Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Multicultural Easter Basket Ideas

© Can Stock Photo / Valya

If you celebrate Easter and are looking for last minute ideas on what to put in your children's Easter basket, why not make it unique with a multicultural twist?

I've listed some ideas below of things to put in the basket. I've included affiliate Amazon links, but you can find many of these (or something similar), at your local bookstore, Target, Walmart, and/or Michaels. Those of you with Amazon Prime can get most of them delivered before Sunday if you act fast.

Happy Easter, Friends!

Canticos: 6-Inch Small Plush Sammy with Sound

If you press his belly, he sings a song from Nick Jr.’s Canticos in English and Spanish!

Learn to count, sort, and match - in any language! Exercise children's hand-eye coordination. Each plastic egg contains a different color and shape, with corresponding holes.

Jofan 6 Pack Wooden Musical Shake Easter Eggs Shakers

Made of high quality wooden and non-toxic paint, safe for kids to play, but don't break it as small parts inside. For kids 3+. 

Crayola Ultra Clean Washable Multicultural Markers

SKIN TONE MARKERS: Features 10 broad line markers in long-lasting, realistic hues.

Little Chickies / Los Pollitos Board Book by Canticos

Based on the beloved nursery rhyme from Latin America. 

eeBoo I Never Forget a Face Memory Matching Game for Kids

A memory and matching game that develops patience and memory skills. Children are introduced to the inspiring diversity of 24 warm and accessible children from cultures around the world, opening doors to empathy and discovery. The back cover identifies each child’s home country.

Children of the World Floor Puzzle

The Melissa & Doug Children of the World Floor Puzzle includes 48 extra-thick cardboard pieces that are easy for children to put together. The finished puzzle displays beautiful original artwork.

Konga Drum - Rhythm Kids

Nurture your child's musical abilities! The Rhythm Club Konga features a bright, playful sound, a vibrant Rhythm Club graphic, and can be played while sitting or standing. Equipped with an Acousticon shell and a pre-tuned Suede drumhead.

Other posts you may enjoy:

Monday, March 29, 2021

Resources for Holy Week & Easter

Semana Santa/Holy Week has officially begun!

If your family celebrates Easter, I wanted to just share a few resources for children (and their parents). 

First, many countries celebrate Semana Santa with special events or traditions. We were lucky to have Shannon Alvarez who lives in Guatemala with her family, share this post about the incredible alfombras (or "carpets") that are made in the streets prior to Easter. Here's a peek at one of them to entice you over there to read about this beautiful custom.

Amazing, no?

And in Andalucía, Spain, children collect wax balls made from the dripping wax of participants in the nightly parades of the region.

Easter Crafts

If you're looking for some great crafts for your kids, check out these!


Bilingual Easter-Themed Activity Sheets for Preschool

Boost your child’s literacy and math skills with this fun, Easter-themed packet! This multicultural packet contains images of both the Easter bunny and cascarones.

Introduce your young students to the vocabulary associated with Easter. This little booklet lets them color in the picture, then read and write the words.

Help your preschooler or language learner to learn their colors with this Easter-themed coloring book!

I hope you enjoy these free counting mats for children learning to count from one to five. So much fun, they can easily be used with ANY small objects...decorations, buttons, beans, Easter-themed stickers, etc. Or your little ones can just draw their own shapes or pictures to fill in each row.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

National Spanish Paella Day

Paella. © Can Stock Photo / Alex9500

Did you know that this Saturday - March 27th - is National Spanish Paella Day?

I have a profound love of paella. It comes from my dad's side of the family. As a child, when I would visit Spain, paella became one of my favorite dishes. I associate the flavor with beautiful memories. 

So in honor of National Spanish Paella Day, I wanted to share a little bit of the history of this iconic dish.

Paella is a Spanish rice dish. Together with gazpacho, it is probably considered the national dish by many outside of the country. But this meal finds its roots in eastern Spain, and Spaniards all recognize it as being the official dish of Valencia. This city is of great importance to Spain due to its economic impact on the country. The Port of Valencia is the fifth busiest seaport in Europe and the busiest port in the Mediterranean. It employs 15,000 people who service more than 7,500 ships annually. All of this is important because of the trade goods that are imported (and exported) through this port. And one of those is saffron (more about that below).

