Thanks for joining me again this week! In an effort to show how immigration has truly impacted the United States, I am featuring a resource from the Smithsonian Education website. Since this month is Hispanic Heritage Month, the Smithsonian has put together a Hispanic Heritage Cultural Tour that can be completed online without even leaving the classroom. On this virtual tour, users can find descriptions of the twelve objects showcased, and links to related objects, along with activities that explain their cultural significance, and quizzes to check comprehension. Users will also notice that there is a list of resources that can be used in conjunction with this tour. Students can even use the Interactive Lab Notebook to take notes and can refer to them at any time.
The objects, some of which include a short-handled hoe, a uniform from Roberto Clemente’s time playing for the Pirates, and a carnival mask, to name just a few, are all accompanied by descriptions of what they represent for the Latino community. Many of the objects also illustrate ways in which the Latino community has influenced or impacted the United States. For example, the Devoción de Nuevo Mexico art piece shows the influence Latin American art has had, while the carnival mask illustrates the maintenance of Latino traditions even in the United States. Each object showcased on the tour can be a discussion point for the importance of immigration! Continue reading →
Today marks the first day of National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct 15). In honor of this I present you with a book that celebrates Mexican-American culture and traditions. In My Family/En mi familia by Carmen Lomas Garza (ages 6 +) is an award-winning bilingual picture book illustrated with the author’s own paintings.
The author, who is one of the most prominent Mexican-American painters living today (Lee & Low Books) writes on the first page:
“Every time I paint, it serves a purpose-to bring about pride in our Mexican American Culture. When I was growing up, a lot of us were punished for speaking Spanish. We were punished for being who we were, and we were made to feel ashamed of our culture. That was very wrong. My art is a way of healing these wounds, like the savila plant (aloe vera) heals burns and scrapes when applied by a loving parent or grandparent”.
Lomas Garza’s desire to celebrate her Mexican American identity makes this book a great resource for introducing Hispanic Heritage Month in the classroom.
Teaching for Change incorporates social justice into its lesson plans so that students gain the “the skills, knowledge and inspiration to be citizens and architects of a better world.” I’m thrilled to learn that this organization has launched a campaign to support teaching about Central America.The campaign features a collection of lessons, quizzes, book lists, biographies of historical figures, slideshows, and readings dedicated to the study of Central America. Check out some of the available units: Continue reading →