertos we’ve discussed our philosophy for how to approach teaching about cultural celebrations and traditions in a way that’s authentic and meaningful.  Many of those same ideas are relevant here as well. Continue reading

En la Clase: A Year in Review

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Photo Courtesy of John M. Cropper

This will be our last week of posting until January here at Vamos a Leer.  I can’t believe how fast a year can go by!  For us, it’s been an amazing year as we’ve continued to develop and expand Vamos a Leer and our k-12 Outreach program.  The best part by far has been getting to know all of you–the wonderful educators, librarians, administrators and readers who impact the students in our classrooms on a daily basis.  Your jobs are not easy ones, and we truly appreciate everything that you do.  Our hope here at Vamos a Leer is that through providing ideas and resources for authentic multicultural education we can make your jobs a little easier.  And as always, we would love to hear your suggestions or ideas for things you’d like to see more of on the blog.  This year we really enjoyed the development of our two big thematic curriculum projects on Día de los Muertos and the Chilean Arpilleras.  Our monthly book group and Educator’s Guides are always one of my favorite parts of my job.  If you haven’t had time to check out any of this year’s projects or guides be sure to browse through past posts or do a search to find something specific.  We’ve got some exciting projects in the works for this coming spring and fall that I can’t wait to share with you. Continue reading