Wednesday, September 15, 2021

5 Picture Books Featuring Legends and Folktales from Latin America

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! 

As I mentioned in my last post, this is one of my favorite times of year for finding new resources that I can use to explore our Hispanic heritage throughout the year. 

Today, I want to start with resources for little ones. So I'm sharing a list of five picture books that feature myths and folktales from five different countries in Latin America. What a great way to introduce culture to young minds! 


This following are Amazon affiliate links. See my sidebar for more information.


Feathered Serpent and the Five Suns: A Mesoamerican Creation Myth

by Duncan Tonatiuh

Long ago, the gods of Mesoamerica set out to create humans. They tried many times during each sun, or age. When all their attempts failed and the gods grew tired, only one did not give up: Quetzalcóatl—the Feathered Serpent. To continue, he first had to retrieve the sacred bones of creation guarded by Mictlantecuhtli, lord of the underworld. Gathering his staff, shield, cloak, and shell ornament for good luck, Feathered Serpent embarked on the dangerous quest to create humankind.


Kutu the Tiny Inca Princess / La Ñusta Diminuta

by Mariana Llanos

In this bilingual book, written in English, Spanish, and bits of Quechua, we'll meet Ch'illik'utu (Kutu), a princess the size of a cob of maize. When a terrible drought devastate the city of Cusco, where she lives, Kutu sets out on a courageous quest to save her people.

Puerto Rico:

Taíno Tales: The Secret of the Hummingbird

by Vicky Weber 

Alida, the daughter of a Taíno chief, lives in paradise. One day, she is startled by a boy from the opposing tribe, the Carib. Meeting daily in a hidden place, Alida and the boy, Taroo, soon become friends ー and then their friendship blossoms into something more. What will happen if someone discovers their forbidden love? A retelling of the Taíno legend of how the hummingbird came to be, this story brings an ancient culture ー and a young love ー to colorful life.


Animal Poems of the Iguazú / Animalario del Iguazú

by Francisco Alarcón

In the magical rainforest of the Iguazú National Park, butterflies are the multicolored flowers of the air. Great dusky swifts watch over the park, and the untamed spirits of jaguars roam the jungle. Spanning three countries--Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay--the thundering waterfalls and lush green rainforests of the Iguazú have dazzled visitors for centuries, and are now in danger of being lost.


Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale

by Carmen Agra Deedy

The beautiful Martina Josefina Catalina Cucaracha doesn’t know coffee beans about love and marriage, so when suitors come calling, what is she to do? Luckily, she has her Cuban family to help!

While some of the Cucarachas offer Martina gifts to make her more attractive, only Abuela, her grandmother, gives her some useful advice: spill coffee on his shoes to see how he handles anger. At first, Martina is skeptical of her Abuela’s suggestion, but when suitor after suitor fails the Coffee Test, she wonders if a little green cockroach can ever find true love.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Hispanic Heritage Month 2021 Resources

Hispanic Heritage Month begins in less than a week! How does your family or classroom celebrate this month-long observance? Personally, I think it's important to recognize the contributions of Hispanic people and culture to the U.S. throughout the year. But I do like taking advantage of all the resources that become available during Hispanic Heritage Month.

Over the years, my family has celebrated in a variety of ways and learned about some amazing people along the way. I've listed many of these in my recent article for PBS SoCal. Check it out if you are looking for some inspiration. I even included a printable Hispanic Heritage Month Bucket List (shown above) for you to download for free. NOTE: The article does have some resources geared specifically for Southern California, but there are items listed that will appeal to families all across the United States.

Also, don't forget that I have some great downloads available for exploring Latinos in U.S. History, as well as materials for learning about traditions and holidays of Hispanic culture. Here are a few that I recommend:


This 79-page unit allows students to choose from a list of 100 Hispanics in world history to research and share. The list is available in two formats:
  • The historical figures are arranged by century starting with the 1400s to the present
  • The historical figures are arranged by field of influence, including musicians, artists, activists, scientists, athletes, writers, journalists, actors, leaders & politicians, and other notable figures.
Pages for note-taking, research, and one-page presentations are included, as are additional pages for comparing/contrasting historical figures, word association, and listing new vocabulary. In addition, date cards and information labels are included for creating a timeline display on a wall.

If you are familiar with Boom Cards, then this may be a good choice for you. If you don't have a Boom Learning account, skip on to the next products.

