Updated On: April 24, 2020

Puerto Rico

Art & Design

Music

Children & Teenagers
Listen: One area in which Puerto Rico punches way beyond its weight is music. Its Spanish, African, and Taino heritage produced the perfect conditions to produce great music – whether on the island or in New York City’s thriving Puerto Rican communities. Give Tito Puente a listen (Spotify). You can look up the dozen other grammy winners and most viral musicians of all time from Puerto Rico (many of which require a parental advisory notice, however).

Science

Astronomy & Space Science

Children
Teach: Seasons on all points of the earth are caused by the globe’s rotational tilt and its affect on the duration of days at different parts of its orbit around the sun. Using a tilted ball’s rotation while orbiting around something bigger, compare the difference between the duration of days in summer and winter of polar areas of the earth with the summer and winter days of places on the equator. This should provide an easy explanation why Puerto Rico is a popular Christmas vacation destination.

Biology & Human Body

Children & Teenagers
Teach: Talk about introduced species. Neither the Iguanas nor the ball pythons are native to Puerto Rico. (Don’t worry, ball pythons are practically harmless which is why they’re a common pet.) They are both introduced species. Learn about other introduced species and how they affect the ecology of the places they are introduced to. Well-known examples are wild hogs in Texas or horses, cows, and dogs worldwide.

Children & Teenagers
Teach: Talk about coqui frogs. One defining thing about Puerto Rico is its Coqui frogs that make uniquely loud mating calls every night all over the island. They belong to the same family of frogs on the other Caribbean islands, but evolved differently here. To explore this topic of evolutionary biology further, consider going to the first source of these ideas in Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species and read about his research in the Galapagos Islands.

Children & Teenagers
Teach: Talk about bio bays. According to How Stuff Works, one theory for why the dinoflagellates in Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays glow when disturbed is because by doing so, they attract larger fish that want to eat the plankton-eating small fish. These bioluminescent, single-celled organisms light up in case the things that are disturbing them are these small fish. You can read more about this “Burglar-Alarm Theory” or about bioluminescence here.

Social Sciences

Geography

Children & Teenagers
Watch: Did you know that in addition to the 50 states and DC, the US has five territories, too? Here is an introductory explainer music video about it. The catchy tune will get stuck in your head so hopefully the ideas do, too!

Languages

Children & Teenagers
Memorize: Study Spanish on Duolingo and read Speaking Phrases Boricua if your Spanish is more advanced but need some assistance on Puerto Rican idioms.

World Cultures

Children & Teenagers
Teach: One area in which Puerto Rico punches dramatically beyond its weight on the global stage is beauty pageants. In less than 70 years of the Miss Universe pageant’s existence, Puerto Rico has won five times. In proportion to global population this island of 3 million should not have won once, and yet only the US (110 times the population of PR) and Venezuela (9 times) have won more than them. If interested, look into the criteria they use to decide on Miss Universe. What criteria do you personally think should be taken into account for an international competition on the “Miss Universe?”

How else might important subject matter be learned from this interest topic? Comment below! Half-baked ideas are more than welcome, too.