Co-Author: Alison Coulter, WKHS
Hispanic Heritage Month started yesterday and ends October 15th. According to Time for Kids, "From mid-September through mid-October, America recognizes the contributions, culture, and heritage of Hispanic Americans. The month-long celebration begins on September 15, the anniversary of independence for five Hispanic countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico achieved independence on September 16 while Chile gained independence on September 18."
This post was inspired by and features the ideas of Alison Coulter, who teaches French and Spanish at WKHS, but I also wanted to include something for the early grades. So check out what Alison did with her students last semester, and keep reading to see how another blogger treated the same topic, but with elementary aged children.
Alison writes: Unit 3 of Spanish 4-5 is entitled 'History and Resulting Challenges'. This year I decided to create a 3-part unit. I began with the Spanish colonization of the Americas, North, Central and South America as well as the various Islands that were colonized. Students read excerpts from readings I chose from an advanced Spanish text Mundo 21. We discussed the contributions made to the areas they colonized such as art, farming and architecture as well as the conversion of the indigenous populations to Catholicism. I included geography by having students chart the routes of various explorers from Spain to their respective destinations. We also watched a Discovery education video in Spanish on Columbus’ voyages and discussed the abuses of the indigenous populations.
Next I taught about the Mexican Revolution and the taking of land, which led to poor treatment of the indigenous people and resulted in civil unrest. We watched a film “La Revolución Mexicana” and learned about key figures such as Pancho Villa, Zapata, Porfirio Diaz , Obregon and Madero. There are many songs written about the Revolution. The corrido is a patriotic ballad used for disseminating revolutionary themes. It was and still is a very popular style and I will include a mini writing piece on this next time as time did not allow this semester. https://laii.unm.edu/outreach/common/lesson-plans/mexican-revolution/music-of-the-revolution.pdf
To bring the unit full circle I taught about the Muralist Movement in Mexico after the revolution. This was, as it turned out an amazing way to show the students how artists communicated social and political awareness through painting. Students learned the importance of this means of communicating events of the revolution to the 95% of the indigenous population that did not speak Spanish. I took students on a virtual visit of the Palacio Nacional in Mexico where Diego Rivera painted very large murals depicting life in the revolution. Students completed the unit by choosing one of 3 muralists, Orozco, Rivera or Siqueiros and describing the work and giving its political and social importance.
Thank you Alison for sharing such a creatively comprehensive unit of study! While she didn't design it for Hispanic Heritage month, I thought it would be perfect to share in honor of the influence Mexico has had and continues to have in the United States.
Diego Rivera for Kids is a blog post that shows another creative way to teach kids about the influence of Rivera's murals in Mexico.
What are some ways you have found to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with your students?
World Language Teacher Support Specialist (and Language Enthusiast)