Introduce your students to Hispanic Heritage Month! From when it is celebrated to how Hispanics have contributed to U.S. history, this informational text is written for students in 4th - 8th grade. It includes 10 self-grading comprehension questions in multiple-choice format.


Teach your kids about Hispanic Heritage Month with this set of three minibooks that are perfect for lapbooks, interactive notebooks, or literacy centers.

This file contains three books:
  • A top flip book featuring Hispanic musicians
  • An accordion-folded book featuring Hispanic writers
  • And a side flip book featuring Hispanic artists
Each book is available in English or Spanish. All of the images in the books may be colored in.

The musician booklet allows older students to research and write in bios, or use the ones provided by cutting and pasting.

The writers and artists booklets come with short bios, or are blank to allow older students to write their own information based on research.

(Available in both English and Spanish)

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by playing "Who Am I?" with this set of character crowns featuring 30 influential Hispanics in History.

Each crown comes with a fact sheet and extension strips for making the crown. Directions for assembly and instructions on different ways to play the game, as well as different ways to use the crowns are included.


Teach your students about different occupations with this bilingual poster set! Perfect for Hispanic Heritage Month, each occupation is represented by a historical Hispanic figure.


Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and teach your little ones about different careers with this bilingual minibook. Eighteen careers represented by 19 Hispanics are featured in this coloring book.

This file contains THREE books:
• a bilingual book (English & Spanish)
• an English only (for ESL)
• a Spanish only (for Spanish learners)

Monday, September 6, 2021

Symbolic Monarch Migration Program 2021

© Can Stock Photo / davidcrehner

Eleven years ago, I first told you about Journey North's "Symbolic Monarch Butterfly Migration" program in which students in the US and Canada mail symbolic butterflies to Mexico. There children protect them throughout the winter and then send them back north in the spring.

This year marks the program's 26th year!

Last year, 5,000 students participated. And they hope to have just as many or more this year. 

If you would like to participate, teachers must download the teacher packet, which includes the instructions for making and sending the butterfly, as well as directions for registering on the Journey North website. In addition, teachers (or parents!) can use the lessons provided by Journey North to prepare their students for the program. Students are encouraged to send class pictures, drawings, and a letter in Spanish along with their butterfly.

Children at the monarch sanctuaries in Mexico will care for and send the butterflies back in the spring. NOTE: You will not receive the same butterfly you sent!

To learn more, download the Leader Packet. This PDF explains the entire program and includes step-by-step directions for participating. There are also some printables and a checklist. 

Important deadline: Your butterfly must be postmarked by October 8th.

There is a $15 “Passenger Ticket” fee for each Ambassador Butterfly folder that is submitted.

And if you'd like to learn more about the biology of these remarkable creatures AND about their connection to the Mexican holiday, Día de los Muertos, read my post from last year. It includes a free, BILINGUAL downloadable activity about the Monarch butterfly's life cycle.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Calico Stories: Homeschool Spanish Program Giveaway


The following is a sponsored post with Calico Spanish. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

This year's Back-to-School Fiesta ends on a fabulous note with this outstanding giveaway from Calico Spanish. 

Calico Spanish Stories is a comprehensive, parent/teacher-led online curriculum. With 4 levels, 200+ hours of planned lesson content, and more than 360 open-and-go lesson plans, everything you need to lead a child on the journey to speak real Spanish to real people is at your fingertips - even if you don’t speak Spanish!

Fun characters interact in Video Stories using authentic, comprehensible Spanish, and a full range of supporting materials like posters, flashcards, games, and activity sheets get kids engaged with the language they’re acquiring over and over in new and fun ways. 

Led by homeschool moms, Calico Spanish is always ready to support families learning at home with significant discounts and online support. 

If you'd like to read my comprehensive review of Calico Spanish, click here.

If you are already convinced and want to purchase the program now, visit their website!

The Giveaway

Calico Spanish is graciously offering a full year of access to the program, along with your choice of one level’s Visuals Pack, which provides professionally printed versions of the level’s flashcards, posters, and storybooks.

To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter below. 

¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 23, 2021

MamaLingua GO! for Bilingual Families

Have you heard? MamaLingua has launched an amazing new website! 

MamaLingua GO! is a digital library offering an endless library with over 15,000 books from publishers around the world, especially Latin America and Spain. They have curated these books based on fluency levels on their carrousel. Mama Lingua is currently customizing reading plans on the learning platform side so anyone can engage with a reading plan and self learn. They are also collaborating with educators in Latin America making Spanish lessons affordable, authentic and a wonderful cultural experience.

