Learn about Puerto Rico through this gorgeous, bilingual workbook! Whether you are doing a report about Puerto Rico, you are learning about Latin America in Social Studies, you’re visiting the tropical island, or you are a Spanish teacher who would like to incorporate culture- whatever the case, you are going to LOVE this coloring workbook for kids to learn about Puerto Rico.
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Puerto Rico, la Isla de Encanto: Puerto Rico, The Island of Enchantment, by Melissa Lopez Charepoo is a gem. In both Spanish and English, this soft cover book is packed with Puerto Rican history, culture, and traditions. The 210 black and white, illustrated pages works really well for children from 5 to 12 years old. I am going to be honest :). I am planning on having my high school students help me prepare a bulletin board about Puerto Rico using the artwork and information!
The author, Melissa López Charepoo is Puerto Rican. She was deeply struck by the suffering after the island was hit by two hurricanes. Today, even more than a year later, thousands are still struggling to obtain basic necessities. In the spirit of service, 100% of the profits for this year will go to small organizations that have empowered themselves to help others in time of need, and it’s the hope that the funds collected will assist in this later stage of recovery.
Let’s Learn about Puerto Rico!
The book introduces us to a little girl named Ana, and a boy named Luis. Throughout the book, they lead us through the different topics. In the geography section, we learn about where Puerto Rico is located and how the island was formed millions of years ago. In the section on history, the reader learns that the Taíno Indians called the island Borikén. Kids will enjoy a look at the villages, trying some Taíno words, and coloring some objects of Taíno heritage.
Packed with Information about Puerto Rico
The book nicely describes how Puerto Rican people are a mixture of 3 races and cultural groups. Along with the Taíno culture, Puerto Rico also meshes Spanish culture, and African culture. Kids learn that the Spanish used African slaves to work in agriculture. I really appreciate that the book did not sugarcoat this important part of history.
There are many pages on music, the flags, National Anthems, and the Puerto Rican government (including all of the important political leaders. In a kid-friendly manner, the author is able to explain some important laws, and how the country got their Constitution. The pages showcase many national symbols, and the author illustrated them beautiful, with many details.
We also learn basic information about Puerto Rico. My kids were surprised that Puerto Rico uses the US dollar. The guessed correctly that the climate is tropical, and the flora and fauna reflect the tropical climate.
One of my favorite sections of the book names famous sights around the island, paired with an illustration. I would love to incorporate these into a display, and have students look up actual photos of the places (or maybe visit them on Google Earth!). Included are a waterfall in the Yunque, Luquillo Beach, Bioluminescent Bay, Caonillas River, coral reefs, Tetas Hill Caverns of Río Camuy, Mar Chiquita Beach, the mangroves, and Window Cave. AMAZING!!!!!
After sightseeing, we learn about Puerto Rico fruits and vegetables with pages and pages of mouthwatering plates of typical food. From sancocho to arroz con habichuelas- so many fish and shrimp dishes! There are desserts, snacks, and sweets- wouldn’t it be fun to have a taste test??
Sports is a theme that kids love. In the book, each page covers one sport, and asks the kids to investigate the names of 3 famous Puerto Rican athletes:
Learn about Puerto Rican Art, Literature, and Architecture
Kids get to color magnificent masterpieces by famous Puerto Rican artists: from painters to sculptors to movies. There is a section that covers that different genres of music. The books includes famous architecture, such as the San Felipe del Morro Castle, Santo Cristo de la Salud Chapel, the Old Caguas Town Hall, Our Lady of the Candelaria Cathedral, The Rincón Lighthouse, Old Ponce Fire Station, the University Clock Tower, Hacienda Iruena Labadie, the restaurant at La Concha Hotel, and the José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum of Puerto Rico.
One section that teacher might especially enjoy is the collection of famous literature that kids can read in Spanish and English.
Finally, the book ends with a section on customs and traditions that include holidays and games for kids.
I highly recommend this workbook for anyone who would like to learn about Puerto Rico!
For another hands-on, super fun activity, check out this petroglyph craft for kids!