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This unit familiarizes students with the Mexican-American literature of Sandra Cisneros and with the works of two Puerto Rican writers, Esmeralda Santiago and Judith Ortiz Cofer, to engender awareness of common themes of identity, social and political protest, immigration and racial and linguistic barriers present in both Puerto Rican and Chicano literature.

(Recommended for Spanish and Literature, grades 7-8)


This eight-week unit immerses students in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Mexico, and Chile through literature, art, music and language connected to the geographical region. It will culminate with an interactive exhibit, including original art, music literature and cuisine prepared by the students, and open to the community.

(Recommended for Literature, grades 1-5)


This unit examines various elements of Black poetry from the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. It looks at the new African-Antillean identity. It profiles two poets: Luis Pales Matos and Nicolas Guillen, and the music of Gloria Estefan, Celia Cruz, and Tacuafan. It connects with Langston Hughes and other poets of the Harlem Renaissance.

(Recommended for Spanish and Spanish for Spanish Speakers, grades 9-12)


This unit is designed for students to become familiar with the culture of Mexico through art, music, people, food, clothing, and literature. Students will collaborate in preparing traditional Mexican dishes and invite other students, parents and staff into their "restaurant". The unit focuses on the murals of Diego Rivera, with the students creating their own mural in his style.

(Recommended for Social Studies, grades 2-4)


Students in this unit will study the poetry of Langston Hughes from the U.S. and Nicolas Guillen from Cuba and see the interconnectedness of the English and Spanish-speaking worlds through their friendship. Both poets of mixed racial background wrote about African culture in their respective countries. Students will make connections between the poetry and the blues and son (a Cuban folk music) on which these writers based some of their poetry. Among activities, students will create an Afro-Cuban percussion instrument. There are many possibilities for collaboration with French, English, Music, History, and Geography teachers.

(Recommended for Spanish and Spanish for Spanish Speakers, grades 8-12)


This unit is designed to give students a better understanding about Hispanic culture through reading and discussion of books, stories, folktales, poetry, rhymes, and songs. Students will study the history and demographics of Hispanic cultures to gain an appreciation for their many variations. They will make many comparisons among Hispanic cultures.

(Recommended for Global Studies, grades 2-4)


In this unit students will read Latin American literature to understand the impact of history and religion, ancient and modern, on the peoples of Latin America. Students will come to see, for example, that history is recorded through the eyes of humans who, themselves, have made choices in the way they write about it. They will come to understand that politics, that shapes national events, is more than a speech on television. Students will be exposed to how the role of language helps shapes social class.

(Recommended for Spanish and Latin American Studies in Literature and History, grades 7-12)


This unit is designed to help students gain a clear understanding of the Latin American heritage and cultural milieu and how Latin American society and culture actually functions in different situations. Some issues that the literary works and film will address are: the role of women, cultural gender expectations, political structure, and the role of religion.

(Recommended for Literature and Spanish, grades 9-12)


In this unit, students will use the writing process to create and perform dramatic scenes depicting a historical event or other topic of choice that depicts aspects of Latin cultures: Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic.

(Recommended for Drama and English, grades 7-8)


This unit is crafted to provide a comprehensive program integrating short novels, stories and poetry of contemporary Latin Americas adapted to the interest and development of each child to sustain student interest. It is based on the premise that language and literacy are the keys to a better life.

(Recommended for Language Arts and Social Studies, grades K-5)


Through the use of children’s literature, including historical fiction, periodicals, picture books, folk tales, and nonfiction texts, students discover the roles and struggles of women in the workplace and at home during World War II. Uses integrated approach. Contains helpful information.

(Recommended for Social Studies, grades K-6)


Designed for a third grade, this unit examines African American culture through the use of children’s literature. Uses an integrated approach with an emphasis on social development. Includes a student adaptation of Faith Ringgold’s Dinner at Aunt Connie’s House.