Valencia is also Spain's leading rice producer. It was introduced to Spain by the Moors in 711. In fact, rice in Spanish is called "arroz" a word that finds its roots in Arabic ('arz), rather than Latin.

Paella cooking over an open fire. Jan Harenburg, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Originally, paella was a laborer's dish. Those who worked the rice fields cooked it in a wide pan over an open fire. These farmers would add whatever meats and vegetables they had available. The true original paella recipe used chicken or rabbit meat. Today, however, paella sprinkled with seafood - especially shrimp, octopus, and clams - is popular throughout the country.

The name paella itself is believed to come from the Valencian word for the unique shallow pan in which it is cooked. But there are many other lovely legends about where the dish got its name. (Challenge your kids to research it!)

Recipes are plentiful throughout Spain, but there are two main ingredients that identify it as being paella: the rice (of course) and saffron, the spice that gives it that unique yellow/golden appearance. In addition to chicken, rabbit, and seafood, other meats include sausage, and even duck. The chef may even go to great lengths to artfully arrange the dish before serving. Check out this example: 

Seafood paella. Image by Manuel Martín Vicente, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Since its beginning, however, this dish has been traditionally cooked and served outside, especially for large (family) gatherings. 

Such a fantastic dish. Here are links to some fabulous recipes online:

And if you'd like to use this mini lesson with your own students or children, check out my one-page reading passage! You can find it here in my TpT store.

Are you going to try one of the recipes linked to above? You may want to get this equipment, too!

You may also like:

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The Three Golden Oranges

Over the coming weeks and months, MommyMaestra is going to try and feature a different children's book by a Hispanic author every week. I know there are a lot of great new books coming out now, but I also want to draw your attention to older books, which I will include, that have been on the market for a while but you might not have heard about. There are so many wonderful stories!  

Today, I'm starting off with Alma Flor Ada’s The Three Golden Oranges (aff link). Ada’s adaptation of the classic Spanish fairytale is spectacular with changes to the original story line that create a tale that flows simply and beautifully.

The story of three brothers who wish to marry and set out to find the woman of their dreams, they first visit the wise old woman who lives in a cave on the edge of a cliff. Spinning her wool, the old woman tells them how to find the brides that they are seeking. Naturally, two of the brothers (Santiago and Tomás) do not heed the old woman’s advice and promptly get into trouble, but the third, Matías, follows the directions as best he can and is eventually rewarded with the apparition of the kind and joyful, Blancaflor. The two quickly return to the castle to rescue both Matías’ brothers (trapped in the castle dungeon) and Blancaflor’s mother and sisters - who, along with Blancaflor, had been cruelly transformed into an orange tree with –tada! – three golden oranges!

Unlike most fairytale endings in which the handsome prince is rescuing the princess with his extraordinary strength, agility and dashing good looks, Three Golden Oranges emphasizes the value of honesty, selflessness, honor, and dedication. When asked what type of wife he wants, Matías asks for one who is "kind, joyful and someone I could love very much" as opposed to his brothers who desire wealth and beauty. And in a novel turn of events, it is the sweet Blancaflor who chooses Matías to be her husband, rather than the other way around! Yay! Altogether what a great message…and one that I hope to impart to my own son and daughter.

Set in rural Spain, the illustrations are fantastic. Reg Cartwright does a great job depicting the Spanish characters in both their attire and features (aquiline noses are just so Mediterranean – I should know!) And his colorful, rounded artwork vividly reflects the Spanish countryside and small towns with a folk art style.

I have an older ex-library copy that I used years ago with my now teenage children. But it is so special that I've kept it and am looking forward to reading it to my youngest when he is old enough.

This book is great for those studying Spain, world cultures, folktales, legends, family, and values.

For an additional activity, download a coloring page from the book here

Order your copy online:

Happy reading!

Monday, March 22, 2021

New Music Video from Whistlefritz

Hey, Friends! Have you heard that there's a new video available on Whistlefritz's website? Whistlefritz is a MommyMaestra sponsor and that gives me an opportunity to find out first about new products to share with you!

La Música is a Spanish sing-along adventure video is made up of segments of kids dancing, singing, or acting out the lyrics to Spanish-learning songs. The songs cover a wide range of topics from Se habla español (teaches all the places where people speak Spanish), Sonidos del flamenco (teaches vocabulary from flamenco), Cuando sea grande and En el puente D'Avinon (different jobs), Buenos días (greetings and weather), Días de la semana (days of the week, action verbs, and parts of the body), Uno, dos y tres (numbers and parts of the body), Al supermercado (foods), and Sabes tu sembrar la col (parts of the body).

