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 los Muertos. As Spanish teachers, we know every month should be highlighting and celebrating Latinx voices, but it is also nice to make 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.
- Lista lunes: Hispanic Heritage Month – Mis Clases Locas
- 6 Hispanic Heritage Month Ideas – La Secundaria
Activities for Hispanic Heritage Month
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 #6 for 2021
- Or if you teach younger students or at a more conservative school, check out YOUNG 1 song from each country instead!
- 20 Pandora Stations for Spanish Class – La Profe Plotts (SSS)
- Afro-latinx music for 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. 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. If you are looking for documentaries, check out these 5.
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
Finally, what is better than learning and celebrating HHM in Spanish class? Integrating the entire school and community! You could do something as simple as making a bulletin board in the lunchroom, main hall, or outside your room to help educate the students and educators at your school about this important month. Also, if you want to think beyond school, do a service project, helping those in your community, country, or the world. As a Spanish teacher, you are probably the ambassador of Hispanic Heritage Month in your school. So, if you need more ideas to reach beyond your classroom with HHM, check out the posts below.
- Do a school-wide Music Bracket aka Hispanic Heritage Month Music Madness
- Throw a World Language Lip Sync Night – World Language Cafe (SSS)
- Invite everyone to an event from your Spanish Club – Sol Azucar (SSS)
- Host a movie night and show an authentic movie from this list – Spanish Mama (SSS)