Inside: Resources and ideas for Hispanic Heritage Month in Spanish class. Each year the United States celebrates Hispanic Heritage month from September 15 to October 15. As Spanish teachers, this is an excellent opportunity to celebrate the varied cultures, histories, and contributions of Americans with Spanish-speaking heritage. Additionally, see this post for steps towards more equity in class as well. To be honest, in my first years of teaching, I did not do the best job making Hispanic Heritage Month a priority. With the back-to-school hustle and trying to start the year off right, the month of September often flies by. Suddenly it is October and time for Día de Muertos. As Spanish teachers, we know every month should be highlighting and celebrating Latinx voices, but it is also nice to make it a top priority for a month as well. Here are many resources to put culture at the core of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Resources & Ideas for Hispanic Heritage Month
What to do during Hispanic Heritage Month in Spanish class? First, these posts have many resources, links, and ideas to use for Hispanic Heritage Month.
- Hispanic Heritage Month – Mis Clases Locas
- 6 Hispanic Heritage Month Ideas – La Secundaria
- How to incorporate more culture in Spanish class
Activities for Hispanic Heritage Month
Music in Spanish Class
First, I have found that authentic music is an excellent way to connect with students while getting them engaged in the varied cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. You could play a new song during passing time, at the start of class, as a bell ringer, or use a song as the focus of an entire cultural lesson or unit. Besides these 15 ways to use authentic music in Spanish class, below are more music ideas for Hispanic Heritage Month.
- Hispanic Heritage Month Music Madness – Mis Clases Locas & NEW one song for each Spanish-speaking country #7 for 2022
- Or if you teach younger students or at a more conservative school, check out YOUNG 1 song from each country instead!
- Get enough songs from each country for all year in the Hispanic Heritage Month Music Growing Bundle
- 20 Pandora Stations for Spanish Class – La Profe Plotts (SSS)
- Afro-latinx music for Spanish class – intentionally diversify your music with representation
- Music Sample Freebie
Travel Videos of the Spanish-Speaking World
Students are more visual learners than ever. Grab their attention with short travel videos that show the beauty of the Spanish-speaking world. I created a slideshow that has the country, capital, nationality, two maps, and a travel video for all 22 Spanish-speaking places. Or if you want multiple options for each country, you could get the culture slides bundle. Use these Spanish culture travel videos as a class routine once per week to start each class or as a brain break. Or assign the whole slideshow as a cultural exploration sub-plan.
Films in Spanish Class
Everyone could use and deserves a little break and authentic films for Spanish class do just that. Input in Spanish, while learning about the diverse cultures of the Spanish world is a win-win. First, it all depends on your goals as to what audio and subtitles you use. For upper-level classes, I like to use Spanish audio and Spanish subtitles. For novice classes, I prefer Spanish audio and English subtitles. The only times I use English audio is for culture or maybe early Exploratory class, but with using a culture-rich film. Also, if you are looking for documentaries, check out these 5. You can find all of my movie guides HERE or my movie guide bundle here. Learn How-To Teach a Movie & here is more info about my 10 fav movies to teach in class.
Here are a few of my favorite appropriate films for Spanish class sorted by country.
- Colombia – ENCANTO + Blog post for Encanto
- Cuba – VIVO movie guide + blog post for Vivo
- Peru – PACHAMAMA + blog post for Pachamama or DORA Y LA CIUDAD PERDIDA + blog post for Dora
- U.S. – SELENA guide + blog post for Selena
- Spain – FERDINAND + blog post for Ferdinand
Or if you teach young students and just want short videos, check out this list of videos for HHM from Mrs. Cabello for lower school.
Also, Art is another cross-curricular way to gain students’ interest. You could read the novel Frida Kahlo by Kristy Placido, do an art unit, or just infuse art by projecting it or using it as decor in your room. Here are other art ideas we well.
- Galería: 10 artistas latinoamericanos que debes conocer
- Exhibits & Collections for Hispanic Heritage Month
- Make your own Diego Rivera Mural – Kid World Citizen
- 10 pintores latinoamericanos del siglo XX que debes conocer
Plus, I personally love to use comprehensible cultural readings or novels in Spanish. In my own classroom, I mostly use novels and texts written for Spanish learners. You can see all of my many posts about teaching with novels here. But, if you teach upper levels or heritage learners, this is the perfect time to pull out poetry, short stories, and books written by Hispanic authors. Below are more ideas including authentic infographics, novels, and comprehensible cultural readings.
- Interpretive Reading Activity: HHM Infographic – Spanish with Sra Shaw
- 10 books by Latinx authors to read (more advanced)
- Acento Latino Readers written by Native Speakers for Spanish students
School-Wide Involvement for HHM
- First, do a school-wide Music Bracket aka Hispanic Heritage Month Music Madness
- Then, throw a World Language Lip Sync Night – World Language Cafe (SSS)
- Or, invite everyone to an event from your Spanish Club – Sol Azucar (SSS)
- Also, you could host a movie night and show an authentic movie from this list – Spanish Mama (SSS)