Honoring Cesar E. Chavez

By Eric Antuna on March 18, 2010
  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

March 31st, 2010, marks the 83rd anniversary of César Estrada Chávez's birthday, a true American hero. You may wish to honor César Chávez by spending some time discussing, or using the lesson plans and resources that follow, to help your students learn how a caring, humble man lead strikes and boycotts that resulted in the first labor contracts and protections for farm workers to unionize.

César Chávez's non-violent struggle to help migrant farm workers has left a lasting legacy for us to embrace and share with others. This humble humanitarian lived his life treating everyone fairly. His vision for equality, justice and dignity for all Americans helped people understand the importance of labor unions for poor and disenfranchised farm workers.

I have gathered some things I found on the internet that I will use with my class as soon as we go back on track. One of the "gems" of my research is the model curriculum lessons found on the California Department of Education website. This curriculum uses a standards-based lesson format to provide an in-depth exploration into Chávez's life, career, and later work organizing farm workers. The vocabulary lessons and comprehension lessons are very nicely thought out. I've linked to the second grade lessons below, but you can find K-12 grade level materials.

Second Grade Lessons from the California Department of Education


Other Web Resources

BrainPop's FREE movie about the life of César Chávez

César Chávez Day: Grade 1 Model Curriculum and Resources (California Department of Education)

César Chávez Day: Grade 2 Model Curriculum and Resources (California Department of Education)

Book Wizard titles about César Chávez

UCLA Biography of César Chávez

The César Chávez Foundation

The United Farm Workers

César Chávez Day in San Francisco

Downloadable Chavez Learning Guide from Oregon Volunteers


I can't wait to get back into my classroom to explore this unit with my students!

Thanks for reading! If you have any other examples, please share below!



Forwarding your blog to the Beacon Center in Sunset, San Francisco, which is mostly first generation Asian. Thank you a bunch. Chavez was one of my personal heroes of all time.


Thanks for forwarding it! He was a great man that represented much needed change!


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