Greetings from The Paley Center for Media’s Education Department!

Welcome to the latest installment of “What We’re Watching,” a weekly Paley Education@Home guide. During this unprecedented time, we are continuing to reach out to our community with tips and ideas for consuming media with kids! We know that screen time has increased and so we’re here to help. Each week we are highlighting a different theme that connects to selected programs for younger and older viewers, with related activities and resources.

Consuming media with your kids is a perfect jumping-off point to making media literacy a part of your everyday lives. Familiarizing yourself with the basics is a great first step. In case you missed it, you can view our first edition about media literacy best practices. We also recommend the National Association for Media Literacy Education’s Parents Guide—it’s a terrific introduction!

Weekly Zoom Meet-ups
Thursdays, 3:00 to 3:30 pm ET
Students Grades 3+ can join us for a weekly Zoom Meet-up, Thursdays from 3:00 to 3:30 pm ET, to chat about the week’s theme and engage in some hands-on learning led by a Paley Educator. Parents and teachers are welcome to join as well!

For connection details, please RSVP to
Hispanic Heritage Month Continues!

In honor of The Paley Center for Media’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, for four weeks “What We’re Watching” will focus our attention on Hispanic culture as illustrated through media. In this issue we’re focusing on depictions of family, across a variety of genres. Family is not only an important curriculum topic for elementary students, it is a crucial element of so many different types of storytelling. So much is wrapped up in ‘family’ stories - tradition, culture, growth, conflict, understanding. We hope these recommendations help some viewers see themselves and their loved one portrayed on screen and maybe even expand your definition of what makes a family.

Para leer en español, haga clic aquí.

This Week's Recommendations for Younger Viewers

Anina, directed by Alfredo Soderguit (2013)
Recommended for Grades 3+
Available to Stream on Amazon Prime Video

Anina is a beautifully animated Uruguayan-Colombian film about family, friendship, and growing up. It follows the adventures of a passionate and imaginative young girl with a very special name as she learns an important lesson—don’t judge a book by its cover… or maybe we should say by its name? The film pulls off an impressive feat, balancing whimsy and relatability with aplomb!

Viewing Questions
  • Who is the main character? What words would you use to describe her?
  • Who is in Anina’s family? What words would you use to describe them? How do they treat Anina?
  • Anina’s name is a palindrome - what is a palindrome? Does Anina like her name? Why or why not? How do you think Anina’s family feels about her name?
  • Who is Yisel? What words would you use to describe her?
  • What is the issue between Anina and Yisel? What is their punishment? How do they respond to it?
  • What do you find out about Yisel’s family? What does Anina learn from her issue with Yisel?
  • What do you think is the lesson of the story?

Diary of a Future President “The New Deal” (2020)
Season 1, Episode 2
Recommended for Grades 5+
Available to stream on Disney+

Diary of a Future President is a sweet, funny series from the point of view of Elena, a twelve-year-old Cuban American girl, who aspires to be the President of the United States. This episode is focused on Elena’s family dynamics, dealing with all the little things that change when families grow and evolve. The story is warm and relatable with lessons that the whole family can take to heart!

Viewing Questions
  • Notice everything you can about the main character, Elena. What kind of person is she? What does she care about? How does she treat her family?
  • What members of Elena’s family do you meet? What do you notice about them?
  • What does Elena find out about her mother? How does she react? How does her mother react?
  • What do you find out about Sam? How does Elena feel about him? What feelings does he push to the surface? What does she decide to do?
  • What does Elena’s mom mean when she says “Grief happens whenever there’s change—good or bad”? What lesson can you take away from this?
This Week's Recommendations for Older Viewers

One Day at a Time: “This Is It” (2017)
Season 1, Episode 1
Recommended for Grades 7+
Available to stream on Netflix

One Day at a Time, a reimagining of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom of the same name, revolves around a Cuban-American multigenerational family living together in Los Angeles. In this first episode, we’re introduced to the family members as they deal with major generational discord—planning a traditional quinceañera that conflicts with their daughter’s feminist beliefs.

Viewing Questions
  • What kind of character is Penelope? What do we find out about her? What does she care about?
  • What kind of character is Lydia? What do we find out about her? What does she care about?
  • What kind of character is Elena? What do we find out about her? What does she care about?
  • What kind of character is Alex? What do we find out about him? What does he care about?
  • Why do Penelope and Lydia want to throw a quinceañera for Elena? Why does Elena oppose the party? How do they deal with this conflict?
  • What is Alex’s problem? How does he decide to solve it? What does Penelope think of his solution? How do they deal with this conflict?
  • What is Penelope’s problem? How does she decide to solve it? What does Lydia think of her solution? How does Penelope react?
  • How would you describe the family dynamic? Who is in charge? How do you know?

Los Espookys “El exorcismo” (2019)
Season 1, Episode 1
Recommended for Grades 10+
Available to stream on HBO/HBOMax

Los Espookys is a wonderfully strange and surreal show about a group of friends who start a business designing one-of-a-kind, chilling experiences for a variety of clients. Even though the episodes are filled with creepy moments, at its core the series is about an unconventional “family” who all bring something special to the table. Who doesn’t love a sweet and spooky combo?!

Viewing Questions
  • What do you notice about the setting? How would you describe it?
  • Who gives Renaldo the idea to start a business? What convinces him?
  • What kind of character is Renaldo? Andres? Ursula? Tati? What do we find out about each of them? What skills do they have? How do they work together?
  • How would you describe the mood of the show? Can you give examples?
  • By the end of the episode, how has the group come together? What have they accomplished? In what ways do they feel like a family?
Extension Activities

Take it one step further and record an oral history about your name and your family’s history. Here’s a guide on how to plan out an oral history project.

Family Game Night
Check out this list of the most popular games played in Latin America for inspiration!

More Resources!


Nina’s World, Recommended for PK+ (Hulu)
Oh Noah!, Recommended for PK+ (PBS Kids)
Pachamama, Recommended for Grades 4+ (Netflix)
Jane the Virgin, Recommended for Grades 8+ (Netflix)
Quinceañera, Recommended for Grades 10+ (Hulu)
Roma, Recommended for Grades 10+ (Netflix)


As always, if you have any questions, thoughts, or ideas, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at

Happy viewing,
Rebekah Fisk, Director of Education
Caroline Quigley, Senior Manager of School & Family Programs
Photos—Anina: Amazon; One Day at a Time: Sony/Pop TV
Support The Paley Center for Media

We hope this inspires you to watch and learn together in a new way at home! The Paley Center is here for you and, now more than ever before, we would deeply appreciate your support. Please consider making a donation: