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.
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!
- 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!
- 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?