For Latinx Heritage Month, we’ve put together a list of our favorite books and movies that highlight stories of people from Latin American countries - from Mexico to Argentina, and beyond. There are so many important stories to be told this month, so here are our family favorites that feature education and STEM-specific themes:
Movies/Shorts for the classroom or home:
• Coco [PG], streaming on Disney+, follows Miguel on a touching, musical journey through the world of the afterlife as he learns about his family heritage, Día de los Muertos and the importance of following your passions.
→ Bonus! After the movie, explore our virtual Pixar exhibit and learn about the computer science used to make the stunning movie come to life.
• Stand and Deliver [PG], streaming on Netflix, is based on the true story of high school math teacher, Jaime Escalante, as he struggles to teach his class advanced calculus concepts in time for them to pass the AP exam.
• New American Girls - Kassandra [Unrated Short], streaming on PBS, is one of a series of short profiles on incredible young immigrant women. Kassandra’s profile tells the story of how she became the first in her family to graduate high school.
• The Graduates [Unrated], streaming on PBS, is a documentary series focusing on the unique educational challenges facing first generation and immigrant students and their families.
Books for the classroom or home:
• Half Chicken/Medio Pollito by Alma Flor Ada is a sweet, bilingual picture book that tells of the legend of how the weather vain came to be, and follows a chicken born with one eye, one leg and very few feathers on his journey to fulfill his destiny.
• Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes by Juan Felipe Hererra are inspirational vignettes that highlight the incredible work of Cesar Chavez, Sonia Sotomayor, Ellen Ochoa, Roberto Clemente and many more.• Animal Poems of the Iguazu/Animalario del Iguazu by Francisco X. Alarcón are beautifully illustrated poems in English and Spanish that show the wide variety of plant and animal life in the Iguazu rainforest.
• Galápagos Girl/Galápagueña by Marsha Diane Arnold is the touching biographical story of Valentina Cruz, who became a biologist after spending her childhood in the Galápagos islands, surrounded by the blue-green sea.
Latinx-inspired STEM for the classroom:
As part of our integrated Engineering and Computer Science Essentials units, we have three digital storybooks featuring Latinx characters solving everyday, STEM related problems in different countries!
• Design hand pollinators and create animations with a digital storybook featuring Mariana, Tia Leti, and Pablo - three inquisitive gardeners from the Dominican Republic.
• Explore parachutes and aerospace engineering basics in Brazil with Paulo and his new friend Lucas as they discover engineering is all around them.• Juan Daniel is playing in a futbol tournament in El Salvador when he discovers an amphibian friend who seems a little out of place. His story encourages learners to design an artificial membrane and work through the engineering design process like a real engineer!
What books are you reading this month to celebrate Latinx Heritage? Any movies we missed? Let us know in the comments below! And don’t forget, you can always follow our page at GoodReads for more educational book selections for all ages.