Resources to Teach Kids About Puerto Rico

April 8, 2020

Jeannette Tuionetoa

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Now and again, I get to write about things that bring me joy. One is the Creator of the Universe and His means for salvation. Another is my family. Right up there close to these is Puerto Rico (PR). PR is my heritage, my DNA and culture.

If anyone knows me, they know I LOVE being Puerto Rican. If you want to learn about the history and people of “The Rich Port,” “La Isla Bonita/The Beautiful Island,” then explore these resources to teach kids about Puerto Rico.

Resources to Teach Kids About Puerto Rico text with background image of a painted Puerto Rican flag


Learning about Puerto Rico (teach your kids their history)

I love to write. When I write about something I love, I get a little carried away. So please bear with me. I will try to keep this short and sweet but no guarantees because I LOVE Puerto Rico!

When I lived in Florida, I never tried to teach my kids about Puerto Rico, where my ancestors are from. We were around Puerto Ricans plenty, and I just assumed we would have time to learn about it. Now living away from America, I wonder what I was thinking.

I want my children to know that side of their heritage. I want them to see the fire that burns inside of me to dance, be loud, and listen to Latin music. My poor kids are made to hear Spanish music mostly every day, except on Sundays. My sweet kids never complain. They even dance with me sometimes. 

They know I long to be around my people, long to speak my language, to dance on the holidays, and hear my uncles playing the conga and bongo drums. What I wouldn’t give to hear our cousins playing the maracas or güiro while everyone sings together.

It is one of the joys I have from my childhood. I am grateful to the Lord that in the midst of the bad, he gave me a good and colorful memory to share with my kids. 

Proud of being Puerto Rican

If you know any Puerto Rican, you know that they are proud of it and will most likely show it with a Puerto Rican flag somewhere, anywhere. Whether it be in the car hanging from the rearview mirror, a sticker on the back of the vehicle, a flag in the house, or a full Puerto Rican flag shower curtain (yes, they exist), we do it all.

image of Puerto Rico outside
Photo by Ernesto Tapia on Unsplash

We aren’t ashamed. I am glad I married my husband, who is super mellow and lets me be crazy about my ethnicity. I am a salsa-music-blasting-while-cooking-and-cleaning, loud-yelling-PUERTO-RICO-out-the-car-window-in-a-foreign-country (for no good reason at all), New York born-and-raised Puerto Rican. Now, I get to write about it! God gives you little tiny presents sometimes, and this for sure, is one for me.

Have you ever heard of the coquí?

Did you know that the symbol of Puerto Rico is a tiny tree frog name the coquí? You may ask why I am bringing up the national frog first.

The coquí represents its people perfectly, as being resilient and loud. – I have read it said before like this: Small island, small frog, BIG VOICES! By the way,  coquís are only 1 to 2 inches in length and 2 to 4 ounces of weight.

At night in PR, everyone falls asleep to the sounds of the coquí. They make calls that sound like, “Co-kee! Co-kee!” The sound of the coquí has been measured at 90-100 decibels, which makes it the loudest amphibian, ever. The call is made by the males to attract females and repels other males during the mating season.

Puerto Rico now only has about 17 species left. I was so sad to hear that the legend of the coquí my ancestors told me about wasn’t entirely true.

We were told as kids that the coquí frog could ONLY live in Puerto Rico. They said if anyone tried to take it out of Puerto Rico, the frog would lose its voice and die.

Unfortunately, I discovered (yes, only while writing this) that coquís had been taken to Hawaii to preserve them, and yes they live there successfully. I was deeply saddened.

I was sad until I realized that I was deeply saddened that the coquí didn’t lose his voice and die. How demented did I sound?! So fine! I am glad the frogs can live outside our little island. Although how cool would that have been if it were true?

Let’s dive into La Isla Bonita.

Here are a few facts to teach kids about Puerto Rico:

Puerto Rico is only 100 miles long and 35 miles wide, with an area of 3,500 square miles.

The island of Puerto Rico has two official languages, English and Spanish!

Puerto Rico is an archipelago with over 143 islands, cays, and islets.

It is a territory of the United States and has about 3.4 million U.S. citizens living there.

