Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates Americans who have ancestry in countries that speak Spanish as their primary language. (Hispanic refers to people who speak Spanish and have ancestry in Spanish-speaking countries. Latino refers to people who are descended from Latin America.) It’s a month-long celebration, and we’re here to celebrate all of it! Here’s what to know and how to incorporate Hispanic heritage into your classroom this year.
When is Hispanic Heritage Month?
Each year, Hispanic Heritage starts September 15 and ends October 15. September 15 is significant for five Hispanic countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua celebrate their Independence Days on that date. (Mexico and Chile celebrate independence later in September and October.)
History of Hispanic Heritage Month
President Lyndon B. Johnson started observing Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 as a way to celebrate the contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spanish-speaking countries, including Spain, the Caribbean, and South America. In 1988, Ronald Reagan expanded the week to a 30-day month. Today, Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration of Hispanic culture and contributions across the United States. Each year, it has a theme. In 2023, the theme is Latinos: Driving Prosperity, Power, and Progress in America.
Ideas To Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
- Fun Activities To Honor Hispanic Heritage Month
- Books To Read During Hispanic Heritage Month
- The Department of Education’s website has information about theme and resources. You can also read the president’s proclamation when he makes it.
- National Hispanic Heritage Month is a government website with online exhibits and resources.
- Facing History has documentaries and associated lesson plans about important events in Hispanic American history.
- The National Education Association has resources grouped by grade level (K-5, 6-8, 9-12).
- PBS LearningMedia has a video about Hispanic Heritage Month in their All About the Holidays collection.
- Spanish Mama has information and resources that cover the basics of teaching Hispanic Heritage Month, including history, countries, famous Hispanic Americans, and crafts.
Plus check out these downloads for more lessons, worksheets, and resources, as well as supplemental materials:
- Download lessons and worksheets from KidsKonnect.
- Download a teaching resource packet from Teaching for Change.