All of the songs except one feature live people to engage your children - Al supermercado is the only one that's animated.

Music is such a great way to facilitate language learning. Kids just learn concepts and vocabulary so much more easily when they are set to music. So if you are looking for a way to nurture your child's language learning and are wanting to incorporate music, check out Whistlefritz!

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Free Download: Spring Fun Spanish Learning Calendar

Here in Texas the days are getting warmer and my garden is surprising me with new growth when I thought some were dead after our freak snow storm last month. What a pleasant surprise! Spring is on its way! As you dive into spring learning, don't forget this great little Spring Fun Spanish Learning Calendar from MommyMaestra sponsor, Spanish for You!

This month's freebie is a little different. Instead of just one activity, it links to various games and activities to use as your young Spanish learner develops their vocabulary that is associated with spring, going to the park, and Easter. So many great materials here for you to use over a three-week period. Don't wait. Download it now!

Click here to download this file

Find more Spanish for You! resources!

Remember! Spanish for You!'s program is geared for middle schoolers and is the perfect choice for homeschoolers and afterschoolers alike because their concepts are carefully divided up into manageable bundles that are available for immediate download from their website.

If this is your first time here, you can find other free samples from Spanish for You! here. There are some fantastic downloads of games and activities for you and your family to enjoy. If you enjoy this activity, be sure to visit the Spanish for You! website where you'll find tons of additional resources for you to help your young Spanish learner!

Monday, March 15, 2021

A Brief History of Los San Patricios


Comandante John Riley bust in the Plaza San Jacinto, San Angel quarter, Mexico City.
Osioni, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Saint Patrick's Day is coming up on Wednesday. Are you looking for print-and-go resources for your young students? I have a few, which I will list below. 

But first, I want to draw your attention to the image above. It is a bust of Commander John Patrick Riley. He was an Irish soldier in the British Army who emigrated to the United States and enlisted in the United States Army. During the Mexican–American War of 1846–1848, Riley led a number of other Irish Catholics in the ranks who defected to Mexico, where they formed the Saint Patrick's Battalion in the Mexican Army.

This group of about 200 Irishmen who deserted the U.S. army during the US-Mexican War are known as Los San Patricios. Historians argue over the reason why the San Patricios decided to side with Mexico, but many believe the Irish sympathized with the Mexicans, whose Catholic religion was the same as theirs, and whose situation with the U.S. bore striking similarities to their own native Ireland and its British neighbors.

You may like this short video by the BBC:

You may also really enjoy this video of St Patrick's Battalion Pipes & Drums during the St. Patrick's Day parade in Mexico City.

The St. Patrick's Day Bilingual Printables

A Brief History of Los San Patricios
One-Page Reading Passage w/ Quiz

Friday, March 12, 2021

Definitely Dominguita Chapter Book Series

This is a sponsored book post that uses affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post uses affiliate links.

It was 1961 and Terry Catasús Jennings was only 12 years old when her family arrived in the U.S. from Cuba. She could count in English and recite the days of the week and the months of the year...but that was about it. The day after they arrived, she was enrolled in 7th grade. 

Since then, Terry has grown up to become a writer of non-fiction, or fact-based fiction children's books. But she has been inspired to take the leap and write this new series of children's books called Definitely Dominguita. The first two books in this series launched last week. 

This new chapter book series is full of fun and adventure, but also touches on serious issues such as bullying and the loss of family when they move away. Dominguita is the daughter of immigrants and marches to the beat of her own drum. I love that she is an avid reader, who loves the classics. In the first book of the series, Knight of the Cape (aff link), Dominguita is inspired by the story of Don Quixote, a book that she read with her beloved Abuela. And in the second, Captain Dom's Treasure (aff), she finds an old map in the back of a library book - Treasure Island! Of course, Dominguita gets carried away and passionately sets out in search of the treasure with her friends. Her bravery and determination to stay true to herself will inspire young readers. 

Illustrations by Fátima Anaya are scattered throughout the books. They help bring the stories to life. I especially appreciate the diversity of the characters in the book. Not only is it inclusive of people from diverse backgrounds, but it introduces them to children who may no otherwise interact with people of color.

