By – Angela Padron
During Hispanic Heritage Month (from September 15 – October 15) you and your students can learn about the cultures of Hispanic countries from around the world. Yes, I said cultures, with an “s.” Why? Because not all Hispanic countries are the same. There are actually 20 different Spanish-speaking countries, including Spain, Mexico, and countries in the Caribbean and Central and South America. They may all have some similarities but each is unique in many ways. In addition, students can learn about the history of Hispanic countries as well as famous people of Hispanic descent.
During Hispanic Heritage Month, there are several fun activities to conduct in your classrooms, such as:
- Assign each student, or pairs of students, a country to research and present about.
- Highlight a holiday or cultural practice from a different country every day.
- Create projects of cultural artifacts from different countries each week.
- Hold a Hispanic Heritage Night where students bring in foods and dance to music from different countries.
- Invite students, their family members, faculty, or community members who are from different Hispanic countries to come in and speak to your class about their cultures.
- Compare and contrast the different holidays, including Independence Day, in the United States with Hispanic countries.
- Have students choose a famous person of Hispanic descent and have them write an autobiography as the person. Then allow them to dress and act like that person for the day.
- Have students identify Hispanic influence in their own neighborhoods, such as local restaurants and stores, town and street names from Spanish origin, and friends and neighbors who speak Spanish.
- Have students conduct an interview with a friend, neighbor, or community member to find out more information about their Hispanic heritage. Then have students share their findings with the class.
- Present a Spanish Word/Phrase of the Day for students to practice learning a new language.
With these ideas, and more, you and your students will have a great time learning about Hispanic heritage. Who knows – maybe you’ll celebrate it all year long!