Hispanic Heritage Month Activities
I love Hispanic Heritage Month, and love the activities we can do in our Spanish classes dedicated to it. It is a great opportunity to celebrate the fascinating, amazing cultures that speak Spanish. I also love that it is unique, it even gets a special month designation to honor the independence days throughout the Spanish-speaking world.
Some activities to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month:
- Why Learn Spanish? Some reasons to share.
- Invite some guest speakers.
Beginners, especially, need input from someone who is sympathetic. They need someone who is willing to speak very clearly to them so that they understand this new target language. It is from this understanding that we learn languages. As a learner, it isn’t always easy to have the confidence to speak to native speakers. You will make errors. It can take a lot of time to express yourself. It can be embarrassing and uncomfortable.
I have always loved having guest speakers in my language classes. While I can provide them a great deal of authentic input from a variety of resources, talking to people other than myself or their classmates is something that needs to happen as often as possible to keep developing fluency. I love having live guests come speak to my students. However, this isn’t always possible. italki makes this possible when someone can’t physically come to a class.
This activity covers all of ACTFL’s 5 Cs.
Cultures. Products, practices and perspectives.
Communication. This standard is at the center of the ACTFL standards for a good reason. Everything we do goes back to being able to communicate with others.
Connections. Spanish is super easy to connect to other topics because students are going to be exploring any theme that you’re studying.
Comparisons. Students will have many opportunities to explore language and culture. They will become more knowledgeable about English (or another language) from their time in your room.
Communities. Students are using language outside of school.
- At the Table. Speak, learn Spanish, immerse in culture by breaking bread and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Some ideas:
Here are some ways to make this happen in a school:
- You bring in a dish to share.
- You create an immersive, target language cooking lesson. You plan and purchase the materials via the school, and the students cook target language dishes. You share over target language conversations.
- Students bring in dishes to share.
- You get the funding from school. Parents volunteer, cook the dishes and you have your immersive lesson/meal.
- You have the students bring their lunch to your room instead of the lunch room.
Looking for some more activities to teach Spanish and Hispanic Heritage Month at the same time? Check out these resources:
Spanish 1. Use all the presentations with ¿De dónde….?. They’re used to talk about asking and answering where people are from, introduce the verb ser in context and introduce subject pronouns in context.
Use ¿Cómo te llamas? to also introduce how to ask and answer about names in context.
All of these presentations also introduce students to famous people and sights of the Spanish speaking world.
Spanish-speaking World PowerPoint. This PowerPoint introduces students to the capitals and countries of the Spanish speaking world. Also teaches in context how to ask what the capital of different countries is.
Quiz: Spanish-speaking World. Asking and answering about capitals.
Bingo. Play this to help students learn about the Spanish speaking world and the capitals. Puzzles also teach about the Spanish-speaking world and capitals.
Suitcases is a fun game to play after you’ve introduced students to how to talk about where they’re from, their names, and greeting people. Print out the slides (full size) and glue them onto construction paper or card stock. You can laminate them and then fold them in half. Students then have a place where they are from in their “suitcases”. Have them pick them out of a bag and ask where they are from.
Spanish 2. Use all the year one activities as a review for the very beginning of the year. Add in the PowerPoint, ¿Conoces a…?. This teaches students how to use the verb conocer in context with direct object pronouns, as well as introduces students to famous people from the Spanish speaking world.
Do the Amigos Nuevos. This fun activity students create a role, learn how to talk about this person, and then they attend a party in your classroom where they meet other exchange students. The activity culminates with a writing activity. You can also do the postcard activity. Included are some. It’s a template for a postcard, as well as some photos. Here’s the link to some free stock photos that your students can find pictures of the places where they are from.
Hispanic Heritage Month Hot Seat (athletes). Each student in class selects a famous athlete from the Spanish speaking world. They then answer a series of questions to talk about themselves and memorize all the answers. They then sit in the Hot Seat, where the class asks them all about themselves and they have to talk about it.
You can do this project with any theme. I have done the Spanish Royal Family and famous actors. Think musicians, artists, people from history. The possibilities are endless. Some questions to consider, cut, edit or add to:
¿Cómo te llamas?
¿De dónde eres?
¿Cuántos años tienes?
¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños?
¿Qué te gusta hacer?
I like to offer students an opportunity to dress up or bring in a dish or other cultural items to share for extra credit.
Do writing as an extension. I like to have students take notes during the presentations and select a couple to write a summary on. This creates a great IPA out of the project.
Are you looking for some ready-made activities for your Spanish classes? Check out the links below.
Evento Especial. This is similar to the party you did in year three, but a bit more detailed, with students playing famous figures from the Spanish-speaking world and staying in role the whole time.
Amigos Nuevos. This project has students researching and presenting on potential friends (uses subjunctive) from the Spanish-speaking world.
Historia de un país hispanohablante. Research project. Naturally incorporates a lot of past tense.
Si yo fuera de un país hispanohablante. Research project requiring student making if…then statements about what their life would be like if they were from the Spanish-speaking world.