(Recommended for Social Studies, Language Arts, and Fine Arts, grades 2-4)


Using children’s literature, this unit attempts to increase student awareness, understanding, and appreciation of Hispanic/Latino culture and history, along with the roles played by Latino men and women in the development of the United States. Uses integrated approach.

(Recommended for Reading, Language Arts, Social Studies, and Art, grades 3-5)


Using puppetry and story telling through children’s literature, this unit aims to increase student knowledge of Jewish culture as they examine traditional Jewish holidays. Uses integrated approach. Presents a day-by-day plan for activities.

(Recommended for Reading and Language Arts, grade 1)


This unit emphasizes Afrocentric picture books for young readers, ages 5 through 8. It includes a picture book resource list and suggests a number of ways to incorporate these books into Social Studies and Language Arts activities. List contains many books with a brief summary and suggestions for integration.

(Recommended for Social Studies and Language Arts, grades K-2)


By integrating this unit, through the reading of stories, it gives students an understanding of the similarities and differences existing among people.

(Recommended for Social Studies and Language Arts, grades 5-8)


This unit focuses on how black women in the past have struggled to make small advances that black women of today enjoy, and how the struggles of today’s black women are breaking down the barriers of society for the betterment of tomorrow’s black women. The unit features three different grade level books that chronicle different aspects of black women’s struggles, beginning with Addy: An American Girl (ages 9 – 12), Fly Girl by Omar Tyree (young adult), and Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan.

(Recommended for Literature and Social Studies, grades K-12)


This unit focuses on women’s struggle for equal rights and justice throughout our history. Students will learn about equal rights movements through the ages.

(Recommended for Reading and Social Studies, grades 7-8)


This unit uses books that explore the theme of mother-daughter relationships. For each book there are chapter questions and writing prompts designed to help prepare third-grade students with practice in the narrative writing format that is required for the fourth grade Mastery Test. Students will practice higher level thinking skills by analyzing and comparing plots, settings, and characters in each of the stories.

(Recommended for English, Reading, and Social Studies, grades 3-4)


This Social Studies unit for grades three and four explores roles that women played in the formation of this country, in particular in settlements in the West between 1840 and 1880.

(Recommended for Social Studies, grades 3-4)


This unit is designed to teach students about the role of women during the Colonial, Revolutionary, and Civil War times. Students will read historical fiction that features girls and women living during these time periods.

(Recommended for U. S. History, grades 4-5)


This unit features the lives of six notable American women such as Phillis Wheatley and Sacagawea, who lived in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Students, through dramatization of these women’s lives, will learn, among other things, about barriers to advancement they faced and barriers that confront women today.

(Recommended for Drama, English, Poetry, and History, grades 6-9)


This unit features African American women writers that will give students an opportunity to gain a more personal understanding and appreciation of women, feelings, heritage, and events that mark the course of African American History. Students will learn how these writers helped to shape a contemporary literature and to recapture and reshape a culture.

(Recommended for Literature and History, grades 9-12)


This unit is designed to illuminate the remarkable strength and dedication of women as: slaves, spies, abolitionists, nurses, soldiers, mothers, daughters, teachers, and protectors of home and ideals, during the turbulent Civil War period in American History, including how these women influenced and changed the course of society. It includes the times as seen through the eyes of female children.

(Recommended for Writing, History, Social Studies, Women’s Studies and Reading, grades 3-8)


This unit relies on three books, focusing on three diverse American girls of different cultures, races, religions, and time periods in our history. Each girl is faced with a challenge: a slave girl must decide whether to risk the journey to freedom; an Amish girl is faced with going to public school for the first time at the age of nine; and an Eskimo girl must set out across the Arctic tundra alone.

(Recommended for Social Studies, History, Literature, and Reading, grades 3-8)


This unit explores the history of the civil rights movement in the United States from the perspective of the lives of women such as: Ella Baker and Ida Wells-Barnett, through the literature of African American children’s author Eloise Greenfield. It is written to be used by a library media specialist in collaboration with teachers.

