For all you Spanish teachers out there, Oct. 15th-Nov. 15th is Hispanic Heritage Month. Here are 10 fun, classroom activities to teach your students about the 21 Hispanic countries and famous Hispanics.
1. Research Project – Have your students research famous Hispanics and report back to the class using a 5 slide PowerPoint presentation.
Page 1: A cover slide with a picture of the person, his/her name, and birth date.
Page 2: Why is this person famous?
Page 3: Biographical information (family, country of origin, education)
Page 4: Interesting facts about this person (ex. What challenges did he/she have to overcome?)
Page 5: Some representation of the person’s work (music, video clip, etc.)
2. Map Study – Have your students learn all the Spanish speaking countries and where they are on a map OR for extra credit on a quiz, ask students to list Spanish speaking countries.
3. Food Project – Assign each student or group of students a country. Have them create the flag for that country, find out a few interesting facts about the country, and cook an authentic food from the country to share with the class.
4. Daily Famous Hispanic – Every day or every few days, start class by teaching your students about a famous Hispanic. (OR ask your students to do this and present to the class).
5. Music and Videos – Find songs or video clips from different countries and show one from each country at the beginning or end of class (or have the music playing while students are working). You can ask students to find songs, too. Younger students might like songs by José Luis Orozco. I started collecting free song links on my Pinterest page that you can use in your classroom. This summer, I spent hours finding the perfect video clips to showcase the character and culture of each country. Here’s a link to a resource I created if you don’t have time to search on your own. Using video clips like these in Spanish class can add so much culture and comprehensible input to your classroom. The students love them and it really opens to eyes to other ways of life.
6. Guest Speaker – Ask a native speaker to come to your class to talk about his/her country. Props, accessories, and photos are welcome.
7. Pen pals – Have your students write letters to students at a school in a Spanish speaking country.
8. Nationality Partners – To help your students learn the nationalities in Spanish, have them write 3-4 nationalities on a piece of tape or front page of their notebooks. Then they pick a partner for each nationality and write it down. Whenever you have activities in class, say which partners they’ll be using. Ex. Parejas ecuatorianas Ex. Parejas peruanas. This ensures that they work with different people in class. Every quarter, pick new nationalities and new partners. Tell them that in a global economy, we need to learn to work with all different types of people. I created a freebie with the flags for nationalities partners. Just download it, print it, and use it in your class the next day.
9. Read a Hispanic themed book and talk about cultural differences. One of my favorites for advanced Spanish students is “Cuentos con sazón” by Lulu Delacre. You can pick a chapter to read or read the whole thing. Each chapter talks about a festival, celebration, or tradition from a different Hispanic country. My students read the whole book and then write their own chapter for an end of year project. Younger students might like “Arroz con frijoles y unos amables ratones” by Pam Muñoz Ryan.
10. Make a Hispanic craft with your students. If you need ideas, you can check out my Hispanic Crafts Pinterest Board.
If all this sounds like a lot of work, I have created a few ready to use lesson plans for Hispanic Heritage Month.
Check out my “Famous Hispanics PowerPoint Game” and “Hispanic Countries Bundle” (video clips, flags, nationality practice, maps, quizzes, flashcards, interesting facts, etc.).