Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Side by Side: The Story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez/ Lado A Lado: LA Historia de Dolores Huerta y Cesar Chavez

Brown, Monica. 2010. SIDE BY SIDE: THE STORY OF DOLORES HUERTA AND CESAR CHAVEZ/LADO A LADO: LA HISTORIA DE DOLORES HUERTA Y CÉSAR CHÁVEZ. Ill. by Joe Cepeda. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 9780061227813 [Suggested Grade Levels 1-5]

Throughout this biographical picture book about political activists Delores Huerta and César Chávez, the two historical characters appear side-by-side. Brown and Cepeda provide separate accounts and accompanying illustrations of Huerta’s and Chávez’s early years, but they do so on facing pages. Once the two activists meet, the story of their fight for justice becomes one, with text and illustrations encompassing entire spreads of the remaining pages. Brown and Cepeda drive home the message that Huerta and Chávez each brought their own strengths to the task of supporting farm workers, but multiplied their power by uniting together to make the world a better place.

Follow this book with an exploration of collaboration. Ask children to take about 3 minutes to each draw a humorous picture of an object or person of their choosing. Next, pair the children and allow the pairs to share their pictures. Instruct the children to take about 5 minutes to discuss and then draw together another humorous picture. Bring the children back together as a large group and discuss the differences between working alone and working together on a task. Have students rate whether the pictures drawn individually or those drawn together are more humorous.

Other books about workers’ struggles:
Cohn, Diana. ¡SI, SE PUEDE!/YES, WE CAN! JANITOR STRIKE IN L.A. ISBN 9780938317890
McCully, Emily Arnold. THE BOBBIN GIRL. ISBN 9780803718272
Tafolla, Carmen, & Teneyuca, Sharyll. THAT’S NOT FAIR: EMMA TENAYUCA’S STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE. ISBN: 100916727335
Yin. COOLIES. ISBN 9780142500552

By Maria Cahill

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