Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month in the Classroom

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Classroom Application
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“The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace.”

Carlos Santana

These words resonate deeply as we approach Hispanic Heritage Month. It’s a time when we open our hearts to the richness of Hispanic culture. From September 15 to October 15, you’re invited to immerse yourself in Hispanic Heritage Month, a time dedicated to recognizing the significant contributions and rich history of the American Latino community. In this blog post, let’s explore how we can turn this celebration into an immersive learning experience for our students.

Embark on Virtual Cultural Expeditions

Go on virtual cultural expeditions through Google Earth and Google Arts & Culture. Google Arts & Culture offers a digital exhibition called Latino Art Now, with an array of online exhibits from various Latino artists. Encourage your students to explore famous Hispanic artists, historical events, and cultural artifacts. You can even create assignments or discussions based on what they discover. Google Earth offers an opportunity to dive into the heart of Hispanic culture through their Latino Murals in the U.S. virtual tour. Students can virtually navigate to streets with captivating Latino murals and learn more about the significance of these murals and the artists who designed them.

Turn research into a fun learning adventure!

Encourage your students to delve into the history of Hispanic heritage. Let them choose a topic that resonates with them, whether it’s Hispanic contributions to science, literature, music, or even specific cultural figures. Students can choose how to share their findings with the class. After they’ve shared their research, you can extend the activity by challenging them to create Hispanic heritage Kahoots! (reviewed here). Kahoot! Student Passes offer an opportunity for students to have access to the full functionality of the Kahoot! creator. They can craft questions that engage their peers while testing their knowledge of Hispanic heritage.

Another research activity to consider integrating into your Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations is spotlighting influential Hispanic individuals by creating digital storybooks. With Book Creator (reviewed here), students can turn their research into beautifully designed storybooks. This activity can serve as a tribute to these remarkable individuals! 

Suppose you want to go beyond research and virtual tours. In that case, the Anti-Defamation League offers valuable resources and insights for teachers, providing another excellent source to gather ideas and materials for your Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations.

Beyond the Month: Fostering Year-Round Cultural Appreciation

Lastly, I want you to consider how you can make the celebration of cultures ongoing in your classroom. While designated months are fantastic, consider how to create a classroom culture that embraces diversity all year. Consider integrating multicultural perspectives into your curriculum when applicable, diversify your reading lists, and create space for open discussions about cultural diversity consistently.

Hispanic Heritage Month provides a powerful opportunity to celebrate Hispanic and Latino communities’ vibrant culture, contributions, and diversity. By incorporating engaging Hispanic heritage activities into your classroom, you can inspire cultural curiosity and appreciation. We invite you to share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below for how you will celebrate Hispanic heritage this month!

About the author: Erica De Los Santos

Erica De Los Santos is a Learning Experience Designer with a wide range of experiences in education. From her work in the Peace Corps, to helping teachers as a SEL and Cultural Proficiency and Inclusiveness Specialist, she has developed a deep understanding of pedagogical practices that help teachers to propel all students to academic success. When she’s not working on classroom applications, Erica enjoys running and works to develop inclusive environments for other runners.

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