Share this book
In Nuestra América readers learn facts about the lives of Latinas and Latinos who play or have played important roles in the United States, but also about how facts, people, and events shaped their legacies. Help students understand the impact of legacies by imagining their own.
Ask students to think about what has happened to them in their own lives and make a list that includes at least one important event for each year of their lives. Their lists should focus on things they have accomplished or that are important to them, such as “learned to code, became a big sister, sang a solo,” etc.
Next, have them grow their list with “facts” and events they are planning or hoping to have in their futures. Get them thinking about what they want to accomplish as they grow up. For example, “graduate from law school, design a house, start a YouTube channel.”
When their lists are complete, have students share with the class what they will pass on to others—their legacies—both existing and imagined.
Questions for Discussion or Reflective Writing
- Choose one of the men or women profiled in Nuestra América. What do you think they were like at your age? Can you identify a catalyst that led them to take the actions they did?
- Of those featured in the book, who do you most admire? What effects do you see that this person’s actions have had on the world?
- Who are some other people you admire that might be national figures, local leaders, or someone in your school? Why do you admire them? How do they present themselves?
- Are there other people in the Latino community that you feel should have been included in this book? Who are they and why should they be included? Why do you think they were not included in this book?
- Companion Educational Resources from Smithsonian Learning Lab
- Teaching and Learning Resources from the Smithsonian Latino Center
- Connecting Identity and Legacy from Facing History & Ourselves