Wednesday, September 26, 2018

7 Titles for Classrooms this Hispanic Heritage Month

Over the last several months, there have been some remarkable new Latino children's lit titles to hit the market. And although there are many wonderful booklists available for celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, I wanted to make sure that you were aware of these new titles from some of our favorite Latino authors. They are perfect for home or school classrooms. If you can't find them in your nearby bookstores, you can click on the affiliate links below to order them from Amazon, or you can go to your local library and request them.

(For a complete list of titles, please check out my Amazon shop and click on Books for Hispanic Heritage Month!)

by Sonia Sotomayor 

As the first Latina Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor has inspired young people around the world to reach for their dreams. But what inspired her? For young Sonia, the answer was books! They were her mirrors, her maps, her friends, and her teachers. They helped her to connect with her family in New York and in Puerto Rico, to deal with her diabetes diagnosis, to cope with her father's death, to uncover the secrets of the world, and to dream of a future for herself in which anything was possible.

In Turning Pages, Justice Sotomayor shares that love of books with a new generation of readers, and inspires them to read and puzzle and dream for themselves. Accompanied by Lulu Delacre's vibrant art, this story of the Justice's life shows readers that the world is full of promise and possibility--all they need to do is turn the page.

by Lulu Delacre 

Lulu Delacre’s beautifully illustrated collection of twelve short stories is a groundbreaking look at the diverse Latinos who live in the United States. Turn the pages to experience life through the eyes of these boys and girls whose families originally hail from many different countries; see their hardships, celebrate their victories, and come away with a better understanding of what it means to be Latino in the U.S. today.

by Margarita Engle

In 1943, thousands of young Navy sailors are pouring into Los Angeles on their way to the front lines of World War II. They are teenagers, scared, longing to feel alive before they have to face the horrors of battle. Hot jazz music spiced with cool salsa rhythms calls them to dance with the local Mexican American girls, who jitterbug all night before working all day in the canneries. Proud to do their part for the war effort, these Jazz Owl girls are happy to dance with the sailors—until the blazing summer night when racial violence leads to murder.

Suddenly the young white sailors are attacking these girls’ brothers and boyfriends. The cool, loose zoot suits they wear are supposedly the reason for the violence—when in reality these boys are viciously beaten and arrested simply because of the color of their skin.

In soaring images and powerful poems, this is the breathtaking story of what became known as the Zoot Suit Riots as only Margarita Engle could tell it.

A meningitis outbreak in their underprivileged neighborhood left Sylvia Acevedo’s family forever altered. As she struggled in the aftermath of loss, young Sylvia’s life transformed when she joined the Brownies. The Girl Scouts taught her how to take control of her world and nourished her love of numbers and science.

     With new confidence, Sylvia navigated shifting cultural expectations at school and at home, forging her own trail to become one of the first Latinx to graduate with a master's in engineering from Stanford University and going on to become a rocket scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

by Duncan Tonatiuh

Danza! is a celebration of Hernández’s life and of the rich history of dance in Mexico. As a child, Amalia always thought she would grow up to be a teacher, until she saw a performance of dancers in her town square. She was fascinated by the way the dancers twirled and swayed, and she knew that someday she would be a dancer, too. She began to study many different types of dance, including ballet and modern, under some of the best teachers in the world. Hernández traveled throughout Mexico studying and learning regional dances. Soon she founded her own dance company, El Ballet Folklórico de México, where she integrated her knowledge of ballet and modern dance with folkloric dances. The group began to perform all over the country and soon all over the world, becoming an international sensation that still tours today.

by Margarita Engle

Musician, botanist, baseball player, pilot―the Latinos featured in this collection, Bravo!, come from many different countries and from many different backgrounds. Celebrate their accomplishments and their contributions to a collective history and a community that continues to evolve and thrive today!

