10 Ways to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Your Classroom
Hispanic Heritage Month, also known as Latinx Heritage Month, celebrates the rich contributions of Latin-American and Spanish communities to the history and culture of the United States. For a full month, the enduring legacy and profound impact of Latinos and Spaniards are recognized and celebrated through different activities, such as parades, discussions, and festivals across the United States.
Originally established in 1968 as National Hispanic Heritage Week, this celebration was extended to a full month in 1988. Running from September 15th to October 15th, it coincides with the Independence Day celebrations of several Latin-American countries, such as El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua.
Join our Meg Spanish teachers who reflect on what it means to be Hispanic in our video:
Classroom-Ready Activities: Dive into Latin-American and Spanish Cultures
To celebrate this wonderful month and learn more about Latin-American and Spanish communities and culture with your students, explore our ideas down below!
Global Learning Activity Cards
Explore a range of engaging activities inspired by Hispanic culture with our ever-growing range of fun, cross-curricular activities suitable for all ages. From delicious food recipes, arts and craft projects, and even a musical maracas DIY, there is something here for everyone! Download our activity cards here.
Get Crafty: Inspiring Hispanic and Latin-American Art Projects
Get creative with your students as you learn about Hispanic Culture.
These most fantastical and colorful creatures are part of Mexican culture. You might have seen them before in the movie “Coco” as guides of the soul when going to the Land of the Dead. These creatures come from the imagination of a Mexican artist, who saw them while he was in a coma. Through time, Alebrijes have grown into a big part of the art scene in Mexico.
Learn more about Alebrijes and create your own Alebrije with your class. This video has a tutorial on how to make “Dante” and “Pepita” from the movie Coco. You can also make other designs according to your students’ styles. See where your student’s imagination can take them!
Let’s Play: Engaging Hispanic-Themed Games and Activities
One of the most engaging ways to learn about other cultures is to play. The following games are very famous and a significant part of Hispanic Culture:
Invite your students to play Dominoes, like people from Cuba. Dominoes are usually played outside, on the neighborhood’s court or sidewalk, and sometimes, games get very competitive. Usually, men play this game while they talk about life, sports or family life. This is a space for fun, but also to connect more with friends and the community.
Play Dominoes either bringing a set of Dominoes to the class, or ask students to create their own Domino pieces with their styles. This can open the opportunity to learn numbers in Spanish, as students would need them to count when they play.
Rayuela is a game played around Hispano America by children of all ages – it is just like Hopscotch! Rayuela is usually played in school backyards and parks.
Students can play Rayuela in the school yard. You will need chalk, a small rock or toy that can be used as a marker, and lots of energy to jump! Follow the instructions in this video and have fun jumping and counting.
Learn About Prominent Hispanic Figures
For older students, Hispanic Heritage Month provides a platform to learn about the influence that Latino, Spanish and Caribbean people have had on the United States and the world. Discuss important figures with your classroom that have influenced your community, country or who’ve made a global impact. Here are some pages to get the discussion started:
- “11 Great Hispanic Artists Who Shaped Western Culture”
- “Latino Art and Artists”
- “15 Influential Hispanic Americans Who Made History”
- Actors, Actresses, Producers, and Directors
- Musicians and Songwriters
- Hispanic and Latin-American Politicians in the U.S.
Students can select personalities to present to the class. Explore their influence and how they represent the communities they come from.
Let’s Get Cooking: Explore Delicious Hispanic Recipes
Organize a cooking night or cooking activity with your students to learn how to make delicious, yet simple Hispano-American dishes. Include families, if possible, and enjoy easy-to-make recipes, like arepas and sweet and sour fruits! Explore our Meg Spanish Recipe Cards here.
Bilingual Labels For Your Classroom
A great way to feel closer to a culture or community is to learn their language. Bring some Spanish words into your classroom, school, or even your students’ homes using our colorful, printable bilingual labels. Label everyday school supplies or classroom items, and encourage students and parents to make similar labels and set them up around the house. We provide bilingual labels that you can use in the classroom—check them out here!
Decorate Your Classroom!
Bring Hispano-America into the classroom by using selected spaces to share artifacts, such as flags, toys, images, fauna and flora from ecosystems in Latin America and Spain, papel picado in the traditional Mexican style, or colorful masks ready for any carnaval. Use the following links to get some ideas for your classroom space:
- Hispano-American flags and their meaning — Challenge your students to create a flag from Latin-America or Spain. Encourage students to discuss the colors, symbols and the significance behind them. Each country represents their values and perspectives in their national symbols, and this is exercise is great opportunity to get a better understanding of them.
- “How to Make Papel Picado“ — Watch this video to learn how to make these vibrant papel picado decorations with your students!
- Learn more about the Carnaval de Humahuaca — Watch this video with instructions on how to make these beautiful, colorful masks. Encourage students to get creative and customize their designs with their favorite colors.
There are many fun and informative ways to learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month, dive in and experience the richness of Hispanic culture and language! We would love to see how you celebrate this in your classrooms, please share your photos and tag us on social media!
This post was updated for relevancy on 8 September 2023.
Paula is the Program Coordinator and Curriculum designer of the Spanish Program for Meg. She has been teaching English and Spanish to students from Colombia and Australia for six years. She is passionate about languages, culture, and communication in context, which led her to complete a Master program in Applied Linguistics. Her interests include; intercultural communication, cultural linguistics and the greater role of technology in education. She can be found on LinkedIn.