Owner, Aileen Passariello says:

I have been heads down building this platform for the last two years in a goal to support families raising bilingual kids. After working with various dual language programs and families, the #1 question i heard was "How do I support my bilingual learner?" MamaLingua GO! has an unlimited amount of authentic Spanish books (English ones, too), virtual Spanish tutors, guided reading plans, and more. It is accessible with dyslexic features and text-to-speech supporting all bilingual learners, no matter the age, fluency, interest, or preferences. 

This is such a fabulous resource for families! If you're convinced you need this for yours, don't wait! Go and sign up today!

The Giveaway

We have TWO giveaways! MamaLingua has graciously offered a subscription to MamaLingua GO! for one reader (a $75 value), AND 5 Spanish lessons for another reader.

To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter below. 

¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 20, 2021

Risas y Sonrisas Homeschool Spanish Program


We have one last complete Spanish homeschool package to give away this year. Thank you to long time MommyMaestra sponsor, Risas y Sonrisas, for helping our readers teach the next generation Spanish! 

Over the years, owner Leticia Smith has poured her heart and soul into this program developing new materials and ways of learning as times change and new technology becomes available. 

For Homeschools, Parents, and Tutors

The Homeschool Program is perfect for teaching and learning Spanish at home! It can be used in-person or remotely with students of all ages and abilities. Our curriculum is comprehensive and easy to follow, making repetition fun and accelerating learning. You don’t even need to speak Spanish to start teaching and learning with Risas y Sonrisas today!

The Homeschool Program includes a comprehensive Instructor Manual with over 100 hours of lesson plans as well as a complete set of high-quality, full-color printed materials. All this is complemented with our complete Online Program, the digital version of our curriculum, encouraging multi-modal practice and allowing you to teach and learn remotely.

The Giveaway

Leticia has generously offered one of her Homeschool Programs (a $299 value) to one MommyMaestra reader!

To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter below. 

¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Niños and Nature: Bilingual Nature Studies

After being cooped up for a long pandemic year, families are embracing nature studies - especially in their homeschool lessons. But finding nature-based programs have been difficult in the past. Which is why Niños and Nature is so fantastic! 

The Back-to-School Fiesta only has a few giveaways left this month, and I sure love this one! I have seen SO MANY bilingual homeschoolers searching for a nature-based curriculum. So when I saw this one, I was ecstatic! 

Read on and enter the giveaway if this sounds like a good fit for your familia...

Screen free Spanish learning for nature lovers

Niños and Nature is a series of play-based, nature-inspired Spanish courses for children ages 1½ to 6. They currently offer two courses:

Con mi Familia
A play-based Spanish course and preschool curriculum for nature lovers! These Spanish courses are designed for families who want to grow their language skills, while creating a bilingual learning environment for their children right at home. This is the perfect Spanish preschool curriculum for families that love nature, play and connecting with each other! For children 2-6

Spanish in the Wild
These seasonal bilingual nature study courses are designed for families who want to immerse themselves in Spanish, while learning more about the world around them. This is the perfect blended curriculum for language and nature study for your children and teens. This course helps you learn Spanish in every season, and encourages you to get outside for all of your language learning. Whether you are studying the anatomy of a mushroom, the lifecycle of a butterfly, or learning more about gemstones and crystals: this course helps bring Spanish to life with real world context and experiential learning. For children 5+ (even teens!)

If you'd like to see samples, click here

The Giveaway

Niños and Nature has kindly offered to giveaway one of each course to two MommyMaestra readers!

To enter to win, simply use the rafflecopter below. 

¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Waldorf-Inspired Spanish Circle Time Program

There are many methods and styles of homeschooling, and we are seeing these styles translated into Spanish-learning programs. Here is the first one that I've seen that embraces the Waldorf method. 

Waldorf takes a holistic approach to learning that views the arts, humanities, and sciences as interwoven with one another, not as separate fields of life or experience. This method focuses on a true liberal arts education where the student takes all subjects and not only those in which they excel. There is a strong emphasis on rhythm and balance in the child’s life, beginning in early childhood.

Waldorf-Inspired Spanish

Spanish learning made easy and super fun!! 

Learn Spanish in a playful way through stories, puppet shows, songs and art sessions in a video format, ready to use by beginners, as well as advanced learners. 

When you access the Circle Time you will access a world of Spanish Immersive experience where you can move from full Circle Times with a Puppet show exclusively in Spanish, to a combination of materials in Spanish and English that will support your family’s learning journey. 