(Recommended for Language Arts, Social Studies, and Reading, grades K-5)


An historical approach to the city of New Haven gives students an outline of the development of diversity within the city. It presents history in a chronological form.

(Recommended for Social Studies, grade 4)


Beginning with themselves, students examine their families and neighborhoods, noting similarities and differences, along with existing prejudices and discrimination. Using children’s literature as a base, relevant interdisciplinary activities achieve the unit’s goals.

(Recommended for Social Development, Language Arts, Mathematics and Reading, grades K-4)


In teaching fourth and fifth grade students about puberty, this unit examines three elements of diversity in relationship to children’s physical development, experience and/or expectations, and ethnic, religious, and cultural diversity. Contains appropriate background information.

(Recommended for Social Development, grades 4-5)


Through examining cultural awareness and ethnicity and a search of student’s heritage, this unit attempts to help students share the effects of cultural contact and exchange. Contains background information. This unit focuses on the contributions of major ethnic and racial groups, with special emphasis on African Americans and Hispanics, to the development of the "American Way of Life". Students will explore the different orientations and configurations that comprise family ethnicity in America. Each student will research his or her origin and/or explore cross-cultural roots.

(Recommended for Multicultural Education, grades 8-12)


This unit introduces elementary teachers to the effects that diversity and culture have on student learning styles and teaching methods. A set of lessons for students and families is included. Designed for bilingual elementary students but could be used with almost any group.

(Recommended for Language Arts, Social Studies, and Music, grades K-4)


Focusing on Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, and Cubans, this unit examines myths and stereotypes about Hispanics in the hope that they will reflect upon their own feelings, tolerate differences, and appreciate and share the strength of their diversity.

(Recommended for U. S. History and Caribbean History, grades 11-12)


This interdisciplinary unit for K-6 students fosters an appreciation for the diversity in one another and acceptance of all individuals. Students are introduced to literary works, art pieces and hands-on creative activities from different cultures. Activities grow from the creation of a plaster gauze mask.

(Recommended for Interdisciplinary Teaching, grades K-6)


While studying Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanic Americans, this unit focuses on the problem of racism, with a year long project.

(Recommended for Social Studies, Literature, Art History, Race Relations, Multiculturalism and Music, grades K-5)


The format of this unit, performance, is designed to guide the students on an exploration of the "blues impulse" – its roots and its fruits—as it was manifested in the lives of African Americans: Mahalia Jackson, Bessie Smith, Billie Holliday, and Ella Fitzgerald. It covers a chronological history of the blues up to and including a brief mention of jazz.

(Recommended for History, Music, and Theatre, grades 7-12)


This unit focuses on how artists Jacob Lawrence, Aaron Douglas, and Romare Bearden were influenced by the Harlem Renaissance and their own personal lives, and how the works of these three artists are a visual blues of the African American people.

(Recommended for Art, grades 7-10)


This unit is designed to take students from a study of the history, philosophy, and performers of African American blues to actually writing and singing their own blues verses in a final project. Blues studied will include the classic tradition with Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong, country blues, popular blues, and Chicago and urban blues. The relationship between blues and jazz is included.

(Recommended for Music, grades 4-8)


This unit is designed to help children discover the blues aesthetic as a form of artistic expression, with projects geared to achieve the goals of language acquisition and development, and artistic expression and interpretation. Activities center around poetry, visual art, music related to migration, slavery in the U.S., and African American culture. Visual art and music are significant components of this unit.

(Recommended for Language Arts, Social Studies, Music, Visual Arts, grades 1-4)


This interdisciplinary unit allows students to study the lyrics and musical features of blues to understand how blues is a folk philosophy that affirms black life. Students will, through a final project, be exposed to jazz artists. They will examine the works of visual artists who succeeded with improvisation of blues experiences and themes. And students will read poetry and fiction in which contemporary elements of blues are found.

(Recommended for Language Arts, Music, Art and Writing, grades 6-8)