Maria J. Fierro-Treviño

NATIONAL STANDARDS:  COMMUNICATION, CULTURES, COMPARISONS, AND COMMUNITIES

Hispanic traditions and customs cannot be defined in a paragraph or in a book but in volumes of books.  Hispanics share Spanish as the main language of communication; however, some words vary in meaning in different countries. Indigenous languages are still spoken all over Latin America.  Hispanic traditions, customs, celebrations are similar; yet, some may vary from country to country.  Do all Hispanics in the United States practice these traditions? Some Hispanics have completely assimilated into American life and do not practice their traditions.  For others, traditions, customs, and celebrations are part of their everyday lives. Let’s take a glimpse of Hispanic traditions, customs, celebrations, and other areas that are practiced throughout the Spanish-speaking world.

Activity:  Students select a topic of interest or review one assigned by the teacher to research and to prepare a presentation.  (See examples) The presentation may be written (PPT), oral, visual, or a combination of all three depending on the topic.

Teacher:  Plan an international fiesta event to be held in the evening.  Parents are invited to participate in the fiesta. For the event, some students prepare a traditional Latin American dish, others develop a presentation board with illustrations of traditional native clothing or actual clothes, while others demonstrate a dance, etc.  Assign students to work alone, in pairs, or small groups depending on the task.  Provide specific instructions as to what you expect from each of the projects. The difficulty of the task will depend on the level of the students’ language.  Develop different rubrics (if appropriate) depending on the written, oral, or visual presentation.

Examples:

  • Traditional foods of Native Americans in México, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America:  Recipe and food preparation.
  • Traditional foods of Hispanics in México, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America:  Recipe and food preparation.
  • Indigenous and modern clothing:  Compare using illustrations and written descriptions.
  • Shopping:  Foods, stores, habits, etc.
  • Myths and Storytelling:  Summarize and illustrate one myth or story.
  • Family traditions and gatherings: Sunday dinners, pachangas, etc.
  • Music and dances:  Students learn a dance and demonstrate it.
  • Celebrations:  Weddings, quinceañeras, cumpleaños, independencia.
  • Latin American sports and sports played in the United States.
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