If you’re making special plans to introduce your students to history and culture this month, check out these tips for teaching Hispanic Heritage Month! I think they’re important pieces to consider as you make your plans to celebrate.
More on Hispanic Heritage Month:
- Hispanic Heritage Month Activities and Lessons
- Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month in your School
- Digital Resources for Hispanic Heritage Month
- Spanish Classroom Decor for Hispanic Heritage Month
Watch the Video
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Year-Round
As a Spanish teacher, you probably already do this, but it’s important to note that celebrating Hispanic Heritage goes far beyond just one month. We need to make sure that we are highlighting the accomplishments of different people throughout the year. If you’re reading this after Hispanic Heritage Month, there’s no need to put it off til next year! Go ahead and do that project, watch that video, or invite that guest, whenever works for you in your curriculum.
Coordinate Across Levels
Coordinate with other teachers in your district to make sure you cover a variety of topics, across different levels. There is SO much we can look at and discuss, whether it’s exploring different countries through virtual field trips, readings on cultural traditions, or research projects to dive deep into learning about a particular person, place, or celebration.
As you are having that discussion and looking at your curriculum, make sure you ask yourselves who is missing. Do your students learn about tons of festivals in Spain, but never touch on anything from Colombia? Does Frida Kahlo get covered in 1, then again in 2, and then again in Spanish 4? Who else could you introduce your students to?
I’d like to share a short exercise with you. Take a list of the Spanish-speaking countries, and a highlighter. Then, go through your curriculum and pacing guide. As a country is included, highlight that country. If they are mentioned again, put a tally mark next to it. Continue throughout the year. Then, grab a different color highlighter and repeat it for each level that you teach.
Are there any countries that have no highlight marks at all? Are there some that have been highlighted, and have several tally marks next to it? What shifts can you make to your curriculum to more evenly distribute the cultures your students are introduced to?
Share Multiple Perspectives
After doing that exercise, you might see holes in your curriculum, or things you’d like to highlight even more than you already do. A great way to do that is to make sure you are using authentic resources and perspectives from within the culture itself, where people are sharing about their own culture from their personal experiences and memories.
You might be interested in reading more of the Author Spotlight series I have been working on to see some of the amazing authors sharing their stories with Spanish students around the world! Another good option to help you is from Command Performance Books. They have a filter to allow you to search for books from Latino authors, to hear from people sharing about their own cultures from their own voice.
Josefina Cabello has a blog post on bringing guest speakers in that is a great resource where she highlights five members of the Hispanic community who are ready to virtually visit your classroom. This would be another great way to bring in more perspectives and experts to your classroom!
Tips for Teaching Hispanic Heritage Month
I hope these tips, resources, and ideas are helpful for you as you consider your Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations throughout the year. I’d love to hear if you have any other recommendations or suggestions for tips!