Compare and Contrast Hispanic Countries During Hispanic Heritage Month
Students will get a closer look at Hispanic countries and cultures and consider what the word "Hispanic" really means.
- Grades: 1–2, 3–5
Students will use research skills to learn about countries with Hispanic heritage. They will explore and compare and contrast countries in areas such as culture, history, geography, economics, and government.
- Develop an understanding of the diversity that exists within Hispanic culture
- Apply critical-thinking skills to organize and use information acquired from a variety of valid sources
- Create a visual representation (Venn diagram) to present the information they gather
- Country Fact Hunt worksheet that lists the questions for students to answer
- Fact books about Hispanic countries (see the list of countries in Step 2, below), such as the Enchantmant of the World series
- Internet access
- World map
- Venn diagrams on poster board or smaller paper
Set Up and Prepare
This project may be completed as one lesson or it can be divided into two parts over two days, stopping after Step 5 on the first day.
Step 1: Introduce Hispanic Heritage Month. (See the Introduction to Bring Hispanic Heritage Month to Life: A Collection of Resources.)
Step 2: Review the definition of “Hispanic.”
Those identifying as Hispanic or Latino trace their ancestry to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Central and South America (excluding Brazil), or other Spanish cultures.
Step 3: Brainstorm a list of countries that are considered Hispanic. Record student responses and use the map to help.
Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay, Venezuela
Step 4: Read the questions listed on the Country Fact Hunt to students. Model how to locate an answer in a book. Model how to locate the answers on the Internet.
Step 5: Divide students into pairs and assign (or let students choose) a country. Give each pair a Country Fact Hunt worksheet.
Step 6: Give the student pairs time to research and locate answers. Monitor and scaffold learning as needed.
Step 7: When students have completed the questions, call them to sit as a whole group. Explain to students that they are going to work with another pair that has a different country. The students will compare their country to the other country. Show them the Venn diagram posters and model how they will separate facts into the different categories: Country 1, Country 2, and Both Countries.
Step 8: Assign the pairs of students so they become groups of four. Each group will work together to complete the Venn diagram, comparing and contrasting the two countries.
Step 9: When students are finished, have them share their research findings with the class. As a class, discuss similarities and differences.
Step 10: After the presentations, ask students to write a brief summary of what they learned, including anything that they found interesting or that surprised them. Include major takeaways.
- Was the student able to locate answers to the questions?
- Was student work organized and neat?
- Did the student compare and contrast correctly?
- Read each student summary. Did each student find that there are several differences under the umbrella of Hispanic and that each country, while having some similarities, is unique?