Each month there is a new seasonal theme that is led by the story and the songs.

The materials included are:

  • Spanish Circle Time with Puppet Show (3 times per week)
  • Weekly Art classes (bilingual)
  • Weekly “Learn a Song of Daily Rhythms” video tutorials (bilingual)
  • Weekly “Learn a Song of Circle Time” video tutorials (bilingual)
  • Printable materials (bilingual)
  • Mp3’s of the songs of the month
  • Lyrics of the songs in Spanish and English 
  • “Learn with the Puppets” video series where the characters of the story teach concepts to the children from the story. (Bilingual and bimonthly) 
  • English-only version of the puppet shows included that month. 

Waldorf-Inspired Spanish also offers Spanish Live Online Classes for children through storytelling, puppet shows, art and songs.

If you'd like to, you can join their Facebook group for additional materials and inspiration!

The Giveaway

 Waldorf-Inspired Spanish is offering access for 1-month to their family subscription plan.  

To enter to win, simply use the rafflecopter below. 

¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 16, 2021

Calico Spanish Dollar Deal for MommyMaestra Readers!


The following is a sponsored post with Calico Spanish

Now here's a Back-to-School deal for EVERYBODY!

Calico Spanish Stories is a comprehensive, parent/teacher-led online curriculum. (You can read MommyMaestra's complete review of their program here.)

With 4 levels, 200+ hours of planned lesson content, and more than 360 open-and-go lesson plans, everything you need to lead a child on the journey to speak real Spanish to real people is at your fingertips - even if you don’t speak Spanish. 

Fun characters interact in Video Stories using authentic, comprehensible Spanish, and a full range of supporting materials like posters, flashcards, games, and activity sheets get kids engaged with the language they’re acquiring over and over in new and fun ways. 

Led by homeschool moms, Calico Spanish is always ready to support families learning at home with significant discounts and online support. 

An Exclusive Deal for Everyone

Exclusively offered through, families can celebrate this year’s back-to-school season with a full month of Spanish learning for just $1. The subscription automatically renews each month at a cost of just $16, and you can cancel anytime.

This offer is good through August 31st, 2021.


Friday, August 13, 2021

High School Life Skills Course & Giveaway

Voyage: High School Life Skills Course

The following is a sponsored post in collaboration with Thrive Academics and MommyMaestra. All opinions are my own.

Like most parents, I like to think that I'm doing everything I can to prepare my kids for adulthood. That's my intention anyway. But with my oldest starting her senior year and my middle kid going into 10th grade, I feel a certain amount of panic and wonder if I'm covering everything. I had a chance to view a demo of Voyage and it is everything I could want in an online course teaching really important life skills.

PSST! Don't miss the GIVEAWAY at the end of this post!

Quick Overview

Program: Thrive Academics
Class: Voyage
Religious Perspective: Secular
Format: Online
Grades: 9th - 12th
Price: $60

Teaching Teens Life Skills

Over and over, I have written about how important it is for us to take time to teach those life skills that are usually overlooked in schools. In fact, you may remember me sharing a free download last year that is a check list of life skills. I felt being stuck at home was a great time to work on them! 

Seriously, so many teens are graduating and heading into the world without knowing really important skills such as: 
  • how to create and manage a budget, 
  • how to plan for a career,
  • how to compare insurance companies, 
  • how to book appointments, 
  • how to file taxes,
  • how to read a map (without technology!)
  • how to establish good credit,
  • what to look for in health insurance,
  • how to apply for a job, 
  • what to do if their car breaks down,
  • how to manage their time,
  • how to TRAVEL through an airport, train station, etc.,
  • and SO MUCH MORE!

A Focus on Life Prep

I love that Voyage is a course that carefully focuses on guiding young adults through important skills. The program has forced my 15yo son to stop and think carefully about what HE enjoys doing and how he might translate that into a career. 

Here's how it works...

Voyage: High School Life Skills Course

There are five modules in total: 
  1. Who Am I
  2. Career Planning
  3. College Planning
  4. Financial Responsibility
  5. Everyday Living
Each module has a series of lessons covering different concepts. Some of the modules have a lot more lessons than others. For example, Financial Responsibility is pretty large, but totally appropriate in length and topics.

Students log in and begin the course by setting up their own profile in the Who Am I module. They are first shown a "map" of their area. It includes their "house" and several other buildings that they enter to learn more about certain skills or to complete specific activities.

