New Classroom-Ready Resource!
Teach Latinx History Throughout the Year with These Biographies
- This blog provides resources for supporting culturally responsive and sustaining teaching
Latinx students make up nearly 55% of all K-12 students across California, and every year students are asking for more lessons that reflect their experiences. We see the need to show students the diversity of people who shaped our history. Likewise, we know how important it is for students to see themselves reflected in their educational experience. Research shows that culturally relevant and sustaining teaching practices supports student achievement, civic engagement, and long-term critical thinking. Students need to see themselves in the pantheon of leaders! To help students and teachers reach this goal, I compiled a short list of leaders in Latinx History. This list includes people who, like many of us or our families, also came from the fields, the food lines, and the hustle. These leaders were more than civil rights activists (though they were that too), but were also artists, scientists, and authors. The Latinx History Biographies Set consists of a Google Doc and a Google Slide. Each profile comes with a brief biographical account, a picture book with the publishers’ annotations (for elementary students), and ideas on how teachers might connect the leader to a classroom project or activity. Each biography could be used with elementary or high school students. The Google Doc also contains the full text from the slide to increase accessibility, along with additional resources like oral histories and websites for further learning.
Of course this list is incomplete; an unfathomable number of people have impacted our lives and historical trajectories. But I hope that this small set offers a sampling of the beautiful and diverse leaders in our community. As you skim through the collection, be sure to note the overlap with other communities and movements. For instance, Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez worked with Philip Vera Cruz, a leader for the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) and later the vice president of the United Farm Workers. You can find Vera Cruz’s biography in Asian American and Pacific Islander Changemakers: People Who Made a Difference. Like the AAPI profiles in Changemakers, Latinx History Biographies is a resource that you can copy and adapt to your classroom’s unique context.
We designed this resource to support students in elementary and high school grades, with suggestions on how to integrate the biographies into your lessons, different activities, and paired them with companion resources for different age levels. We would love to see how you use these resources in your classroom–send us an email or tag us on Facebook or Instagram!
If you are interested in learning more about Culturally Relevant and Sustaining Pedagogy and Teaching Practice, I recommend taking a look at the following books:
Ladson-Billings, Gloria. Culturally Relevant Pedagogy : Asking a Different Question. New York: Teachers College Press, 2021.
Paris, Django, and H. Samy Alim. Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies : Teaching and Learning for Justice in a Changing World. Edited by Django Paris and H. Samy Alim. New York: Teachers College Press, 2017.
Prier, Darius C. Culturally Relevant Teaching : Hip-Hop Pedagogy in Urban Schools. New York: PETER LANG, 2012.
Scherff, Lisa, and Karen. Spector. Culturally Relevant Pedagogy : Clashes and Confrontations. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2011.