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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with Songs, Books and Activities

Hispanic Heritage month starts September 15!  How will you celebrate?


Will you teach songs from Latin America? You could sing a traditional song, or a more contemporary one by Canticuénticos from Argentina. If you haven’t checked these out yet, I love El mamboretá and El monstruo de la laguna! You can also find these as videos on YouTube. Let’s get kids moving to Latin beats!

Read Alouds

How about infusing culture into your read alouds?  I made a short selection of some fantastic read alouds for Hispanic Heritage month!  These books aren’t only about celebrations.  They’re also about a way of thinking, about values such as family, and the many identities of Hispanic children who were born both in or outside the United States. 


Will your class celebrate Día de los muertos? I rarely assigned coloring sheets as a teacher given that they don’t typically promote language development or comprehension.  However, sometimes we have to make an exception, and this is one of those occasions.  Go ahead and download our Día de los muertos coloring page.



Here’s how I would use it: Ask your students to draw a special person or pet who passed away in the picture frame.  In keeping with Mexican traditions, students can also think of the perfect ofrenda for that special member of the family.   

If you’re looking for books to read about death or Día de los muertos, I highly recommend reading La jaula by Germán Machado.  It’s a story about losing a pet, and will help discuss loss and personal growth from it.  A lighter read is Gustavo, el fantasma tímido.  Gustavo is a shy ghost who needs to overcome his fears for his new friends to see him.  



Once Book One School

Are you looking for a book for the whole school to read or to hand out to students in honor of El mes de la herencia hispana? Here are my top picks.

The rich, poetic language and vibrant colors of Jaguares y mariposas fill each page of this ode of self-empowerment for girls of Mexican heritage.  We also have it in English!

I’m totally in love with ¡Corre, Pequeño Chaski!  Chaski is the Inka emperor’s new messenger, and he will learn to hone many skills as he perseveres through challenges.  

Every year, the Pura Belpré Award is presented to a Latine writer and illustrator, but do your students know who Pura Belpré was?  Sembrando historias retraces Pura’s steps as she became the first Hispanic person to turn traditional Puerto Rican folktales into children’s books.  Her story of determination and desire to share her culture are a great inspiration.

¡Feliz mes de la herencia hispana!

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