Hispanic Heritage Month is annually celebrated from September 15 to October 15. It is a time for Americans who identify as Latino or Hispanic to celebrate and share traditions. It is also a month to recognize the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements for the United States.
If you teach in the U.S. this is a celebration you can't miss. But how do we start?
Bueno, it's called Hispanich Heritage Month. So it makes sense to begin with the first word: Hispanic.
The word Hispanic refers to Spanish-speaking countries. It is also a word to describe a Spanish-speaking person of Latin American descent living in the US.
In both cases, the "Spanish" part is the key. Let's begin the celebration making sure that our students know where Spanish is spoken.
There's a section in our free warm-up page called Hispanidad y países. Use these resources to teach the 21 countries where Spanish is an official language.
We also have a worksheet that we use on our Day 2 of Spanish 1 courses (beginners) in case you'd like students to work on paper.
2 Hispanic American champions who have inspired others
Our students know where Spanish is spoken. What next?
Let's continue by honoring some of the Hispanic champions that have made a remarkable contribution to American history:
- Ellen Ochoa (advanced): a 5:28 video about the first Hispanic woman in space. The activities that come with the video also include information about Gabriela Mistral and Frida Kahlo.
- Diana Trujillo (intermediate): this video is part of the escape room about Mujeres hispanas que hicieron historia. Even if you don't do the whole escape room, you can show it to your students to give them a model about how to present a Hispanic champion. The video is free on FlippedSpanish.
- Older -but still good- lessons (beginners): Some of our first lessons are especially appropriate for this time of the year, such as the one on Salma Hayek or ¿Quién es quién?, with Gabriel García Márquez, Rigoberta Menchú and Paulina Rubio among others.
3 Other Hispanic heroes
Isabel Allende, Federico García Lorca and Antoni Gaudí are some of the best Hispanic artists of all times, and they all have a connection with the U.S.:
- No other woman sells more books in Spanish than Isabel Allende (advanced). The Chilean author currently lives in California and her books are also bestsellers in the English edition.
- Federico García Lorca (advanced) lived in New York for a short time. In this lesson we take a close look to his life and amazing work.
- Antoni Gaudí (advanced) almost got a skyscraper built in Manhattan, but the project didn't finally succeed. In this lesson about our favorite artist, we learn how he managed to come up with so many wonderful designs.
4 Celebrate culture
Hispanic Heritage Month is also a celebration of the rich culture of Hispanic communities. Almost all our lessons show culture one way or another, but here are some of the most remarkable ones:
- Mexican food is popular in the U.S., and worldwide. In this lesson for beginners we take a look at the antojitos which include, of course, tacos.
- Two very practical lessons for intermediate students that will teach them how to follow two easy Hispanic recipes: Guacamole and Tortilla de patatas. Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with food is a clear win!
- Hispanic culture is directly connected to music. As Guatemalan music maker Meneo says: "if there's no music, it seems like a police interrogation". This lesson for advanced students focuses on the connection between music and entertainment.