Don’t miss Cesar Chavez, the biopic directed by Diego Luna and starring Michael Peña. Bring Cesar Chavez into your classroom with these beautifully written picture books appropriate for elementary students.
Cesar Chavez’s story adds depth to units in social studies, history and economics:
- Justice, equality, inequality, civil rights
- Worker’s rights, unionization, strikes
- Migrant workers, agriculture’s role in California’s history
- Freedom marches and demonstrations
- Latino heritage, Hispanic Heritage Month
- Chavez’s influences: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Ghandi
Picture Books about Cesar Chavez
Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez: this picture book tells Chavez’s story with simple, strong prose by Kathleen Krull. Yuyi Morales’s beautiful illustrations perfectly complement the setting. Click here for my book review on Harvesting Hope, featuring ideas for using the book in the classroom.
Cesar: Si, se puede! / Yes, We Can: a collection of poems that recreate the life and times of Chavez. This bilingual edition will capture the attention of your students as Chavez captures their hearts.
Cesar Chavez: A Hero for Everyone: this straightforward, easy-to-read biography is perfect for the Common Core’s emphasis on nonfiction.
Side by Side/Lado a Lado: The Story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez/La Historia de Dolores Huerta y Cesar Chavez: this bilingual book helps students understand that Cesar didn’t do it on his own. Strong people like Dolores Huerta were instrumental to the success of the strike and march.
Cesar Chavez: The Struggle for Justice / Cesar Chavez: La lucha por la justicia: This bilingual picture book by history professor Richard Griswold del Castillo simply and vividly tells Chavez’s story.
A Picture Book of Cesar Chavez (Picture Book Biography): this beautifully expressive biography tells Cesar Chavez’s life story in an engaging way.
Older students will enjoy the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Viva la Causa kit. It features a 39 minute film and teaching guide. Viva la Causa will show how thousands of people from across the nation joined in a struggle for justice for the most exploited people in our country – the workers who put food on our tables.