This age-appropriate lesson plan explores the enduring legacy of Puerto Rican educator and advocate Dra. Antonia Pantoja. The story of Pantoja’s journey from an impoverished childhood on the island of Puerto Rico to nationwide acclaim on the U.S. mainland in New York City is one of the triumphs of spirit and vision over extraordinarily difficult life-circumstances. As the founder of the Aspira Association – the foremost Puerto Rican advocacy organization in the country – Pantoja committed her life to stressing that no significant change could come to her people without education. Though closeted throughout her life, Pantoja “came out” as lesbian on the last page of her inspirational memoir six months before her death from cancer. She did so in order to correct any mis-characterization of her life and legacy for LGBTQ youth in need of role models. Like all Legacy Project lesson plans, this document highlights four different learning tracks according to James Banks's multicultural education model and Bloom's Taxonomy. Tracks 1 - 4 are roughly structured to align with the cognitive retention and synthesis capabilities of students from early-to-mid Elementary School (Track 1); late Elementary-to-early Middle School (Track 2); late Middle School-to-early High School (Track 3); and early-to-late High School.
Suggested Study Subject Integration: Education, Social Justice, Puerto Rican History, LGBTQ History, Women’s History, American History