Manual Main Page

Beyond the Farm – Exploring the World of Migrant Farm Workers

by Elida Guardia Bonet

Migrant workers move from farm to farm throughout the United States, picking the crops that we enjoy in the supermarket. It is a hard life, a life of constant changes and uncertainties. This program honors those who spend their days in the fields.

Books to Share

  • Amelia’s Road by Linda Jacobs Altman.
  • Calling the Doves / El canto de las palomas by Juan Felipe Herrera.
  • La mariposa by Francisco Jiménez.
  • Radio Man by Arthur Dorros.
  • Tomás and the Library Lady by Pat Mora.

Books to Show or Book Talk

  • César Chávez by Consuelo Rodríguez.
  • The Circuit by Francisco Jiménez.
  • Joyride by Gretchen Olson.
  • Not Just Party Girls by Jeanne Betancourt.


Decorate with books about farms and pictures of farms, fruit groves, vegetable fields, and buckets and baskets of fruits and vegetables.

Bulletin Board

Display a map of the United States showing different routes that migrants take. On the map, show the types of produce grown in different states. Add pictures of migrant workers in the field.


"Something in the Rain" on Culture Swing by Tish Hinojosa.

"De colores" on De Colores and Other Latin American Folk Songs for Children by José Luis Orozco.


(From Tun-tun ¿Quién es? by Doris Marcano & Carmen Heny)

Todos pasan por mí,

Y yo no paso por nadie.

Muchos preguntan por mí,

Y yo no pregunto por nadie.

(La calle)

They all pass on me,

And I do not pass over anyone.

Many ask for me,

And I do not ask for anyone.

(The road)

Blanco y no es papel.

Colorado y no es clavel.

Pica y pimienta no es.

(El rábano)

White and it is not paper.

Red and it is not a carnation.

Stings and it is not pepper.

(The radish)

Verde como loro

bravo como toro.

(El ají)

Green as a parrot

fierce as a bull.

(The chili)

(From ¿Qué será, que no será? by Diana Dearden & Verónica Uribe)

En el campo me crié

atada con verdes lazos

y aquel que llora por mí

me está partiendo en pedazos.

(La cebolla)

In the fields I was raised

tied with green bows

and he who cries for me

is cutting me into pieces.

(The onion)


Read a favorite poem from Gathering the Sun by Alma Flor Ada.

Read a poem from Voices from the Fields: Children of Migrant Farm Workers Tell Their Stories by S. Beth Atkin.


Luis Valdez Early Works: Actos, Bernabé and Pensamiento Serpentino by Luis Valdez. This book contains a collection of nine Teatro Campesino Acts or Farmworkers Theater skits that were written and presented as social protests.

César Chávez: A Mini Play by Larry Stevens. This is a short play based on the life of César Chávez.

Presenters/Programs in Communities

Have a migrant worker or a former migrant worker come and speak to the children.



Ristras are strings of chilis that hang in many Texas homes and are used to bring good luck. You will find directions for making paper ristras at the Search for "ristra," then click on "International Crafts," and then click on "Mexico: Ristra."

Produce Map

Make copies of the map of the United States here and give one to each child. Have the children draw and color the produce grown in different states and the routes migrants may travel.

Web Sites

United Farm Workers

Programs for Families | Young Adults Program

Page last modified: March 2, 2011