Biographical poems include: Aida de Acosta, Arnold Rojas, Baruj Benacerraf, César Chávez, Fabiola Cabeza de Baca, Félix Varela, George Meléndez, José Martí, Juan de Miralles, Juana Briones, Julia de Burgos, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Paulina Pedroso, Pura Belpré, Roberto Clemente, Tito Puente, Ynes Mexia, Tomás Rivera

by Michael Mahin

Carlos Santana loved to listen to his father play el violín. It was a sound that filled the world with magic and love and feeling and healing—a sound that made angels real. Carlos wanted to make angels real, too. So he started playing music.

Carlos tried el clarinete and el violín, but there were no angels. Then he picked up la guitarra. He took the soul of the Blues, the brains of Jazz, and the energy of Rock and Roll, and added the slow heat of Afro-Cuban drums and the cilantro-scented sway of the music he’d grown up within Mexico. There were a lot of bands in San Francisco but none of them sounded like this. Had Carlos finally found the music that would make his angels real?

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Monday, September 24, 2018

Canticos Board Books

Last May, I told you about the short music videos airing on Nick Jr. that featured the wonderful little characters from the book series by Canticos. I was so delighted to see Latino culture in the form of nursery rhymes and lullabies being highlighted on a children's channel. And the videos themselves were freaking adorable. 

The videos are no longer available on Nick Jr., however, the Canticos website has all of these and MORE for you to watch. More wonderful melodies and words from our childhood that are paired with Susie Jaramillo's brilliant illustrations are now available online. 

These videos and books are fantastic resources for those of us with children under 4, and especially for those of you with preschoolers. The themes are educational and teach important preschool concepts such as counting to 10, opposites, days of the week, and more. The new videos include Las Mañanitas, Pin Pon, Duérmete mi niño Pollito, and Muñequita. And just like the first videos, these songs are sung first in Spanish and then again in English to make them a perfect learning opportunity for bilingual babies. :)

Plus, they are just so sweet to watch.

Canticos Book Set

You know how much I love to champion early education. That's because the long-term benefits are so numerous!! And I especially love resources that teach important concepts alongside one's heritage. A study by researchers at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill has shown that "Latino adolescents in the U.S. who maintain ties to their culture of origin are more likely to develop healthy behaviors than their peers who do not. Latino adolescents with a strong awareness of their family’s culture reported higher self-esteem, fewer social problems and less hopelessness, aggression and substance abuse." You can see why I think that it is so important for us to teach our babies about their heritage in a proud and positive manner! And products like these are exactly what we need to help us do so.

¡Buena suerte!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Puerto Rico Coloring Activity

Once again, I'm delighted to participate in the Multicultural Kid Blogs Hispanic Heritage Month series (scroll down for more information). You know what that means? Time for a new printable! I've been offering these informational country coloring pages through various channels over the years as clipart becomes available. This year, I thought that Puerto Rico deserved a turn, especially given what hard years they have had in 2017 and 2018.

Some unexpected issues interrupted me, though, so it is only available in English. BUT for those of you who rely on the Spanish versions of my work, please don't be disappointed because I simply need a few extra days to find the time to sit down and work on the translation. I hope to have the Spanish version up by sometime this weekend (if not sooner).   The Spanish version is now included!!

You can click on the (updated) link below to download a copy (or just print directly from your screen!).

Hispanic Heritage Month Series 2018 | Multicultural Kid Blogs

We are so excited for our seventh annual Hispanic Heritage Month series! Now through October 15, you'll find great resources to share Hispanic Heritage with kids, plus you can link up your own posts on Hispanic Heritage! Find even more ideas on our Latin America Pinterest board:

September 19 Pura Vida Moms
September 20 MommyMaestra
September 24 Hispanic Mama
September 26 All Done Monkey
September 27 Crafty Moms Share
October 3 LadydeeLG
October 5 Mama Tortuga

Don't miss all of the great posts from previous years as well: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017

Monday, September 17, 2018

Resources to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in 2018

On Saturday, Hispanic Heritage Month kicked off. You may remember that the observance finds its roots in 1968 when President Lyndon B. Johnson first established Hispanic Heritage Week, and 20 years later, President Reagan expanded it to a month-long celebration. While the current administration will just ignore it, there will still be many events across the country to celebrate it. I'll be sharing them here on MommyMaestra for those of you who are looking for activities in your area.