There is a monkey Island there! The Monkey Island, also known as Santiago Island, is inhabited by 1,000 rhesus macaque monkeys.

Tibes in Puerto Rico is the most important archaeological site of Taíno indigenous heritage in the Caribbean.

El Morro or the Castillo San Felipe del Morro was built in the 16th-century to protect the island from seaborne enemies.

A castle surrounded by a body of water
Image by grapesky from Pixabay

Puerto Rico has the world’s largest radio telescope, it was made to look at asteroids in space.

They have a black beach, with black sand. It’s called Playa Negra. That means the black beach in Spanish. The black sand results from sedimentary rocks and the shifting of the tectonic plates.

Americans do not need passports to visit Puerto Rico and vice versa.

And I will leave you with this.

The piña colada is the official drink of Puerto Rico. Get your kid-friendly piña colada recipe here.

You can read more about Puerto Rican Food and Culture here.

Grab these resources to teach kids about Puerto Rico in your homeschool:

Puerto Rico Theme Unit |

Puerto Rican Studies for Kids Lesson Plans | Boricua Kids

Teaching About Puerto Rico  (FREE Book Caribean Connections: PR)| Teaching for Change

Puerto Rico | A to Z Kids Stuff

Puerto Rican Food and Culture | Multicultural Kid Blogs

19 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Puerto Rico | Spanish and Go

Puerto Rico Flag FREE Coloring Page | All Free Printable

Kid-Friendly Piña Colada from Puerto Rico | Discovering the World through My Son’s Eyes

Puerto Rico Coloring Workbook | Discovering the World through My Son’s Eyes

PUERTO RICO – Printable handout with map and flag | TES

Learn About Puerto Rico with This FREE Bilingual Coloring Workbook | Kid World Citizen

Cuatro – National Instrument of Puerto Rico – FREE Coloring Page | World Music With DARIA

Puerto Rico Facts and FREE Resources for Kids in Spanish and English | Spanish Playground

Puerto Rico Bulletin Board Set | Mundo de Pepita

Resources to Learn Puerto Rican Spanish |

First 3 Puerto Rican Spanish Words Kids Learn to Read |

Puerto Rico Word Search | DLTK-Kids

Exploring Puerto Rico Landmarks FREE Printable | Discovering the World through My Son’s Eyes

Taíno Petroglyphs: Rock Art for Kids | Kid World Citizen

Puerto Rico Writing Craftivity (English & Spanish) | Mynda Rivera

El Coquí de Puerto Rico. Spanish Lesson Plans with Printables & Google SlidesTM | Speak More Spanish

Puerto Rico Writing Craftivity (English & Spanish) | Mynda Rivera

Puerto Rico Country Study: Reading & Writing + PowerPoint Distance Learning | Yvonne Crawford

Celebrating Our Heritage Poster Project for Hispanic Heritage Month | Srta Walter

Puerto Rico Reader {en español} & Cut & Paste ~ Simplified for Language Learners | Speak Up Language Learners

Puerto Rican Güiro Craft: Celebrating Latino Culture This Hispanic Heritage Month & Always! (Video) | ModernMami

Puerto Rico: Reading Passages and Activities Digital Learning | White’s Workshop

Puerto Rico FREE Coloring Activity | Mommy Maes

7 Easy Spanish Songs to Sing – Lyrics, Videos, plus a FREE Printable! | The Homeschool Resources

FREE Puerto Rico Notebooking Page | Homeschool Helper Online

Kids Explain 13 Puerto Rican Spanish Words |

If you will be studying other geographical locations or countries, the resources below may help. 

FREE Unit Studies About Other Countries

FREE Unit Studies about Other Countries text with image of a magnifying glass over a map

USA FREE Country Study: States, Landmarks, Facts and More

Free USA Country Study

FREE Printable Kids Passports for Country Studies | Living Life and Learning

I didn’t do too badly or write too much, although I really wanted to. I thought I would write for ages.

Puerto Rico is a commonwealth o the United States of America; the people are loud; they are vibrant and full of color. Enjoy your time studying this beautiful land and its people.

Resources to Teach Kids About Puerto Rico

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