It’s always important to make sure your curriculum includes a variety of cultures and perspectives from people throughout history. September 15th marks the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month, a date chosen because it coincides with several Latin American Independence Day celebrations. Hispanic culture should be part of your classroom all year long, so that students can feel included and represented.
This month is an opportunity to begin thinking of new ways to weave Hispanic culture into your classroom lessons throughout the year, by highlighting the histories, cultures, and contributions from places like Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
The History of Hispanic Heritage Month
First recognized in the United States as an awareness week in 1968, it was later expanded to Hispanic Heritage Month in 1988, lasting from September 15th to October 15th each year.
Today, Hispanic Heritage Month is a good reminder to appreciate and learn more about the lives, cultures, and histories of Hispanic people. Read on for a few ways you can explore Hispanic culture with your students.
Activities and Ideas that Highlight Hispanic Culture
You can help your students learn about a variety of cultures through fun activities that can be found in the Waterford Resource Library, available in both English and Spanish. For example, you could feature some folk songs in your classroom lessons like “Colors, Colors” from Mexico or “The Painted Rooster” from Argentina.
Here are some other fun ideas from around the web:
- Share a Little Each Day: Sharing some fun facts about Hispanic heritage each day can be a great way to offer bite-sized lessons on the topic.
- Practice Counting to 10 in Spanish: Counting to 10 in Spanish can be a fun and engaging way to introduce students to the Spanish language.
- Make Themed Crafts Together: Crafts can be a great option to explore Hispanic heritage with younger students..
- Discuss Hispanic Art and Music: Exploring art and music can help students learn about and connect with this heritage.
- Highlight Hispanic Change-Makers: Sharing a brief history of influential Hispanic figures in history can be another great way to celebrate.
Explore Spanish Through Reading
Check out these digital books available from the Waterford Resource Library. Your students may already be familiar with several of these traditional tales. Reading familiar books in Spanish can be a great way to introduce a new language while supporting dual-language learners in the classroom.
Research shows that children can build the phonological awareness skills necessary for reading by learning new words in any language! Practicing these skills in both English and Spanish can help children become successful lifetime learners.
For more book recommendations, check out our list of digital books for International Literacy Day.