Celebrate Hispanic Heritage for Grades 6-8
- Grades: 6–8
- Unit Plan:
- Identify and describe traits that represent Hispanic cultures
- Study and analyze the traditions and culture of Hispanic Americans
- Read observations Hispanics make about their identity.
- Conduct research on issues of identity and heritage
- Formulate interview questions based on reading materials
- Use compiled information to ask questions that seek information not already discussed
- Understand and summarize the contributions of Hispanic Americans
- Gather and synthesize information about Hispanic community members by using a variety of informational resources
- Write a biography about an accomplished American that relates information on heritage and identity
- Apply reading comprehension skills, including:
- main idea
- read for detail
- draw conclusions
Set Up and Prepare
- The components of Celebrate Hispanic Heritage are broken up into three categories: Culture (Grades K-2), People (Grades 3-5) and History (Grades 6-8). Therefore, depending on the grade level and maturity level of each class, activities can be facilitated as independent work, collaborative group work, or whole class instruction.
- You may also want to create a special display for your classroom library in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.
- If a computer is available for each student, guide students to the activities either through printed URLs on handouts or on the board.
- If you are working in a lab, set up the computers to be on the desired Web site as students walk into class. If there are fewer computers than students, group the students by reading level. Assign each student a role: a "driver" who navigates the web, a timer who keeps the group on task, and a note taker. If there are more than three students per computer, you can add roles like a team leader, a team reporter, etc.
- If you are working in a learning station in your classroom, break out your class into different groups. Have rotating groups working on the computer (s), reading printed background information, holding smaller group discussions, writing first drafts of their journals or specimen box offline, etc. Details described further in the Teaching sections.
- Begin a discussion about Hispanic heritage. Have students talk about what it means to be Hispanic (being a member of Americans descended from more than 20 primarily Spanish-speaking countries as well as from states and territories in the United States) or a member of any ethnic group. Have students record new information that they learn about Hispanic cultures in their notebooks.
- After the introductory discussion, introduce the Hispanic History in the Americas activity by organizing students into small discovery groups. Point out the different areas of the map and how they correspond to particular places that were influenced by the Spaniards. If available, use a projector to model how to access the map and time lines, if not then instruct orally or with transparency copies.
- Assign each group an area on the map and its corresponding time line to examine. Ask students to list three facts concerning Hispanic heritage and let them know they will be sharing these facts with the class by the end of the lesson. Suggest that students write these facts in their notebooks.
- Next, have each group investigate the Latinos in History activity and find a Latino or Latina whose roots originate from the area that the group studied in the Hispanic History in the Americas activity. Encourage students to find more information both online and in the library
- Now, have each discovery group create a time line revealing major events that contributed to Hispanic culture and influence in the New World. Have group members share responsibilities that include choosing the most important events, arranging events in sequence, and creating the timeline. Have students publish their time line on large construction paper, on flash cards, or as a power point presentation. Encourage groups to present their work to the class.
Supporting All Learners
International Reading Association (IRA) & National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Standards:
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage helps students meet the following standards Sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the International Reading Association (IRA).
- Read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world (1).
- Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions (7).
- Students use a variety of technological and informational resources (libraries, databases, computer networks) to gather and synthesize information in order to create and communicate knowledge (8).
- Students develop an understanding of and respect for diversity in language use, patterns, and dialects across cultures, ethnic groups, geographic regions, and social roles (9).
- Participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities (11).
- Students use spoken, written, and visual language for learning, persuasion, and exchange of information (12).
National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS):
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage meets the standards of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), which promote the development of students as good citizens in a culturally diverse, interdependent world. The content and activities of this project are especially appropriate for the themes of:
- Culture: Students learn how to understand multiple perspectives that derive from different cultural vantage points.
- Time, Continuity, and Change: Students focus on how the world has changed in order to gain perspective on the present and the future.
- Individual Development and Identity: Students learn to ask questions such as "What influences how people learn, perceive, and grow?"
- People, Places, and Environments: Students utilize technological advances to connect to the world beyond their personal locations. The study of people, places, and human-environment interactions assists learners as they create their spatial views and geographic perspectives of the world.
- Global Connections: Students analyze patterns and relationships within and among world cultures.
- Civic Ideals and Practices: Students gain an understanding of the ideals, principles, and practices of citizenship in a democratic republic.
Technology Foundation Standards for Students:
- use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity
- use technology tools to collaborate, publish, and interact with peers, experts, and other audiences
- use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences
- use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources
Extend the Lesson with these activities:
1. Challenge discovery groups to state how certain events that occurred in their timeline, contributed to shaping Hispanic culture and influence in the New World.
2. Encourage students to revisit Latinos in History and using the biography skill sheet, write a biography about a Latino/Latina they found most interesting.
3. Individually, in pairs or the same discovery groups, have students click on the Meet Famous Latinos activity. Students will read the various biographies and then create interview questions to go along with the online biography.
Have students exchange questions with partners for feedback on relevance. Then have students conduct a mock interview in front of the class, with one student being the interviewer and one being the interviewee. Alternately, you can make this a group assignment and encourage students to conduct a mock talk show, and add audience questions to the interview.
4. Visit the Research Starter and investigate the Spanish Missions of California.
Cross Curricular Extensions
Music (Grades 6-8)
Play music from various countries to show the diverse cultures within Hispanic heritage. As a group, create a multicultural songbook that incorporates the music of the various cultures, and include songs from a variety of countries.
Art (Grades 6-7)
Students design and make a postage stamp or a small poster that honors Hispanic heritage. They can find different art styles from countries in Central and South America and incorporate them. They can also use pictures of famous Hispanic Americans, maps, or different symbols.
Drama (Grades 6-7)
Students can choose to dramatize the life story of historical figures, rehearse the play, and then present it to the class.
Language Arts (Grades 6-7)
Students read a book from one of the following authors as an example of autobiographical narrative: Family Pictures by Carmen Lomas Garza, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, or White Bread Competition by Jo Ann Yolanda Hernandez. Then students may choose a story or episode from their lives to develop into an autobiographical narrative.
Math (Grades 6-7)
Using Web sites such as the U.S. Census Bureau as well as offline research sources, students may do a report on the current Hispanic population in the United States. Students can determine which states in the United States have drawn the largest number of Hispanic immigrants, according to the most recent census figures
Formal Assessment IdeasDistribute the Hispanic Heritage Project Test for a formal assessment of comprehension skills based on the reading passages within this project. The Project Test offers students exposure to standardized tests. The emphasis of the test should not be on the final grade, but on the students' grasp of the tested skills. The test includes tips for students on test-taking strategies.
Writing Assessment Ideas:Biography ReportHave students choose one profile that they would like to turn into a biographical essay about that person, and flesh out the information on their biography skill sheet from their own research online and in the library. Suggest that they use pictures, personal stories, vital statistics, and anything else they find interesting about the hero in their biography. Visit Writing with Writers for a biography writing workshop!Writing RubricUse the writing rubric as a way to assess your students' writing skills. This rubric can also serve as a model for a modified version that might include your state's writing standards.