Selecting Hispanic-American Books for the Classroom
Educators have a daunting responsibility for selecting high-quality literature that authentically represents many distinct cultural backgrounds. Here are some helpful suggestions for selecting Hispanic and Hispanic-American books for classroom use:
- Recognize the nature of the labels "Hispanic" and "Hispanic-American," which are umbrella terms that encompass many distinct cultural backgrounds from Central and South America, Spain, and the Caribbean.
- Distinguish between Hispanic and Hispanic-American literature. Books set in Hispanic countries are valuable for classroom
use, but should not supplant those that represent the bicultural experiences of Hispanic Americans living in the U.S. Many
children of Hispanic descent in America's classrooms may connect more readily to books set in the U.S. that reflect the mix
of cultures woven into their everyday lives.
- Look for well-written and beautifully illustrated books that present positive and authentic images of Hispanics and Hispanic-Americans. Good culturally conscious books can communicate to children what it means to be proud of their heritage and
experience as Hispanic-Americans. Try to include books that go beyond the surface aspects of a culture, like specific holidays
and foods, to those that reflect deeper cultural values such as the concern and respect shown between generations in families.
For example, Too Many Tamales! by Gary Soto and Erandi's Braids by Antonio Madrigal present young children with
warm images of love and caring between generations in Mexican and Mexican-American families.
- Consult award lists specifically honoring varied genres of Hispanic and Hispanic-American books. The biennial Pura Belpré Award for Latino Children's Literature selects excellent examples of high-quality multicultural literature that can be enjoyed by all children, such as Chato's Kitchen and Chato and the Party Animals by Gary Soto. The annual Americas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature also specializes in honoring books that reflect Hispanic and Caribbean cultures, such as the excellent photo-essay Fiesta, U.S.A. by George Ancona.
Brought to you by Penguin Young Readers Group.
The Penguin Group is the second-largest English-language trade book publisher in the world. The company possesses perhaps the world's most prestigious list of best-selling authors and a backlist of unparalleled breadth, depth, and quality. Penguin Young Readers Group features books by authors and illustrators including Judy Blume, Brian Jacques, Eric Carle, and beloved characters like Winnie-the-Pooh, Madeline, The Little Engine that Could, and many, many more.
Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month
May is Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month! Don't overlook this opportunity to study and enjoy activities about the history and culture of Asian-Pacific American communities.
The recent rash of tornadoes in Oklahoma, which killed at least two dozen people, may have your students wondering why such natural disasters occur, how they may be affected by them, and what they can do to help. Use these resources to teach the geography of Oklahoma and the Southwestern United States, to explain tornadoes, and to discuss the resulting crises with your class.
Top 10 Galleries
Explore our most popular Top 10 galleries, from Top 10 Behavior Management Tips for the Classroom and Top 10 Classroom Organization Tips from Veteran Teachers to Top 10 Free (& Cheap) Rewards for Students and Top 10 Things Every Teacher Needs in the Classroom. We'll help you get organized and prepared for every classroom situation, holiday, and more! Check out all of our galleries today.
May Calendar of Events
May is full of holidays and events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Backyard Games Week (5/23-29) and Memorial Day (5/27). Plus, celebrate Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month, Clean Air Month, and Physical Fitness & Sports Month all May long!
Common Core Lessons & Resources
Is your school district adopting the Common Core? Work these new standards into your curriculum with our reading, writing, speaking, social studies, and math lessons and activities. Each piece of content incorporates the Common Core State Standards into the activity or lesson.