Hispanic Heritage Month is traditionally celebrated from mid-September to mid-October in recognition of the contributions and influence Hispanic Americans have had on the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.
September 15 is an important date because it’s the day when several Latin American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua) declared their independence from Spain in 1821.
Here are some ideas to celebrate Hispanic History Month in the classroom:
- Visit a museum (virtually), such as MOLAA.
- Cook one of many Hispanic meals.
- Listen to some Hispanic music.
- Take a virtual 5 minute Latin dance class.
- Read these young adult books with your students.
- Play a popular game, such as Dominoes.
Being able to identify, understand, appreciate, and interact with people from cultures different from one's own is called cultural competency, and it’s a key competency in social and emotional learning.
Cultural competency is broadly covered under the self and social awareness competencies by CASEL. This includes topics such as perspective-taking, empathy, appreciating diversity, and having respect for others. Several lessons in the Emozi® SEL curriculum for middle school students (Grades 6-8) cover these topics. In addition, the Socratic Seminar materials for the novel Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan explores many themes related to these topics.
Emozi lessons that promote cultural competency include:
- Unit 1, Lesson 11: Values
- Unit 2, Lesson 6: Diversity
- Unit 2, Lesson 7: Perspective-Taking
- Unit 3, Lesson 8: Cultural Competence
- Unit 1, Lesson 7: Morals
- Unit 2, Lesson 1: Showing Respect
- Unit 2, Lesson 4: Stereotypes
- Unit 2, Lesson 10: Perspective
- Unit 2, Lesson 11: Cultural Competence
- Unit 1, Lesson 5: Cultural Competence
- Unit 1, Lesson 7: Belonging and Rejection
- Unit 1, Lesson 10: Ethics and Integrity
- Unit 2, Lesson 1: Human Variation
- Unit 2, Lesson 7: Perspective Taking
- Unit 3, Lesson 4: Prejudice and Racism
- Unit 3, Lesson 7: Point of View