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Teaching Our Students About Spanish!

Back-to-school is going to be like no other this year.  Some of us last saw our students online, and many of us will see them again virtually, except this time, these faces will be new.  They’ll be brand new, and we’ll need to build community online.    

With this being the reality for so many of us, I say… forget the read alouds on back-to-school this year.  Let's uncover topics that can really empower our students during this unique season.

Since last March, I’ve been teaching my daughter all about perseverance, resilience, teamwork, and determination.  I want her to know that in spite of the coronavirus, there’s a lot that she has control over - and those are the decisions she makes.  

Today, I wish to introduce you to three titles that will push your students to understand the meaning of perseverance, of making choices that take you in one direction or another.  Because coming to class is a choice they will make every day as they sign on to see your face.  

Learning virtually isn’t easy.  So, let’s grab their attention with these books featuring role models with grit!

Here are three titles including diverse characters overcoming their own struggles:

1. Jabari salta


Jabari salta is about a little boy who wants to jump off the big diving board at the pool, but he’s not quite ready yet.  Then, his dad gives him some advice: “Algunas veces, si siento un poco de miedo, respiro hondo y me digo que estoy listo.” I just love the joy on Jabari’s face when he finally jumps, and every child will be impressed with his last words of continuing to push his limit!

2. Celia: la niña que cantaba con las manos 

Celia: la niña que cantaba con las manos sends a powerful message about a child fighting prejudice.  Celia is mute, and some people at her school aren’t sure she can learn.  With an abundance of determination, Celia proves them wrong and shows them how a child can forge her own path.

3. Sembrando histories: Pura Belpré: bibliotecaria y narradora de cuentos 

Sembrando historias: Pura Belpré: bibliotecaria y narradora de cuentos honors Pura Belpré, an incredibly creative and driven woman, who broke so many ceilings.  What an amazing story of immigration, with poetic rhythm.  The illustrations are simply superb and transfer how she built community through storytelling.


Perseverance is about choosing to continue to try, to be OK with mistakes, and to fight roadblocks.  Perseverance is about not letting yourself be affected by all of the challenges that surround you.

In this together, 


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