I can totally related to this series because Dominguita reminds me so much of myself when I was young - shy, reading, close to family, and not a lot of friends. I wish my daughter was younger so that I could introduce this series to her.

And I think that there are a lot of young girls who will absolutely love this story and relate to Dominguita and how she feels.

You can also find an Educator's Guide and Activity Kit available for free download on the author's website. Both are fantastic and very creative. 

You can find them now at your local bookstore or you can use my affiliate links below to purchase them from Amazon...

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Women in History: St. Katharine Drexel


Katharine Drexel. Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In honor of Women's History Month, we're highlighting some heroes that aren't often mentioned in textbooks, such as St. Katharine Drexel. 

The following is a guest post by MommyMaestra contributor, Stacie Farias. 

Is it possible that one question could change the entire course of your life? To Katharine Drexel, a little known but extraordinary woman, a single question profoundly changed her life and enriched the lives of many in the Native American and African American communities during a very turbulent time in American history. A champion of racial justice and a deeply spiritual woman, St. Katharine Drexel, as she is now known, was a woman ahead of her time.

Fairytale Childhood 

Born into high society of one the Philadelphia’s most elite families, Katharine Drexel and her two sisters lived a storybook life in the 19th century. Katharine’s life is filled with love and diversions, summer homes and trips to Europe, ball gowns and lessons in French. Although Katharine’s parents had instilled in the young Drexel sisters a deep sense of God and compassion for the poor, their own lives would surely be comfortable and easy. However, real life rarely works out the way we expect and Katharine’s magical world was shattered by the death of her parents. Katharine nursed her beloved step-mother, Emma Drexel, through a painful and merciless cancer for four years before she passed. Then Katharine’s father, Francis Anthony Drexel died unexpectedly after a bout of pleurisy two years later. In 1885, the Drexel sisters, overwhelmed with sorrow, found themselves to be the heirs of a vast fortune.

The Question

Because of the Drexel family’s philanthropic history, two priests met with Katharine to discuss the aid needed to fund their mission on Native American reservations. Their description and photographs of the conditions the Native Americans were experiencing on the reservations left Katharine and her sisters heartbroken and horrified. Immediately, Katharine started donating her inheritance to support various missionary activities and charities but she felt that writing checks would not be enough. Katharine was resolved to get more help and decided to appeal to the Pope himself for help. In 1887, Katharine and her sisters had an audience with Pope Gregory XIII at the Vatican. Katharine pleaded with the Pope and told him of the suffering of the Native Americans asking him for missionaries and aid, when Pope Gregory responded with the question that changed Katharine’s life. Pope Gregory asked, “Why not my child, yourself become a missionary?” 

Nheyob, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Her Changed Life

If you want something done right, do it yourself. 

For the next few years, Katharine would give away all her wealth and embrace a life of chastity, obedience, and poverty as a religious sister. In 1891, Katharine Drexel, now called Mother Drexel, founded her own religious order called the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. They were entirely devoted to the spiritual and educational needs of the Native American and African Americans on reservations, in rural areas, and the inner city. The Sisters, which started out with Katharine and 13 others grew to become 501 sisters in 51 convents, working in 49 elementary schools and 12 high schools. St. Katharine also founded Xavier University in New Orleans dedicated to educating African Americans - the first of its kind in the United States. The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament also worked at 37 missions in 20 states and financially supported dozens more. During the Civil Rights Movement, St. Katharine’s order worked with the NAACP and spent years legally challenging Jim Crow laws. If you’d like to learn more about St. Katharine and her work for racial justice, check out this article

The Time St. Katharine Drexel Defeated the KKK

As one would imagine, St. Katharine’s work attracted enemies from racist and anti-Catholic groups. In fact, in one incident, the Ku Klux Klan set fire to a cross in front of the motherhouse of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in Pennsylvania. St. Katharine was not intimidated. She had dealt with her share of threats to her work (from bomb threats to vandalism to arson) and had complete trust that the Lord would come to their aid.

But perhaps the biggest display of trust St. Katharine exhibited in her faith was during an incident involving the KKK in Beaumont, Texas. It was 1922 and the church and mission school founded by the Sisters faced yet another bomb threat and the KKK threatened to tar and feather the priests at the church. St. Katharine found extra security for the priests but more than anything she told the Sisters that they must pray! A few days later, a tornado destroyed the headquarters of the Beaumont KKK and killed two members. Perhaps it was all a coincidence, but one thing is for certain: the church and mission school were never bothered again. 