To help you prepare to celebrate it in your own classroom, here are some great posts that have been shared here on MommyMaestra over the years by wonderful teachers and moms like yourselves!

Blog Posts:

And here are some wonderful websites for you to visit!



This one is a few years old...

And I love this one...

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Digital Downloads to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Prepping for Hispanic Heritage Month? Looking for easy, printable activities to engage and educate your child or students? I've got your classroom covered! Most of my products are available in English and Spanish.
Here are some of my downloadable Hispanic Heritage resources that you may enjoy (scroll down to see my new for 2018 products):

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Lingua Garden Offers Free Course Demo

Opportunity alert!

For those of you looking for an online Spanish class, here's a chance to sample the ones offered by Lingua Garden. Here's a message from my friend, Denise, the owner:

Over the next 48 hours, sign up to demo my new online Spanish course for children (2-10 yo) at no cost!

Yep, FREE! No scam, I am just asking for your support and feedback in return.
If interested, please read more below... 

Hola! My name is Denise and I am a fellow homeschooling mom raising two amazing bilingual children. I am also a passionate educator and entrepreneur who specializes in early childhood and elementary foreign language education. I currently dedicate my time to teaching local Spanish lessons to children, live online lessons to children, and homeschooling.

Would you be interested in trying this new Spanish course I have developed at no cost? If so, sign up today! Just click the link below. I would very much appreciate your feedback once you have completed the course. :)

Why am I doing this?
A few homeschooling families I currently work with have encouraged me to reach out to you because they strongly believe that future courses like this one could fill a need in current homeschooling households. I am curious to know what you think.

I love teaching Spanish and about Hispanic cultures. This is my passion. If possible, I want to help homeschooling families in their bilingual journey. I believe that your feedback is essential as I continue to consider the idea of adding more courses with new content. :) 

Ms. Denise

Monday, September 3, 2018

The Hummingbird Sings and Dances

Today's Back-to-School Fiesta giveaway is for those of you with little children. You know how much I love children's books that feature folktales or nursery rhymes from Latin America. I have shared so many here on MommyMaestra over the years. That's because young children learn so much from songs.

Research shows that music has many benefits for children, including how it can improve literacy and numeracy skills, develop vocabulary, improve coordination, lift a child's mood, and increase a child's sensory development. (Read more about the benefits of music for children here and here.)

So, of course, I was absolutely delighted to be contacted by my friends at Sugar Mountain PR about the new bilingual musical picture book, The Hummingbird Sings and Dances: Latin American Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes (aff link).

This beautiful book contains 19 nursery rhymes and lullabies from 17 Latin American countries. Of course, there are the beloved traditional ones such as Los pollitos and Arroz con leche, but there are also some I remember from my own childhood and haven't heard in - ahem - many, many years, such as Naranja dulce and A la rorro niño. Cuba, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Venezuela, and Bolivia are just some of the countries represented in this lovely book.

All of the text is presented in both English and Spanish, but the songs themselves are only sung in Spanish. The songs are sung by the Mexican musical-vocal ensemble, Grupo Cantaro, who do a truly remarkable job of making the songs engaging with background sounds that supplement the music and the lyrics.

Another nice thing is that the back of the book contains the complete lyrics to the songs on the CD so you can sing along! And there is a map of Latin America included at the back of the book. Both of these make it easier to incorporate this book into a lesson plan.

The musical selection and the illustrations are all done by Mariana Ruiz Johnson and they are fabulous. The illustrations are so fun and vibrant. Children will love sitting and looking through this picture book while listening to the CD, or while a parent (or abuelita!) reads and sings to them.

If this book sounds like the perfect fit for your family or classroom, check out the giveaway below. And visit the publisher - The Secret Mountain - website for more books.

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