What’s Happening This Week
There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.
Looking for age-appropriate book recommendations, author interviews, and fun activity ideas? Check out our podcasts.
Hispanic Heritage Month begins today.
|Grades||5 – 12|
|Calendar Activity Type||Holiday & School Celebration|
A time for celebrating the culture, art, and achievements of Hispanic people, September 15-October 15 has been designated as Hispanic Heritage Month. September 15 also marks the independence days of five Hispanic countries-Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico achieved independence on September 16, and Chile on September 18.
Begin by brainstorming with students all the various aspects of culture, in this case, Hispanic culture. Remind students that culture is not just race and ethnicity but extends to dance, music, art, architecture, education, family dynamics, film, religion, politics, literature, food, holidays, and much more.
Once students have compiled a list of potential topics to research, organize the list into some general categories and have students identify resources they could use to learn more about Hispanic culture in their category. Encourage students to think about people in their communities or families who might have personal knowledge of the topics they're researching.
Have students work in groups to research their topics and present the information they find to the class through PowerPoint, a webpage, a display, or an interactive tool such as the Flip Book or Stapleless Book. More tips are available for the Flip Book and to learn more about making a Stapleless Book, watch the video on how to fold a Stapleless Book.
- Pura Belpré Medal Winners
This is the webpage for current winners of the American Library Association's Pura Belpré Award. Established in 1996, it is presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. Links to past winners and additional information are available as well.
- Celebrate Hispanic Heritage
Choose among links to information on Hispanic history, famous Latinos, and Latinos in history on this Scholastic website. The site features a Flash interactive, the Piñata Concentration game, which is entirely in Spanish.
- Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month-National Register of Historic Places, NPS
This collection of resources from the National Register of Historic Places includes links to publications, featured properties, and history in the parks, including a series of lesson plans that use places listed in the Register.
- National Hispanic Heritage Month: Exhibits and Collections
This Library of Congress page is the go-to source for art, literature, political and historical documents and more. The collections includes resources from the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
Grades 3 – 5 | Lesson Plan | Unit
After analyzing Family Pictures/Cuadros de Familia by Carmen Lomas Garza, students create a class book with artwork and information about their ancestry, traditions, and recipes, followed by a potluck lunch.
Grades 6 – 8 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Students investigate the meanings and origins of their names in order to establish their own personal histories and to explore the cultural significance of naming traditions.
Grades 8 – 12 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
In this lesson, students use blogs to hold discussions about the effect of the factors of culture, history, and environment on Latino poetry.