A Saint for Our Times

Pope St. John Paul II declared Katharine Drexel a Saint of the Catholic Church in 2000. Perhaps it is also not a coincidence that her feast day, March 3rd, falls during Women’s History Month because her impact on our history is strikingly relevant today. In her words, 

“Let us open wide our hearts. It is joy which invites us. Press forward and fear nothing.”

To read more about St. Katharine Drexel, visit the website of her order.

Katharine Drexel: The Riches-to-Rags Story of an American Catholic Saint

The book, Katharine Drexel: The Riches-to-Rags Story of an American Catholic Saint by Cheryl C.D. Hughes, is also a tremendous resource and was the primary source of this post:

For a children’s book about St. Katharine, I recommend, Saint Katharine Drexel: The Total Gift by Susan Helen Wallace.

Saint Katharine Drexel: The Total Gift

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

Monday, March 8, 2021

International Women's Day 2021


Happy International Women's Day!

If you are looking for a fun activity for your kids to do in honor of this special day, I want to remind you of my free download Women in World History Trading Cards. They were created to accompany Multicultural Kids Blog's (MKB) Women in World History Activity Pack that features the same women using one-page reading passages for each and comprehension questions.

This set of full-color or black-and-white printable cards features 20 women in history. Your kids can research them online or use MKB's Women in World History Activity Pack to find information to fill in the space on each card. Since only the woman's name is listed on each card, they are a perfect activity for any language. 

It's a great way to learn about these remarkable women who had an impact on our world!

You can download them from my online shop.


Friday, March 5, 2021

Online Preschool Music Class

Clap for Classics! online preschool music class
The following post is in collaboration with Clap for Classics! All thoughts and opinions are my own.

When I was a little kid, I spent a LOT of time watching cartoons - Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, to be exact. In fact, I would say that watching them was my first exposure to Classical music. I imagine many of you can relate.

My love of classical music never really went away. I still have a radio button in my car programed to our only classical station. Part of this is because of my love for it, but another great part of it is my desire to expose my children to it. Especially my 3-year-old. So you can only imagine my delight when I learned about Clap for Classics!

Quick Overview

Program: Clap for Classics!
Religious Perspective: Secular
Format: (Self-Paced) Recorded & Live online classes
Ages: 0 - 5
Price: $27 - $270 (see description below)

Making egg shakers for Clap for Classics! music class
Making egg shakers

Classical Music Benefits Toddlers 

So does classical music actually make babies smarter? There's apparently no evidence that just listening to it does. Though studies do show that listening to classical music sometimes helps calm and soothe cranky babies and infants.

What we do know is that INTERACTIVE music lessons are extremely beneficial to young children. Learning through music is easier and so much more fun. Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers love a good song. They love moving their bodies to music. This observation has obviously been noted around the world throughout much of history. The proof is in the frequency of songs, fingerplays, and even rhymes that have been passed down from one generation to the next.

After birth, a child's neurons and synapses develop quickly. And music is just one way to stimulate them into creating connections. Songs teach language and other basic concepts, such as rhythm, rhyme, and more. 

To learn more, check out the article that PBS published on the benefits of music education

Self-Paced Online Music Classes

When my older kids were little, they took music classes. But that was a long time ago. However, they loved it so much that now that I have a 3-year-old again, I've been on the lookout for music classes once more. But it's been very challenging given the pandemic. Enter Clap for Classics! 

Oh my gosh! These online classes are just fabulous! Created by two sisters, Clap for Classics! is a series of music courses for young children. The focus here is the joy of music-making. Children not only learn by listening to classical masterpieces (for example, Peter and the Wolf), but they also learn by interacting with you. My 3yo absolutely loves these interactive classes that are full of movement and singing. We improvise by finding and using items we already have around the house to make music or to do the musical activities that we're shown in each video lesson. 

Clap for Classics! online preschool music class

Kathryn and Elizabeth are both classically trained musicians and it is obvious from their beautiful singing. They take turns leading the different courses. But they are equally talented and engaging with children. Your kids will sing, march, stomp, and crawl their way through each lesson

We've watched many of the courses and loved every one. Each course comes with:
  • short video clips that introduce music and a lot of singing, 
  • various activities and printables, 
  • audio tracks, 
  • and some even have Spotify playlists. 
If you're worried about screen time, the short clips are more like sitting in front of a teacher leading the class. They often have one of their children participating in the video, which really helped my son to participate in the activities because he wanted to do what the other kid(s) were doing.

