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National Hispanic Heritage Month is upon us and you’re probably here searching for a way you can celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
The good news is, you’ve already started! Odds are, there’s already a lot more Hispanic culture around you than you realized. Hispanic Americans make up nearly one-fifth of Americans today, with many more having cultural ties to Spanish-speaking countries and Latin America.
We don’t have to constrain our recognition of Latinx Americans to Dia de Los Muertos or Cinco de Mayo; there are many more fun ways you can bring Hispanic culture into your home, your classroom, and your mindset to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. We’ve compiled a quick list of some great ways to make National Hispanic Heritage Month an interactive experience for your and your learners.
N.B. These are best suited for learners at around the middle school level, but with some small adjustments, they’ll work for learners of any age, including adults!
¿Hablas Espanol? (Do you speak Spanish?)
There are so many different cultures embedded in the American identity, with nearly twenty percent of Americans identifying as Hispanic-American. The Spanish language isn’t just confined to Spain, Mexico, and other Latin-American countries, however! Introducing some Spanish into your everyday speech might be easier than you think. Odds are, you know some already!
- Cargo, Breeze, Stampede, Cockroach, Tornado; Besides being things that you don’t want to find in your bathroom, what do all these words have in common?
- They’re all Spanish words! They have been “borrowed” by native English speakers and are now included in English dictionaries.
- The opposite is also true! “Fútbol”, “click” and “sandwich” are all English words that many Spanish-speaking countries have adopted.
- Why not try making some printable labels for some everyday nouns around the classroom? By including some Spanish language in your classroom, you’ll be providing your learners with an interactive way of celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, que bíen!
Use the power of the screen!
Utilizing your modern classroom facilities can play a part in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and helping your learners to discover something new about Hispanic culture.
- Why not find a short documentary that explains some of the history and culture of a Spanish-speaking country?
- There are stacks of great videos on Youtube, arranged into topical playlists about Hispanic Americans, Latinos, and their long history of civil rights movements. Recommended if your students are middle school-aged or above.
- South America boasts some beautiful landscapes and archaeological sites, why not bring them right into your classroom with a virtual tour?
An interactive, Mexican-American game for you and your learners
Ever heard of Bingo? Well, in Mexico they play a game called Lotería, which is very similar except it uses images instead of numbered balls.
- Each player has at least one tabla, a board with a randomly created 4 x 4 grid of pictures with their corresponding name and number. Players choose a tabla (the Spanish word for “board”) to play with, each with a different selection of images.
- To supplement your lesson plans, find some printable Lotería tablas for a great, in-class game.
- You could make this into an immersive Hispanic culture lesson plan, by getting your learners to channel their inner Frida Kahlo and create their own Lotería picture books, complete with translations into Spanish words.
- You could even include some basic Spanish words as prompts for your printable tablas.
Hispanic Heritage Month Activities for your home
- Try making some authentic Mexican food. Tacos are one of the most famous Hispanic meals, beloved by everyone, not just Hispanic Americans! Be sure to use fresh ingredients and don’t hold back on the spices! One of the great things about Mexican food is that the recipes are all super easy to make vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free!
- Watch some films or TV shows in Spanish. Netflix and other streaming services have a huge range of Spanish-speaking TV. Instead of watching the dubbed version, try it with the English subtitles on. You’d be surprised at how much of the Spanish language you already know!
- Make a playlist of your favorite Hispanic artists. There are a whole lot of new genres to explore and you can brush up on your Spanish language skills. For example, Reggaeton is an ultra-energetic type of Puerto Rican electronic reggae music that is popular in Costa Rica, Mexico, and much of Latin America. Check out our Spotify playlist filled with our favorite Hispanic artists titled ‘Buena Música’.