WWW: Hispanic Heritage Cultural Tour

¡Feliz viernes a todos!

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.  Vamos a Leer | WWW: Hispanic Heritage Cultural TourSince 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


¡Mira, Look!: Honoring our Ancestors

7-450Fall is here and Día de los Muertos is just over a month away. As many of you know, Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead is a time when families and communities come together to recognize, honor, and celebrate loved ones who have passed away. This week I am delighted to share with you Honoring Our Ancestors: Stories and Pictures by Fourteen Artists, edited by Harriet Rohmer. This book offers meaningful and poignant examples of how people from different cultures can all uniquely honor their ancestors, and it is also a perfect example of a multicultural book, as it includes paintings from a diverse selection of artists, each with a distinct heritage.

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¡Mira, Look!: In My Family/En mi familia by Carmen Lomas Garza

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:en mi familia

“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.

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En la Clase: Mendez vs. Westminster~Separate is not Equal

mendez-v-westminster-stampEarlier in the semester we highlighted a series of early education lesson plans that focused on teaching about diversity, race, difference and acceptance.  Today’s En la Clase highlights a middle/high school unit plan that discusses many of the same things.  The unit plan “Mendez vs. Westminster: Separate is not Equal” was written by Megan Cox, a pre-service teacher in UNM’s Teacher Education Program. As Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15th, I thought this was the perfect time to share Cox’s unit here on Vamos a Leer.  Mendez vs. Westminster preceded Brown vs. the Board of Education.  While not as well known as Brown, it was an important case and many have said it laid a great deal of the groundwork for Brown.  The following taken from Teaching Tolerance offers some background on the case:  Continue reading

More on National Hispanic Heritage Month: The Zinn Education Project

As many of our readers seem to be very interested in resources for teaching about Hispanic Heritage Month, I thought I’d write a quick post with links to more resources I’ve come across recently. If you haven’t read other posts we’ve shared on the topic, check out Ailesha’s and Cindy’s ideas.

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National Hispanic Heritage Month 2012

As many of you know, it’s National Hispanic Heritage Month. Ailesha wrote an earlier post on the topic that’s been quite popular, so I wanted to share another one with you. Cindy over at CindyLRodriguez put a great post together with lots of good information for teachers, so I wanted to share it here. I hope you enjoy it!

Cindy L. Rodriguez

Happy National Hispanic Heritage Month 2012! (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)

For those of you who don’t know, here’s some information about the month directly from www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov:

“The purpose of National Hispanic Heritage Month is to celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

“The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

“The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively…

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