The things I like best about this course is that it allows us to watch the lessons at ANY time of the day. And if we sit down and my 3yo starts melting down, I just stop it and we can come back to it later when he's in a better mood and able to pay attention. I also like that we can replay a lesson over and over as many times as we want to listen to the music and engage in the activity. We can watch just one session a day - or ALL of them! Doing it on our time schedule makes this a golden opportunity.

The Music Courses

At the time that I write this, there are 10 courses in all for a variety of ages. The Nursery Rhyme Baby Time course is for infants ages 0 to 2. SO MUCH FUN! In each video, Kathryn sings a different nursery rhyme and shows parents engaging activities to do with their babies, such as using a (silk) scarf as a sensory experience and to develop spatial awareness or using brightly colored shakers to develop their fine and gross motor skills. I love that most of the videos are around 2 minutes because little babies just don't stay focused for longer than that! There are 16 video clips total in this course. And you can watch them over and over or skip around. I like the versatility and the ability to choose whichever video fits our mood at the moment. And if you prefer to go in order, you can also mark each video as viewed in case you forget where you left off. 

My only regret is not having found this program about two years ago! But even though my youngest is 3½, he still really enjoyed this class. 

We also have started watching Carnival of the Animals course bundle. This is a three-month course that teaches SO MANY concepts, such as musical concepts, fine motor skills, and even languages! Everything is taught using animals as the subject. And imagine my delight when I found that they even have a whole lesson dedicated to Los Pollitos teaching children the Spanish version! 💓💓💓🐤🐥🐣

Clap for Classics! online preschool music class

But hands down, my absolute favorite is the Peter and the Wolf bundle. It's a two-month course that introduces children to the instruments in the orchestra, musical concepts, and more. It is, of course, terribly fun for children who almost always love the story line of Peter, his grandfather, and all the animals. There are a lot of activities and best of all, a printable puppet set for your kids to use in the lessons or on their own while listening to the music and narrator.

The Price

You have the option of buying the courses directly from the site - they range in price from $27 to $75. OR you can purchase a monthly subscription for $27/month. If you prepay for a year, you get two months free! Check out their products page to see a complete list of courses.

***NOTE! Clap for Classics! is offering MommyMaestra readers a 20% discount off any course purchased between now and May 31st, 2021. Just enter the coupon code HOMESCHOOL at checkout.

Clap for Classics! free online preschool music class

Free Mini Course

If you are interested but want to try a class out first, Clap for Classics! is offering a free mini course titled, Bumblebees, Birds, & Beethoven. It's for children ages 0 to 5. Really, the teachers are just so clever! I love the creative way they introduce Beethoven's 5th Symphony to children using a story to capture little imaginations. I think once you try this course, you'll be hooked and want more for your children. 

Or if you're already convinced and want to sign up for their monthly subscription service, you can sign up here.

Want to find this post again? Pin it!

Clap for Classics! online preschool music class

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Spanish Biography Video Series

For those of you with older children (tweens and teens), here is a resource not to be missed. 

While doing research for my poetry unit, I found this series from Universidad Pedagógica Nacional. The series “Maestros de América Latina” narrates the lives and works of eight schoolteachers who were instrumental in the history of Latin American education. 

These Spanish videos features the following historical figures:

  • Simón Rodríguez, 
  • Domingo F. Sarmiento, 
  • José Martí, 
  • José Vasconcelos, 
  • José Carlos Mariátegui, 
  • Gabriela Mistral, 
  • Jesualdo Sosa, and 
  • Paulo Freire.
To access all of the videos, click here for the playlist

This series is great for AP students, native speakers, and bilingual students. 

NOTE: I have not watched all of the videos, so please, Teachers, always watch beforehand to monitor for inappropriate content.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

5 Books Read Aloud on YouTube for Read Across America

Happy Read Across America Day!

Celebrate with these five diverse books read aloud on YouTube to celebrate Read Across America or for any day of the year.

What is Read Across America?

NEA continues to host this important holiday and you can find a lot of resources on their website. I especially enjoy their themed reading calendar. March's theme? Celebrate Diversity.

