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). 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:
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.
Enchanted Learning has a cloze (fill-in-the-gap) biography that can be printed-out.
Glencoe has a short video and additional materials.
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.
Harcourt has a short, accessible biography.
Cesar Chavez’s Crop of Change is a video from ABC News.
Rose Named After Farmworkers’ Hero is a fascinating story by CBS News.
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.
The Poway Unified School District has an excellent listing, with links, of additional Chavez resources.
President Obama issued a new proclamation for 2011 declaring Cesar Chavez Day.
California Governor Jerry Brown did the same.
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.
PBS has a nice timeline of his life.
“Remember Cesar Chavez” is a photo gallery from The Los Angeles Times.
The Poway School District also has a nice list of Chavez resources.
6 Curriculum Sources for Celebrating César Chávez Day is from the Granite Bay District and has some good ELL resources about Chavez.
You might also want to see The Best Resources For Hispanic Heritage Month.
Watch Know Learn has several Chavez videos.
The WRITE Institute has a great free unit on Cesar Chavez.
“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:
The San Francisco Chronicle has published two good articles related to the new film about Chavez’s life:
What the New Cesar Chavez Film Gets Wrong About the Labor Activist is from Smithsonian Magazine.
The New Yorker has another critical take…
Suggestions are always welcome.