Today marks the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, a time of year to recognize the diverse cultures that make up the Hispanic community. As our neighbors to the south, Hispanic countries have left a lasting impression on American life, and today nearly one in five Americans are Hispanic.
This month, show your learners the importance of Hispanic heritage with these fun activities that are perfect for kids:
Get inspired by Hispanic leaders
Hispanic artists, scientists, and politicians have made immeasurable contributions to the world. This poster celebrates 25 Hispanic leaders who have made a difference through their work, and whose lives can inspire students to create positive change. See if your students can learn about all of the trailblazers featured on the poster, or pick one and research them in-depth!
Make traditional crafts
Every culture has crafts and artwork tied into its beliefs, and Hispanic cultures are no different. Teach your students about traditions in Hispanic societies and help them exercise their creativity with a craft project! They could make a Guatemalan worry doll, weave an ojo de Dios (eye of God), or sculpt and paint an Oaxacan alebrije. The Hispanic world is full of colorful crafts that will capture any kid’s imagination.
Follow a hero’s journey
Ellen Ochoa is the first Hispanic woman to go to space, and students can learn all about her life while building their reading comprehension! This sheet chronicles Ochoa’s life, from her childhood interest in math and science to her induction into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. After students read Ochoa’s biography, use the questions at the end to challenge them to think critically about what they learned.
Learn about Hispanic countries
The reason Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15 is because it’s the independence day for several Latin American countries. The histories and cultures of Central and South American nations are strongly tied to Hispanic identity, so learning about these countries should be a part of your celebration! We have fact sheets on Guatemala, Peru, and the Dominican Republic to get your learners started.
Start a Latin dance party
Hispanic and Hispanic-American musicians have had a huge impact on popular music for years, especially in the United States. Listen to some of the Hispanic musicians who became chart-topping successes, and see if your students can pick out the instruments, rhythms, and styles from Latin music that have influenced the wider music world:
- Quimbara by Celia Cruz
- La Bamba by Los Lobos
- La Guagua by Juan Luis Guerra
- Bidi Bidi Bom Bom by Selena
- Echa Pa’lla (Manos Pa’rriba) by Pitbull
Get even more ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Education.com’s Learning Library.