Hispanic Heritage Month…and other musings: Part 2

Hello from Indy!

My husband and I are back from an amazing first anniversary/fall break trip we took through Arizona, New Mexico, and down to El Paso, Texas and even Mexico briefly! We did a LOT! Some of my highlights were witnessing the beauty of the Grand Canyon, listening to a Navajo woman’s stories and staying in her Navajo hogan in Monument Valley, attending the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, and crossing the U.S.-Mexico border from El Paso to Ciudad Juarez with hundreds of others who cross the bridge on a daily basis.

It was incredible.

And full of cultural experiences that I will forever cherish. I was thinking as I was on this road trip how I wish our students someday have the opportunity to travel to other parts of the United States and other countries around the world. 

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And while we can’t ensure that and can’t give them those experiences at this moment, we can provide them ways to explore other cultures, people, places, and events in a variety of ways:

  • We can take our students on field trips.
  • We can ask students to share about their own family’s customs, favorite foods, celebrations, or traditions.
  • We can provide fiction and non-fiction books that share accurate portrayals of other cultures/people/places/events.
  • We can share videos of events, past and present, from around the world (Flocabulary is a great resource (that I can get you access to), and there are current event videos posted weekly on Flocabulary at The Week in Rap Junior). Here is a great video on what “culture” is and a look at different cultures: Flocabulary: Culture
  • We can have our students write to or Skype with another class from a different part of the country or around the world.
  • We can provide interactive read-alouds and creative writing prompts using multicultural books.
  • We can incorporate Social Studies and Science standards in our ELA block.
  • We can have our students discuss/read/write about the history of immigration in the U.S. and its multiculturalism today.

What are some other ways you are ensuring your students are learning about the world around them? Please comment and share!

In the spirit of the Hispanic Heritage “Season” as I’m choosing to call it, here are some links to great resources for you:

Kids World Citizen 35 HHM Activities

My favorites in the above comprehensive list being:

5 Latino Role Models  I know we even have leveled readers (I believe 1st-2nd grade level) about Ellen Ochoa in the Scholastic book bins in the Teacher Workroom! Also, check out this link: 16 Children’s Books on Hispanic Heroes (I have “Pele King of Soccer, El Rey de Futbol.”)

Frida Kahlo Bio, Comprehension Sheet, and Self-Portrait Activity I purchased this already, so see me if you would like it!


Mexico Mini-Book   I purchased this as well, so let me know if you’d like it!

Pat Mora Books & Desert Habitat Activity  You can find many of her books at the Indianapolis Public Library. I plan on getting some that I can pass around!

Here are some more ideas/resources:

Discuss the destruction of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and how people are helping/how we can help. Help your students get to know the culture and history of this island. Here is one resource: Facts about Puerto Rico

Using other online resources and books from the library, have your class find out information about other places of Hispanic origin (see all Hispanic American Countries of Origin). You can have students create a poster and present, make a slideshow or mini-book, or compare/contrast the country with the U.S. Did you know we have students at William McKinley from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Colombia? As well, our wonderful bilingual assistant Natalia Restrepo is from Colombia, and I have lived for a bit in Bolivia and Mexico. Use us all as resources! These countries might be good places to start!

Free Printable Spanish-Speaking Countries Game Cards

Children’s Books about South America Here are some more read-aloud/lesson ideas.

I also have bilingual books and books relating to Hispanic Heritage in my own library that you can borrow, and I’m working on getting more. This book I recently got is great for finding Mentor Texts and using them to teach lessons!


And here’s another post from a Bolivian woman about why she, and why we should, celebrate Hispanic Heritage…Season 😉

Why Celebrate Hispanic Heritage

Finally, a fun opportunity coming up in Indy on October 28 (and it’s free!): Day of the Dead Festival at the Eiteljorg Museum

I hope that at least a few of these ideas and resources are helpful for you! There is so much out there if you search on sites like Teachers Pay Teachers and Pinterest as well. Reach out to me if you’d like any help implementing some of these ideas, if you’re in need of a multicultural book that goes with specific standards, or if you have any questions. I’d love to help.

And please feel free to comment below!

Hasta luego!


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