Searching for something to do with your students for Hispanic Heritage month? Look no further than your recycling bin, your refrigerator, your cupboard, and your junk drawers! That’s right – there are many easy-to-follow Hispanic Heritage related craft projects and recipes that you can do with your students, and all you need are a few simple supplies:
- Use plastic water bottles, wooden dowels, Duck Tape, and dried beans or beads to create your very own maracas. Afterwards, shake, shake, shake to some Latin rhythms!
- How about making a guiro? Just by rubbing a pencil against a water bottle filled with beans or other rattling things, students can feel like their playing Latin band in no time.
- What kid doesn’t like to bang on drums? Quench their thirst by collecting oatmeal cans, butter or ice cream tubs, and coffee cans to make percussion instruments, such as mini bongos or congas. The rhythm is gonna get you!
- Make a piñata from a balloon, newspaper strips, and your very own papier-mâché mixture using flour, salt and water. Add cupcake liners, tissue paper, or scraps from magazines and newspapers to decorate the outside. Then stand back and students try to whack it open and scramble for the treats.
- Don’t feel like getting messy? Try making a piñata from a large paper bag. Decorate the bag with layers of tissue paper, add some string to the bottom, fill it with candy and treats, and voila! Once your students break it open and rummage for the treats, they won’t care that your piñata was once used to bag your groceries.
- Whip up some fresh guacamole and serve with tortilla chips. Then, for dessert, make sombrero cookies using icing, gumdrops, sprinkles, and sugar cookies. Be careful not to eat too many of these or you may hear Mariachi music coming out of your ears!
- Print out coloring pages of the flags of Hispanic countries and have your very own United Nations (or should I say Las Naciones Unidas) in your classroom!
- Study famous Hispanic artists, like Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró and others. Then have students draw a self-portrait in the style of one of these artists. Visit websites of art museums around the world that feature Latin artists to inspire students even more.
While students are recovering from all the celebrating, candy, and yummy snacks, have them unwind by listening to or reading a book featuring Hispanic characters or themes or a bilingual folktale. Your students will clearly see that celebrating Hispanic Heritage month is sure to be educational yet exciting and fun.
Oct 01 10 Hispanic Heritage Month Activities for your Classroom - Resources for your Spanish Classroom
By - Angela Padron
During Hispanic Heritage Month (from September 15 – October 15) you and your students can learn about the cultures of Hispanic countries from around the world. Yes, I said cultures, with an “s.” Why? Because not all Hispanic countries are the same. There are actually 20 different Spanish-speaking countries, including Spain, Mexico and countries in the Caribbean and Central and South America. They may all have some similarities but each is unique in many ways. In addition, students can learn about the history of Hispanic countries as well as famous people of Hispanic descent.
During Hispanic Heritage Month, there are several fun activities to conduct in your classrooms, such as:
- Assign each student, or pairs of students, a country to research and present about.
- Highlight a holiday or cultural practice from a different country every day.
- Create projects of cultural artifacts from different countries each week.
- Hold a Hispanic Heritage Night where students bring in foods and dance to music from different countries.
- Invite students, their family members, faculty, or community members who are from different Hispanic countries to come in and speak to your class about their cultures.
- Compare and contrast the different holidays, including Independence Day, in the United States with Hispanic countries.
- Have students choose a famous person of Hispanic descent and have them write an autobiography as the person. Then allow them to dress and act like that person for the day.
- Have students identify Hispanic influence in their own neighborhoods, such as local restaurants and stores, town and street names from Spanish origin, and friends and neighbors who speak Spanish.
- Have students conduct an interview with a friend, neighbor, or community member to find out more information about their Hispanic heritage. Then have students share their findings with the class.
- Present a Spanish Word/Phrase of the Day for students to practice learning a new language.
With these ideas, and more, you and your students will have a great time learning about Hispanic heritage. Who knows – maybe you’ll celebrate it all year long!
Some of the most fun I had with students was during Spanish Club activities. Some clubs are for additional, informal conversation practice. Most of the ones I was involved with as a teacher were culturally themed. If you don’t have a club at your school, I highly recommend organizing one. Our Spanish club was an opportunity to further explore culture in Spanish-speaking countries with not only the students in our classes, but also those who weren’t taking Spanish. The club turned out to be excellent P.R for our program. A number of students who didn’t initially take Spanish, decided to take Spanish later. The club also exposed even more kids to the Spanish-speaking world. I also got the chance to get to know some wonderful kids who weren’t in my classes-yet. And for the kids I did teach, this was an informal way to work with things they learned in class and to get to know each other in a less formal setting. We were having fun-no grades involved and no performance anxiety.
All of us were taught that Columbus discovered America, meaning the Western Hemisphere. But most of us who were educated in Latin America learned that America is one of five continents, represented by one of the five interlocking rings of the Olympic Games. The other four are Africa, Asia, Europe, and Oceania, the last one combining Australia and Antarctica. In most English-speaking countries, however, we teach that there are seven continents, essentially dividing America into North and South, and Oceania into Antarctica and Australia.
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