Next, they are asked to put together their virtual "room" (which looks like a teen bedroom) with items that represent the things they enjoy most. For example, if they like playing music, they can add a guitar; or if they are budding photographers, they can add a camera. If they love reading, they can add books. Or if they love sports, maybe they have a pair of running shoes on the floor or trophies on display. You get the idea.

Teens have to think carefully about who they are and what make them them by identifying their strengths, skills, and interests. 

Voyage: High School Life Skills Course

In Career Planning, the students are directed to an interest profiler. After taking a short quiz, it makes recommendations of possible careers based on their responses. Students can click on each one to learn more about it.

College Planning teaches students how to think about and prepare for college. They'll learn how to research colleges, apply to schools, learn about financial aid, what to do after they're accepted and what to expect from campus life. This is an especially valuable module for homeschooled students, in my opinion!

Financial Responsibility is a big module. I love it. Kids learn about the different types of bank accounts and how to open one. They also learn how to balance their account, why it's important to have a savings account and how much to save, and learn about interest and retirement. They'll learn about credit cards and credit scores and how to maintain good credit. They'll learn about taxes, paying bills, and finally about student loans. 

These are SUCH IMPORTANT skills to teach and pass on to our children! It baffles me that all high school students aren't taught these in school. They are so important for success in adulthood.

The final module is Everyday Living and it touches on big things such as personal health, housing, drivers license, and good communication skills. 

Even if I had sat down and made a checklist myself of all the life skills I thought my kids needed to learn, I would have forgotten a good chunk of this. 

When I asked my son if and what he liked about it, he said he liked the idea and concept of how it was presented. He also enjoyed that the program gives him lots of resources that he can print out and keep. 

A High School Elective

My son in only through Module 3, but I'm planning to have him finish it when we start back to school in a couple of weeks. I'll then add it to his high school transcript as an elective, which is what I think all teens should do! Personally, I think colleges would really appreciate seeing this on their transcripts.

Voyage: Adulting Checklist

Your Free Download

Remember my comment about a checklist? Well, Thrive Academy is offering a free Adulting Checklist that helps high school students prepare for life after they graduate. This is available in an eBook format and I HIGHLY recommend downloading it. It's a valuable resource for parents (like me!!) who are trying to get it all done, but need something in front of them with everything laid out.

The Giveaway

If you have teens, I'm not even going to ask if you think this course would be a good fit for you because it definitely is! So go and sign up today!

Want to find this post again? Pin it!

Voyage: High School Life Skills Course

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Nature Study Book Series in Spanish - Giveaway!


Today's Back-to-School giveaway is a fantastic collection of nature study books by the homeschool curriculum company, Nobis Pacem. You can read more about this Spanish curriculum company that follows the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling here on my site.

This series is designed for children up to 9 years old, but may be enjoyed by the entire family. Here's what Nobis Pacem says about them:

Children are, by nature, curious, and nature is a propitious place for them to enjoy, and apply, that curiosity.

The study of nature prepares them for the scientific understanding they will use throughout their education, through the acute observation of nature that leads to natural scientific discoveries and fuels the thirst for knowledge and more scientific discoveries.

Nature is found in all the subjects we will study, from science, literature, and art to how nature has affected the course of history.

This book series is designed to make it easier for parents to promote the study of nature, in a simple way since everything is included.

The Giveaway

Nobis Pacem is graciously offering a complete set of this book series to one MommyMaestra reader. 

To enter to win, simply use the rafflecopter below. 

¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 9, 2021

Spanish for You! Homeschool Package Giveaway


Today's giveaway is for those of you with middle schoolers learning Spanish!

MommyMaestra sponsor, Spanish for You!, is giving away a themed homeschool package for ages 8+/grades 3-4, 5-6, or 7-8 (valued at $42.95) PLUS the coordinating Songs & Lyrics Package ($8.99). 

This reusable and easy-to-use homeschool package comes complete with everything you need for an ENTIRE SCHOOL YEAR of Spanish learning! No Spanish experience needed. Grade levels indicate the age/grade of child and are flexible to use so you can use them with multiple ages together!

Items included in the package are a soft-cover themed book, PDF Daily Lesson Guide, PDF Worksheets with Answer Keys, PDF Flashcard/Activity Pictures, MP3 Audio Files so you can hear everything, AND access to their Curriculum Users website page filled with lots of free extras!

Please note: This item is not for co-op class use. It's for personal use only.

To enter to win, simply use the rafflecopter below. 

Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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