The great thing about Hispanic Heritage Month is that it gives you a whole month to teach about it. That can make it a bit intimidating too! Here are 10 Hispanic Heritage Month Activities to use in your Spanish class.
1. What is Hispanic Heritage Month?
Before you can celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, 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 Hispanic Heritage Month began, and the significance of the dates during September 15 – October 15. I also mention that it honors Hispanic Americans who have made significant contributions to the world in areas such as science, medicine, art, literature, music, film, etc.
2. Food Fridays
If you’re like me and food is one of your love languages, 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 Hispanic Heritage Month you could make (or buy) arepas, patacones, pupusas, horchata, buñuelos, etc. and have students sample 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.
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.
5. Research a Notable Hispanic American
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. 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 the 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.
8. Learn About Hispanic Americans with 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, 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:
9. Who Influences You?
In the spirit of recognizing influential Hispanic Americans, you and your students can use Hispanic Heritage Month 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, community member, etc. 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 a substantial Hispanic population, there will likely be some type of local Hispanic Heritage Month festivities. Googling your city or state + 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.
I hope some of these ideas will help you share Hispanic Heritage Month with your students and celebrate in your Spanish classes. If you’d like to shop Hispanic Heritage Month resources at a 30% discount, check out my bundle that includes a PowerPoint, mini book, task cards, project, quote banners, and more!