Hispanic Heritage Month is a great time to introduce new cultural elements! From September 15 to October 15 each year, you can share fun activities and authentic resources from around the world to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!
First off, you’re in the right place for Hispanic Heritage Month activities! I’m sharing my favorites from my classroom and activities I’ve saved for later.
Looking for Spanish 2 or Spanish 3 readings for Hispanic Heritage Month? Check out these readings about Selena Quintanilla, Ellen Ochoa, and Dolores Huerta. Use them now or save them for Women’s History Month in March! Even better: Grab this Hispanic Heritage Month bundle!
I love a good fun fact, especially at the start of class. Last year, I started every class with a fun fact. After a while, I asked students to tell me what they knew, and they remembered so many fun facts from the start of class! It was awesome.
If you don’t want to spend a whole class period on one small piece of information, fun facts are the way to go. Fun facts help you share smaller pieces of culture and history without dedicating an entire class period to the topic. Check out this free fact sheet for Hispanic Heritage Month.
Additionally, you can use fun facts as a jumping-off point for projects and deeper cultural exploration. This free list could be used for project themes, or to encourage students to dig deeper into a topic and share their knowledge with the class.
There are tons of videos you can use to share Hispanic Heritage Month with your students. Most importantly, you’re often using authentic materials right off the bat! What a bonus! Read more about making authentic resources more accessible for your students here.
This is a great introductory video about why we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and how it got started. This resource explains latino/latina/latinx, afro-latino. The speakers share personal stories, and you can use the video to spark a conversation about perspectives. Even better, a fabulous teacher created this video guide to help your students dig deeper!
The difference between Hispanic and Latino is a bigger conversation (and thus, a longer video). This resource explains the differences between the two terms and shares historic information.
Readings and Stations
Texts for Hispanic Heritage Month
Above all, readings offer students opportunities to acquire new vocabulary, pick up grammar concepts, and learn more about the world around them. To help my students, I encourage them to access texts by identifying cognates and familiar words when reading. As a result, my students feel confident and ready to read in a foreign language.
Moreover, these readings from Srta. Spanish are a great option for Spanish 1 students. If you’re looking for Spanish 2 or Spanish 3 readings, check out these readings about Selena Quintanilla, Ellen Ochoa, and Dolores Huerta.
Stations = Engagement
I love stations. I leave stations as sub plans and I use stations for most holidays because I know my students will be engaged, on-task, and moving.
Here’s why stations work for Hispanic Heritage Month:
- First, students can look at different information at each station and reflect afterwards
- Second, students can use different skills at different stations
- Third, you can sit at a more challenging station to support and check in with students (don’t sit with your back to the class; make sure to sit in a spot where you can monitor the class’s progress)
- Finally, students move every 5-10 minutes, using up some energy and breaking out of their routine
This bundle from Srta. Spanish could easily be used as a station activity for Hispanic Heritage month and the readings above would be perfect for stations.
In short, I love stations. While they’re an easy way for students to access a lot of materials in one day, stations are tricky now due to COVID-19. Read more about how I’ve adjusted my teaching for the pandemic.
Perk #1: Students explore authentic resources.
Did you get the computer cart today? Even better, do you have tech in your classroom? Amazing! Also, I’m so jealous. Web quests are a fantastic way to dig into authentic resources. Students can read materials written for historical purposes or texts written for native speakers.
Teachers make fabulous web quests for students.
This amazing presentation about Latin American and Hispanic Heritage has SO many resources that you and your students can explore throughout the month. This resource includes country resources, books, readings about individuals, and information about universities with higher concentrations of Hispanic students. What’s more, you could use this daily in class or as a web quest for students to explore!
Here’s a five-star web quest for students to learn more about famous Hispanic people, customs, and contributions. This could be a great sub activity or a fun way to spend a class period. Unfortunately, I haven’t tried this web quest (because I’ve never been lucky enough to have computers in the classroom), so please comment below if you give it a try!
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