President Ronald Reagan expanded Hispanic Heritage Week in 1988 to become Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated from September 15 to October 15 each year. This month honors the culture and contributions of Americans with Hispanic heritages from Spain, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean.
The timing of this celebration coincides with the September 15th independence anniversaries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Mexico also celebrates their independence day September 16 and Chile celebrates their independence on September 18.
Children can learn about Hispanic culture with all of their senses. There are songs to hear, recipes to taste and books to see to help students get a “feel” for Latin American culture.
A short geography lesson is up first.
Use a world map or globe to show the students the countries that make up Latin America. In the U.S., “south” will be a direction key.
Get a taste of Mexico with this easy recipe for Hispanic Heritage Month.
If you can bring a blender into the classroom, you can share a tasty Mexican fruit drink called “aqua fresca.”
Ingredients and supplies:
4 cups of seedless watermelon blender strainer pitcher 1 tbs. honey splash of lime juice ice cups
Put the watermelon in the blender and pour into the pitcher over a strainer. Stir in a splash of limejuice and a tablespoon of honey. Everybody can have a job. Pour in cups over ice. This fruity drink has half the calories of most fruit juices and all a full day’s supply of vitamin C for kids.
Here are four of my favorite children’s books for Hispanic Heritage Month.
Get Ready for Gabi: A Crazy, Mixed Up Spanglish Day by Marisa Montes The Day it Snowed Tortillas by award winning storyteller Joe Hayes Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale by Carmen Agra Cinco de Mayo by Mary Dodson Wade and Nanci R. Vargus
Try these free printables for Hispanic Heritage Month.
You can find a free Hispanic Heritage Month word jumble here that’s a great vocabulary builder for first grade through fifth grade.
You can reinforce vocabulary and practice alphabetical order in the classroom with this free alphabetical order printable for Hispanic Heritage Month.
Print trading cards for students of 12 Hispanic Heroes from NickJr.com.
Latin American music is an upbeat way to share Latin American culture in the classroom.
There is plenty of reading and writing to be done in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month but don’t forget the music. Play some Latin American music in the classroom to turn your celebration into a fiesta!