10 Ideas for Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month will be here soon!  The great thing about HHM is that it gives you a whole month to teach about it.  That can make it a bit intimidating too!  I wanted to provide you with 10 ways to teach and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in your Spanish class.

1.  What is Hispanic Heritage Month?
Before you can celebrate HHM, students have to know what it is!  I do this with a short PowerPoint presentation that tells about HHM being a celebration of the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans with Hispanic heritage, how HHM began, and the significance of the dates during September 15 - October 15.  I also mention that HHM honors Hispanic Americans who have made significant contributions to the world in areas such as science, medicine, art, literature, music, film, etc.  Students make these mini books to take notes and organize the information from the PPT.  You can find the PPT and Mini Book here.  I have both an English and Spanish version of each so that you can use it for beginner and upper levels.

2.  Food Tasting
My students always loved anything related to food!  A fun way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month is to bring in samples of authentic Hispanic recipes for students to try.  It doesn't have to be a huge potluck or anything crazy, but just enough for each student to get a taste of a food they may not have tried before.  For example, each Friday of HHM you could make arepas, patacones, pupusas, horchata, buñuelos, etc. and have students try them.  If you have any students of Hispanic heritage in your classes, you could also ask if they'd like to bring in a family recipe for their class to taste.  If you live in a larger city, you could also provide students with a list of restaurants and stores where they can find authentic Hispanic foods.  For more recipe ideas, you can check out my Recipes board on Pinterest

3.  Notable Hispanic American of the Day
Similar to my Cultura Diaria, I wanted to create a daily resource for Hispanic Heritage Month.  I put together a calendar of notable Hispanic Americans for each school day of Hispanic Heritage Month.  Each day has a notable Hispanic American, their photo, something they are known for (Spanish and English versions), and a link to a short video clip about them.  This would make a great class starter or warmup during HHM.  I even included coordinating bulletin board headers in case you wanted to print out the pages for a bulletin board or hallway display for HHM.  You can find more info about this resource here.

4.  Show and Tell
Similar to the Hispanic Heritage Month Food Fridays, you could make Tuesdays "Muestra martes."  You could start by bringing in cultural items from your collection for students to see.  Then any students who have traveled to Spanish-speaking countries or who have any cultural photos or items of their own could bring them in to briefly share with their class.  Depending on your students' level of Spanish, you could choose to have them present in English or in Spanish.

5.  Notable Hispanic Americans Research Project
An important part of Hispanic Heritage Month is recognizing the contributions of Hispanic Americans.  Students can research notable Hispanic Americans and complete a report about them.  I like to use this simple infographic project.  Students give the person's name, title or profession, their Hispanic country of origin, and list their accomplishments and awards.  It can be completed in English or Spanish.  It can also be completed by hand or digitally.  In addition, you can choose to have students present about their person in Spanish.  These completed projects can make a great bulletin board or hallway display.

6.  Hispanic Crafts
Crafts can be fun and educational!  You can explain the history behind a craft and have students present or write in Spanish about their craft to add educational elements to any traditional Hispanic crafts.  There are so many wonderful craft ideas you can choose from.  I put together a Pinterest board with lots of Hispanic Art projects ideas that you can use in your classes.

7.  Spanish All Around Us
A great indicator of the influence of Hispanic Americans is that Spanish and Hispanic cultural influences are all around us.  You can challenge your students to bring in photos or examples of the influence of Spanish language or Hispanic culture.  These may be signs in Spanish, images from Spanish-speaking countries in advertisements, Spanish in song lyrics, etc.  You could use the last few minutes of each class for students to show their examples, and you can even have a challenge to see which class can bring in the most examples.  You can create a bulletin board or have a poster board for each class.  You can expand on these by analyzing the spelling of signs, pronunciation of Spanish, etc.

8.  Notable Hispanic Americans Task Cards
I've heard many teachers say that they don't have as much time to teach about culture, holidays, and celebrations because they have too much other material to cover.  I created this task card set as a way for students to become acquainted with 32 notable Hispanic Americans while practicing their Spanish throughout Hispanic Heritage Month.  Each task card lists the person's name, birthday, age (or age at death), where they are from, their Hispanic nationality, occupation, and something they are known for all in Spanish.  There are lots of ways that students can use these cards:
-present about the person on their card
-have a "get to know you" conversation with a partner with each person assuming the identity of the person on their card
-play "Scoot" and answer reading comprehension questions about each person
-write a paragraph about the person on their card
-play "Firma" where students ask each other questions to find someone who fits the category on their Firma card so that they can sign it
-write an imaginary story about a day in the life of their notable Hispanic, what they did yesterday, what their childhood was like, what they are going to do tomorrow, etc, depending on which verb tense(s) you would like them to practice

9.  Influential Hispanics
In the spirit of recognizing influential Hispanic Americans, you and your students can use HHM as an opportunity to talk about the influential Hispanics in your own lives.  You can present students with the task of talking or writing about a person of Hispanic origin who has been an influence in their lives.  It can be a neighbor, family friend, teacher, coach, church member, etc.  You can start by telling students about someone who has been an influence in your life as an example.
10.  Local Celebrations
If you are fortunate enough to live in or around a large city with substantial Hispanic population, there will likely be some type of local Hispanic Heritage Month festivities.  Googling your city or state and Hispanic Heritage Month should lead to some local festivals and celebrations.  Make sure that your students know about these and hopefully they can attend and experience the food, art, music and culture that these celebrations would include.

More Resources
I have a Pinterest board for Hispanic Heritage Month that I will be adding more ideas and resources to.  Check it out by clicking on the photo below:

If you are interested in any of the Hispanic Heritage Resources from my Sra. Cruz Store, you can find them at a 20% discount in this HHM Bundle

Feel free to pin any of the images in this post to save ideas for later!  What activities will you be doing in your classes for Hispanic Heritage Month?  Let me know in the comments below!

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