This post contains affiliate links.

The Value of Listening to Read Alouds

I wanted to do a post with slightly different resources for Read Across America and thought it would be great to focus on listening to stories and how they help improve literacy. 

In fact, read-aloud videos play a crucial role in promoting literacy among children. Here are just a few ways they help:

  • Read-aloud videos provide a dynamic and engaging platform for storytelling, allowing children to immerse themselves in the narrative while simultaneously improving their language skills.
  • Hearing stories read aloud helps children develop essential literacy skills such as vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency. 
  • Additionally, read-aloud videos can serve as valuable modeling tools, showcasing proper pronunciation, intonation, and expression, which are fundamental aspects of effective reading.
  • These videos can foster a love for reading by making storytelling a pleasurable and interactive experience
  • They also offer accessibility to a wide range of literature, including diverse voices and perspectives, thereby promoting inclusivity and cultural understanding
Overall, read-aloud videos are a powerful educational resource that contributes significantly to children's literacy development and overall academic success.

5 Video Read Alouds for Read Across America

Here are 5 videos that I've selected for their diversity and inclusivity, starting, of course, with one that highlights a Latina legend: Rita Moreno!

A Girl Named Rosita 💃🏻 The Story of Rita Moreno for Kids (Parents, don't be put off by the puppets at the beginning. The actual read aloud is excellent!)

Get the book here in English and in Spanish.

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi - Video by Read Aloud Adventure (Excellent channel to follow!)

Get the book here!

Senator Cory Booker Reads "Freedom Soup" for Read Across America

Get the book here!

Get the book here in English and in Spanish!

Astronaut Nick Hague reads Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover on Storytime from Space.

Get the book here!

What are your kids reading today?

Other Posts You May Enjoy

If you'd like to find more (bilingual) resources for Read Across America Day, check out these posts here on MommyMaestra:

Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter!

Monday, March 1, 2021

Welcome to Women's History Month

Teachers and parents! Here's a great list of printable resources to use for Women's History Month and teach your kids about awesome women in history!

A Compilation of Print-and-Go Resources

It's March 1st, and that means that Women's History Month is here!

While it is important to remember and celebrate the achievements of women all the time, I'm glad we have a month dedicated to it to help us all remember to actively learn about the contributions women have made to world history. Too often their stories and successes are left out of the history books. 

So, if you are looking for resources to celebrate this month with your children or students in the classroom, take a look at this beginner list below. More to come throughout the month!

Women in History for Kids Printables

Print-and-go resources are often my go-to when I don't have time to prepare a more thorough lesson. But they are also great for supplementing your main lesson on any given topic. Which is why I love the following printables so much!

Multicultural Kid Blogs has a great Women in World History Activity Pack for kids ages 8 to 12. I was part of the team that created this packet that highlights 20 women with one-page reading passages and a comprehension quiz for each one. There are also worksheets that boost vocabulary, writing, and critical thinking skills. 

MKB also has the following must-read articles:

My 10 Latinas in History Combo Pack is crazy popular this month each year. It features one-page reading passages about the following 10 famous Latinas:

❤️ Ellen Ochoa

❤️ Isabel Allende

❤️ Dara Torres

❤️ Frida Kahlo

❤️ Linda Ronstadt

❤️ Dolores Huerta

❤️ Sonia Sotomayor

❤️ Carolina Herrera

❤️ Rita Moreno

❤️ Sor Juana de la Cruz

It also comes with reading comprehension activity pages. Best suited for children in 4th - 6th grades.

The 3 Female Activists Glossary & Poster Sets BUNDLE is designed for older children. In addition to the glossary of terms and poster, it includes worksheets that require students to study the words and then write in the definitions and writing pages for independent research.

Las Adelitas: Mexico's Soldaderas 1-Page Reading Passage is a no-prep, print-and-go set. It includes a one-page reading passage plus comprehension quiz. 

And, of course, we must include Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz! This printable set is for introducing her to little children. 

And this one-page reading passage is for older children. It also comes with a quiz to assess reading comprehension. 

And finally there's my Women in History Fandex. The fandex sets are just so much fun. With lots of ways to use them. Directions for fandex assembly and use, plus two activities, as well as individual worksheets, cut-outs and answer key included.


If you're looking for some great reads for kids, check out my post, 15 Children's Biographies Celebrating Women.

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