Posts Categorized: For Educators

Teaching Current Events with Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a territory belonging to the United States. It could become a state, or it could declare its independence from the United States and become a new nation. While most schools in the continental United States do not include Puerto Rico in history lessons, the current unusual position of this island territory could… Read more »

Hispanic Heritage Month: An Update on Puerto Rico in Stateside Classrooms

Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15th to October 15th each year. It is an opportunity for classrooms across the United States to honor the contributions of the Latino community. Yet, even though Puerto Ricans make up the second largest group of Hispanic Americans in the United States, Puerto Rico is often ignored in classrooms… Read more »

Puerto Rico and the Inauguration

On January 20, 2021, America celebrated the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as President and Vice President, respectively, of the United States. This year’s inauguration was different from the usual, since the United States is still experiencing a coronavirus pandemic and Washington is responding to the riot in the Capitol building on January… Read more »

What Do Polls Tell Us about Puerto Rico Status?

Gallup released a poll of Americans across the nation last week showing that nearly two thirds of respondents support statehood for Puerto Rico. Their findings confirm a trend seen in other polls. Stateside Americans are ready for the 51st state — and they want Puerto Rico in that spot. What about Puerto Ricans? Three 2019… Read more »

For Educators: Primary vs. Secondary Documents in Puerto Rico History

An important distinction in historical research is the difference between primary and secondary sources. Puerto Rico makes an excellent study for this topic. There are many misconceptions and disagreements about the history of Puerto Rico. Challenge students to choose a topic on which people now disagree, and track down primary sources that can help distinguish… Read more »

Understanding Puerto Rico: Classroom Discussion Questions – History

In our continuing series of classroom discussion questions, we examine the history of Puerto Rico, particularly focusing on its political status. Q: When was Puerto Rico first inhabited? A: Puerto Rico was inhabited by the Taino people perhaps as early as 900 BC. Q: When was Puerto Rico first visited by Europeans? A: Columbus landed… Read more »

Puerto Rico in National Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month begins September 15 and continues to October 15. Across the country, classrooms will build piñatas, learn a few words of Spanish, and study some individuals from Spanish-speaking countries. Before Hurricane Maria, 25 freshmen in a Midwestern college classroom were asked about Puerto Rico’s government. One student knew that Puerto Rico is… Read more »

What Does It Mean to Be a Territory of the United States?

Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States… but just what does it mean to be a territory? The United States formed as a union of 13 British colonies which banded together as a group of individual states. Each state saw itself as distinct from the others, and all were nervous about having the… Read more »

Understanding Puerto Rico: Classroom Discussion Questions

Puerto Rico Report is frequently consulted by academic researchers and students in many States as well as in Puerto Rico. In response to requests from some of these users, it is now publishing discussion questions and documents which could be used in the classroom to understand Puerto Rico’s political status and history. The following includes… Read more »

The Truth Behind the Boycott over “Commonwealth”

Much has been written about the boycott of the 2017 plebiscite by Puerto Rico’s second-largest political party, the Popular Democratic Party (PPD, for its acronym in Spanish). Yet not much is said about the reasons used to justify the boycott in the first place. To answer this question, a chronological review is in order. This… Read more »