From September 15 to October 15 we observe National Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States. This occasion provides an opportunity to celebrate culture and history while enriching your children’s understanding of the Hispanic community. Use the resources available from the Library of Congress, National Archives, and Smithsonian Institution to help your kids build a connection with diversity and other ethnicities.
History and Social Studies
Find out about Hispanic historical and cultural legacies: The U.S. government started National Hispanic Heritage Month in 1988 to honor Hispanic Americans and their history. Focusing on Hispanic heritage is a way to enrich your kids’ understanding of diversity in the United States and the value of other cultures.
Discover Hispanic leaders and landmarks: Ask your kids if they can think of any Hispanic historical figures, leaders like Miguel Antonio Otero, or landmarks. National Hispanic Heritage Month provides an opportunity to learn more about Hispanic members of the U.S. Congress and national landmarks. Ask your kids what inspires them from learning about these figures or historical landmarks.
Read up on Hispanic culture: Take your kids on an adventure to your local library and read books on Hispanic culture. Ask them what parts of Hispanic culture they like the most to enhance an appreciation for the fun history of Hispanic traditions. Older kids might enjoy the Hispanic Reading Room of the Library of Congress, where they will find webcasts that can help build a connection with the Hispanic community.
Make a family storybook: National Hispanic Heritage Month also can be an occasion to celebrate your own family’s history. Using some paper and coloring supplies, help your kids make a family storybook showing the history of their relatives. A family storybook provides a chance to remember and retell our own family stories, building a personal connection to history and heritage.
Dance to Hispanic music: Spark interest in Latin music by getting active and dancing to some Hispanic tunes. Expose your kids to everything from Latin jazz to salsa, and use this opportunity to get moving. Take time to listen to some songs, have your kids pick out any favorites, and explore why they liked those best.
These are just a few suggestions to promote your kids’ interest in our nation’s cultural diversity.
This feature is based on a blog post that originally appeared on free.ed.gov, a site that is now retired. Please visit ed.gov/FREE for more information.