Inside: A collection of resources for creating a Dolores Huerta lesson plan or biography.
The name Dolores Huerta looms large in the space of women who have dedicated their lives to activism. This post will give you an overview of her life and achievements, plus many more resources for learning more about her remarkable life.
Here’s what’s included in the post. You can click on any link to jump straight to that section!
- Dolores Huerta Biography
- Links and Printables to Learn More
- Books About Dolores Huerta
- YouTube Videos
- Quotes from Dolores Huerta
Dolores Huerta Biography
Dolores Huerta is a renowned activist for the rights of farm workers and immigrants, and a leader for Chicano civil rights. With César Chávez , she helped form United Farm Workers to fight for better conditions
Huerta was born April 10, 1930. She grew up in mainly in California, among farming communities. She was mainly raised by her grandfather and her mother.
She worked as a teacher for a time, during which she saw how many children did not have enough food. Moved by the poverty she saw, Huerta decided she could help her community more by organizing and working to improve conditions. According to Huerta herself, “I quit because I can’t stand seeing kids come to class hungry and needing shoes. I thought I could do more by organizing farm workers than by trying to teach their hungry children.”
In 1955 she co-founded a local chapter of the Community Service Organization. In 1960, Huerta founded an association to help migrant workers receive documents and assistance. When she met activist César Chávez, the two united to create the National Farm Workers Association, which later become the United Farm Workers Union.
Huerta fought on behalf of workers for grape growers and later organized a national lettuce boycott in the 70’s, which helped bring about the 1975 Agricultural Labor Relations Act. She is famous for the phrase “Sí se puede” (“yes we can”), and continued fighting for workers until now. In 1988, she even suffered a severe police beating and successfully sued the city of San Francisco.
She continued her work well into the 2000’s and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012 from President Obama.
Dolores Huerta was married twice and divorced twice, and had five children with her second husband.
Dolores Huerta Awards:
- Presidential Medal of Freedom
- Ellis Island Medal of Freedom
- National Women’s Hall of Fame
- Puffin/Nation Prize
- Eleanor Roosevelt Award
Interesting Fact for Kids:
Dolores Huerta knew what is was like to feel discrimination. When she was in high school, a teacher accused her of cheating on her papers because they were so well-written. The teacher thought that someone from a Latino background could not have written such a good paper.
This sort of experience, along with what she witnessed across her community, inspired her to fight for change and be sympathetic to others.
Both Washington and California have declared April 10 “Dolores Huerta Day.”
Printables and links to learn more
- Younger students can color this free printable coloring page I made.
- This timeline is easy to follow and packed with images and information to accompany a Dolores Huerta lesson or for students researching her life.
- If you are able to get and show the PBS film Dolores, PBS has four 60-minute lesson plans to go with the movie.
- Britannica has a biography where you can choose the level (kids, students, scholars), and is a good place for directing students to research.
- Google Arts and Cultures Exhibit on Dolores Huerta
- Dolores Huerta Lesson Plan from Flocabulary (6th grade and up)
You also might be interested in my sets of biography slides and project templates for learning about Latinx and Spanish-Speaking leaders, plus a free guessing game.
Books for Dolores Huerta Lessons
These links are affiliate links.
Videos About Dolores Huerta
This short video from the Smithsonian is in English, with Spanish subtitles. (5m. 20s)
This is a 25-minute video on Huerta’s life, in Spanish.
This is the trailer for a PBS documentary on her life:
Top Quotes from Dolores Huerta
Here are some excellent quotes to share with your students.
“We must use our lives to make the world a better place to live, not just to acquire things. That is what we are put on the earth for.”– Dolores Huerta
“We as women should shine light on our accomplishments and not feel egotistical when we do. It’s a way to let the world know that we as women can accomplish great things!”– Dolores Huerta
“Every single day we sit down to eat, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and at our table we have food that was planted, picked, or harvested by a farm worker. Why is it that the people who do the most sacred work in our nation are the most oppressed, the most exploited?”– Dolores Huerta
I hope these ideas and resources were helpful to you! If you have more ideas for Dolores Huerta lesson plans, let me know in the comments below!
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