11 Activities To Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
According to the 2019 Census, nearly 19% of Americans are Hispanic. Over 60 million individuals, to be exact. Throughout the year, Latino and/or Hispanic Americans should be honored for their achievements because our shared past as Americans is shaped by them. However, we have the chance to delve deeper during Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15–October 15). The diverse cultures and histories of Americans with ancestors from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America can be taught to our pupils. Some of our favorite Hispanic Heritage Month activities are listed below.
Read publications by and about Hispanic Americans.
By distributing books written and produced by Hispanic or Latino authors and illustrators, you may observe Hispanic Heritage Month. Each day, the younger grades might read a different picture book. A book taster of novels written by Hispanic authors might be fun for older students. For suggestions on books, look at the lists below:
- Grades 6-8: 10 Exciting New Middle-Grade Books with Latinx Main Characters
- High school: 30 YA Books by Latinx Authors We Can’t Wait to Read in 2020
- Grades K-5: Picture Books by Latinx Authors and Illustrators
Spanish language education
Why not include Spanish lessons in the school day, given that Spanish is the predominant language in the U.S.? Try the wildly popular (and free!) website and software, Duolingo. It entertainingly provides easy-to-understand Spanish courses. Want something more urgent? There are numerous possibilities on YouTube for quick tutorials on the Spanish names for the colors, the alphabet, and other topics. Even “Baby Shark” can be taught to your kids in Spanish. Here are all of our best picks for Spanish-language websites.
Spin the globe once.
People frequently only highlight Mexico when they observe Hispanic Heritage Month. However, Latino and Hispanic Americans are also from diverse countries. Since Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua all celebrate their independence on September 15th, that date was chosen to mark the beginning of the Hispanic Heritage Period. On September 16, September 18, and September 21, respectively, Mexico, Chile, and Belize commemorate their independence days. Each country has its own culture and traditions we should teach our kids about.
Younger pupils may investigate a country and present important information to their class. There is a variety of information available on National Geographic Kids. On the other hand, older students could observe Hispanic Heritage Month by learning more about the cultures and traditions of each country. Here’s a link to a resource to learn more about every country’s distinctive traditions and customs.
Talk about representation.
One method to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month is to examine well-known Americans who are already Hispanic or Latino. Educating your pupils about the contributions of Hispanic Americans will help them understand the impact these people have had on the world. Hispanic Americans, from Hollywood to Washington, D.C, shape our country every day.
It is permissible to address the underrepresentation of Latino and Hispanic Americans with senior kids. Despite making up nearly 18% of the population in the United States, they are notably neglected in politics and the media. Older students might research this subject, draft letters to the editor, or engage in a Socratic discussion in class to examine potential solutions.
Look into Hispanic music.
It’s vital to take a moment to reflect on the fact that, while appreciating another culture’s music (or food, see below) is a fantastic way to enrich any learning experience, it is just insufficient on its own to be truly meaningful. We encourage teachers to incorporate music and food into a bigger celebration of learning and not as the only activity to enhance students’ experiences during Hispanic Heritage Month.
However, music is a fantastic medium for igniting interest and curiosity about cultures. Playing Hispanic music continually is a great way to honor Hispanic Heritage Month in the classroom. There are many playlists to choose from if you simply search for “Hispanic Heritage Month” on Spotify or Pandora. Selena’s Bidi Bidi Bom Bom will undoubtedly make everyone smile and expose your students to musical genres they might not otherwise be exposed to.
Study the Day of the Dead
Numerous other countries also observe this occasion, even though Disney’s “Coco” introduced many young people to the Mexican version. For instance, creating and eating guaguas de pan is popular in Ecuador (bread babies). These baby-shaped loaves of bread are made and frosted with frosting in vibrant hues. Huge kites with vibrant decorations are flown in celebrations around Guatemala to honor departed family members. Encourage pupils to find out more about how various countries observe this occasion. Ask students to compare Halloween to El Dia de Los Muertos as an additional opportunity for critical thinking development.
Sample some cuisine
The typical meals of a culture, like its music, can greatly improve pupils’ comprehension and appreciation of that culture. Many of our pupils have eaten a burrito or a quesadilla or heard the term “Taco Tuesday.” But there is much more so than tacos to study about as we commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month, just as there is more than one country to learn about. Hispanic cuisine is diverse and distinctive, just like Hispanic and Latino nations.
Create a menu that honors traditional Hispanic cuisine to give older kids a chance to exercise their research techniques. Have them check up on Latino and/or Hispanic countries and their favorite dishes. Next, ask them to identify menu items that could be used as starters, main courses, and desserts. Show younger children some of the Hispanic cuisine’s most well-liked American meals. Bring in some samples from a nearby bakery if you can. During Hispanic Heritage Month, conchas and Mexican sweet-topped buns are especially well-liked.
Get lost in the arts.
We rarely provide our pupils with the chance to view and engage with art. Show your students some of the beautiful artwork produced by Hispanic and Latino artists to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month. Students should select their favorite musician. Which work speaks to them, if any? What do they believe viewers can discover about the artist from their work? Consider including a few contemporary Hispanic artists whose work is now available on Instagram and other social media sites.
Playing while learning
Two very well-liked Hispanic table games are also fantastic classroom games!
Dominoes are a well-liked tile-matching game in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Puerto Rico.
This straightforward game is ideal for peaceful activities or indoor recess at the end of the day. But don’t let its straightforward instructions deceive you. A game of dominoes can be played using a variety of methods. Older pupils are invited to investigate some of the strategies used by domino players to secure victory.
Like Bingo, Lotera substitutes images from a deck of cards for the letter-number combinations seen in Bingo. Typically, there are 54 different photos in a lotera. A table with 16 of the 54 randomly selected photographs is given to each player. Players place a bean, rock, or other markers over the image if it matches as the caller or cantor—Spanish for “singer”—reads aloud the brief word that goes with each image. The winner is the first person to finish a row and exclaim, “Buena!”
Take online field trips.
There are numerous Latino and Hispanic heritage sites in the United States. Anyone who cares to look may see the profound impact that Hispanic and Latino Americans and their predecessors have had on the development of our country, from wild ponies in Virginia to glaciers in Alaska. Encourage your students to research one or two of these great places to understand more. Allow them to present their findings to other students so they can learn more about Latino and Hispanic heritage while also developing their public speaking and teamwork abilities.
Use experts’ advice.
According to the NEA survey, 79 percent of teachers identified as white and non-Hispanic in 2018.7% more people identified as black and non-Hispanic. How can a teacher from a non-Hispanic background ensure that the information they give their students is accurate and pertinent? First, educate yourself. When you don’t know anything, admit it. Ask those who are knowledgeable.
Have trouble distinguishing the terms Hispanic, Latino, Hispano, or Latinx? It turns out to be quite complex! Spend some time learning more about the subject so you can guide your pupils through the same difficulties. Many excellent publications and videos are available to ensure your pupils have access to the right knowledge.