The end of Hispanic Heritage Month – How can we continue to celebrate culture in the classroom?

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It is that time of year again! Hispanic Heritage Month is a month-long celebration – starting September 15th and ending October 15th — recognizing the histories, cultures, and contributions of the rich Hispanic culture within the United States. During this time, there are many ways in which you can help your dual language student celebrate. Recognition and celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month can help students appreciate and their learning of the Hispanic language. We heard from classrooms across the country about the many ways they celebrated- how do we keep the cultural party going year-long, and show students the importance of culture in the classroom?

Below are a handful of great tips, which can help foster a celebration and appreciation for the Spanish language and Hispanic culture, inside and out of the classroom.

Assign students countries which speak Spanish for them to research
To show the diversity of Spanish-speaking countries and to help your students appreciate the width of the Hispanic influence and culture, divide students into groups within the classroom and let them research a given country. They can learn about tourist attraction sites, cultural events and the history of the country. The different groups can then present in class so that the knowledge on the research can be shared. It is an easy yet fulfilling and rewarding task which will make the students learn a lot about Hispanic speaking countries.

Highlight holidays from different Hispanic speaking countries each day
Select some Spanish-speaking countries and pick holidays for students to research and learn more about. In the research, students will get to know the different celebrations that happen within the country and culture. It is a great way for the students to learn more about the heritage of different countries, as well as deepen their empathy and respect for cultural celebrations.

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Create models of cultural artifacts from different Hispanic speaking countries
There are several artifacts which are used in and can represent different countries. Create a project for students, where they can learn about – and potentially create artistic recreations — these artifacts. This creates another opportunity for the students to learn more about specific cultures within the Hispanic influence, while also understanding Hispanic history.

Photo for Article: The end of Hispanic Heritage Month - How can we continue to celebrate culture in the classroom?

Hold a Hispanic Heritage Night at school
Host a night at school dedicated to Hispanic heritage. Students and their families can come and learn more about Hispanic cultures by interacting with others, try cultural meals, and hear about personal experiences with culture.

Let students write biography of famous Hispanic people
There is a plethora of influential persons who come from Hispanic origin. Students can participate in a biographical report in order to learn more about some of these famous faces! This project can help students build an appreciation for the work that many have done, the heritage they share, and the experiences they’ve had in common when mixing their personal heritage with their work.

Photo for Article: The end of Hispanic Heritage Month - How can we continue to celebrate culture in the classroom?

Good luck with these tips, and we hope you had a wonderful Hispanic Heritage Month!

Patricia Griselda Pérez
Author: Patricia Griselda Pérez

Dr. Patricia Pérez holds an A.A. from Ohlone College: B.A. and M.S. degree from California State University, East Bay and an Ed.D. from the University of San Francisco. She serves as an educator, consultant and teacher coach, which provides professional development, curriculum development and multicultural awareness services to local and international educational institutions and corporations. Dr. Pérez is fluent in Spanish and began her career as an elementary school teacher in a bilingual classroom. In the past two decades, she has developed a wide range of experience working at every level of public education, providing support to educators and directly to students. Her interest focus on promoting educational excellence through equity in order to overcome institutional barriers that confront underserved students of diverse backgrounds. Dr. Pérez is also an accomplished writer and has published in the areas of multicultural education and organizational management and leadership. She is a contributing author to Multicultural Education in Practice: Transforming One Community at a Time and Collaboration and Peak Performance: A Multidisciplinary Perspective for Emerging Leaders.

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