Cesar Chavez Day is recognized as a holiday by eight states in the U.S., and falls on March 31st — his birthday (or a Monday/Friday that is closest to a weekend). It is also a US federal commemorative holiday, proclaimed by President Barack Obama in 2014. Of course, it’s certainly appropriate to teach about his life at any time during the year, too. I thought I’d take this opportunity, though, to publish a “The Best…” list that might be helpful to teachers.

Here are my picks as The Best Sites For Learning About Cesar Chavez (that are accessible to English Language Learners). They aren’t in any order of preference (I’ve since added many resources about Dolores Huerta, as well):

El Civics has a good Cesar Chavez Lesson.

The Library of Congress has some nice accessible features on Chavez.

The United Farm Workers Union itself has a great resource page on Chavez, including videos and E-Cards.

The California Department of Education has a Model Curriculum and Resources For Teachers on Chavez that you may find useful.

Viva la Causa is a DVD and lesson plan packet available for free from Teaching Tolerance.

Here’s an online lesson for English Language Learners on Chavez from Famous People Lessons.

The National Museum of American History has a great activity related to Chavez and the banning of the terrible short-handled hoe. Students can create their own online virtual museum exhibit.

Brainpop has a Cesar Chavez movie but, unless it’s in the free category for this month, you’ll need to either pay for a subscription or sign-up for a free trial. Generally, it appears they make it available for free during March.

A very nice new addition to this list is a proclamation issued by President Obama in 2010. Here’s an excerpt:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 31, 2010, as Cesar Chavez Day. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate service, community, and education programs to honor Cesar Chavez’s enduring legacy.

President Obama issued a new proclamation for 2011 declaring Cesar Chavez Day.

A Not-Quite National Holiday: Eight States Celebrate Cesar Chavez Day is from TIME Magazine.

Si Se Puede: Cesar Chavez’s Work Is More Relevant Than Ever is from GOOD Magazine and includes some useful links.

You might also want to see The Best Resources For Hispanic Heritage Month.

Watch Know Learn has several Chavez videos.

“Obama Creates Monument To Cesar Chavez: ‘He Cared'” is a CNN multimedia report on the creation of a monument to honor Cesar Chavez:

Here’s an Associated Press video report on the event:

Cesar Chavez National Historic Park is in the works is an article in today’s Los Angeles Times:

Here’s an excerpt:

The National Park Service on Thursday announced plans to establish the Cesar Chavez National Historic Park, to recognize the achievements of the activist and the farm labor movement he led.

This is a good, short video on Cesar Chavez. It won’t be controversial in states like our which already have an official Cesar Chavez holiday. However, at its end, it does push for President Obama to declare March 31 as the Cesar Chavez National Day of Service, so teachers should use their judgement on whether to use it in class:

New Cesar Chavez Film To Have Screening At White House Tonight

The San Francisco Chronicle has published two good articles related to the new film about Chavez’s life:

‘Cesar Chavez’ movie: An extraordinary ordinary man

‘Chavez’ revives labor leader’s legacy for next generation

Jinnie Spiegler at the Anti-Defamation League has created an accessible lesson on Chavez.

What the New Cesar Chavez Film Gets Wrong About the Labor Activist is from Smithsonian Magazine.

The New Yorker has another critical take

Explore the Cesar Chavez Foundation.

Presidential Proclamation — Cesar Chavez Day, 2014

Farmworkers Activist Dolores Huerta Will Be Focus of Smithsonian Exhibit is from NBC News.

Eclipsed by Cesar Chavez, Larry Itliong’s Story Now Emerges is from NBC News.

Larry Itliong Day Celebrated in Honor of Filipino-American Labor Leader is from NBC News.

50 Years Later, Remembering the Delano Grape Strike is also from NBC News.

Larry Itliong Day Celebrated in Honor of Filipino-American Labor Leader is from NBC News.

California School to Bear Names of Filipino-American Labor Leaders Itliong, Vera Cruz is from NBC News.

Latino Poets Honor Civil Rights Leader Dolores Huerta at Smithsonian is from NBC News.

Smithsonian Portrays Civil Rights Struggle Through Dolores Huerta is from NBC News.

Here are several video interviews with Huerta.

The Legacy of Helen Chavez is from The Atlantic.

Senate Republicans Refuse to Honor Cesar Chavez’s Birthday Again is from NBC News.

You Can Now Watch The Entire New PBS Documentary On Dolores Huerta Online For Free


On Cesar Chavez Day, a look at the labor leader’s complex legacy is from NBC News




Suggestions are always welcome.

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