Read + Discuss Picture Book Lesson Plan
GUIDED ANTI-BIAS/ANTI-RACIST READING | GRADES K+
This lesson is a guided reading experience designed to accompany Jorge Argueta and Duncan Tonatiuh’s picture book Salsa: Una poema para concinar (a cooking poem). Lesson content was written by Sofia Martinez-Mannen as part of her work in the Social Justice in K12 Education course at Portland State University and was designed to start or deepen anti-bias conversations in families and other learning communities.
YOUTUBE READ ALOUD
This book is told from the perspective of a young Latinx boy as he goes through the process of making salsa with his sister. He explains the steps that go into making salsa, but also where the process and practice of making salsa originates from. The book takes the form of a poem, through which the narrator relates the connection between making salsa and the historical and cultural heritage of his family. He describes the tools, such as a molcajete and tejolote, used by the Nahua, Aztec, and Maya to grind up and mix the salsa. The mention of ancestral practices allows the reader to see themselves in this story and in connection with their own ancestry and the ways they honor that presently. To him and his family, making salsa is celebratory tradition that comes with dancing, singing, and eating their favorite foods.
“Salsa” is not just about the process of making salsa and the ingredients and tools you need, it is a celebration of Indigenous practices that have been preserved in many Latinx households and the impact of these practices. Argueta, with help from the vivid illustrations done by Tonatiuh, creates a living story that is musical and encourages the reader to really feel what the narrator is feeling. This book is great for children of Latinx backgrounds that would find the making of salsa with family personally and culturally affirming, but it’s also great for children who don’t know much about salsa and what goes into making it or where it originates from.
This guided reading lesson is designed to be part of a larger life-long commitment to anti-racist teaching and learning for the student and the facilitator. Reading Is Resistance sees reading as an opportunity to seed deeper conversations and opportunities for action around racial equity in our communities. We hold the belief that being anti-racist is a process of learning (and unlearning) over time.
The Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards (focused on Identity, Diversity, Justice, and Action) serve as guides for our work.
TEACHING TOLERANCE STANDARDS REFERENCED IN THIS LESSON
The Teaching Tolerance Standards and Domains referenced in this lesson are for Grades K-2. This book, however, can be used with a wide range of ages. Domains featured in this lesson are as follows:
Identity Domain #1
I know and like who I am and can talk about my family and myself and name some of my group identities
Identity Domain #2
I can talk about interesting and healthy ways that some people who share my group identities live their lives.
Diversity Domain #6
I like being around people who are like me and different from me, and I can be friendly to everyone.
Diversity Domain #8
I want to know about other people and how our lives and experiences are the same and different.
Diversity Domain #10
I find it interesting that groups of people believe different things and live their daily lives in different ways.
READ + DISCUSS QUESTIONS
What are some things that you and your family do together that make you happy and feel connected to family and/or ancestors? IDENTITY STANDARD #2
Do you know where your family traditions come from? Are they something that your parents started doing, or have they been passed down over generations? IDENTITY STANDARD #1
Do you know people who are different from you and have traditions that are different from your family traditions? What are some of those traditions? Do you want to learn more about them? DIVERSITY STANDARD #10
Did you learn something new from reading this book? How can you use your new knowledge about salsa or the culture that comes with it? DIVERSITY STANDARD #8
How can you share some of your favorite family traditions with friends? Can you show them how to make your favorite foods or teach them your favorite dances? DIVERSITY STANDARD #6
ACTIVITIES & RESOURCES
Make your own salsa using the ingredients from the book.
EXPLORE FAMILY TRADITIONS
Ask your family about traditions and where they come from
List some of your favorite family traditions or activities
Ask the people around you where they come from
Research where they come from if those around you don’t know
Celebrate those traditions (make your favorite foods, or have a dance party)
Guacamole by Jorge Argueta
Danza! by Duncan Tonatiuh
Sopa de frijoles! by Jorge Argueta