| By Elizabeth Mohn |
Americans celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 each year, and this celebration is a perfect opportunity for teachers to help students learn about more members of this important, influential group. Gale In Context: Middle School has engaging, up-to-date resources teachers can use to help students better understand National Hispanic Heritage Month and Hispanic Americans.
Teachers can introduce the monthlong celebration by guiding students to review the new Hispanic Heritage Month overview, where students can learn about the history of the celebration and the common ways people commemorate the month.
After the introduction, teachers can help students continue their celebration of the month by encouraging them to learn more about one group of Hispanic people, Hispanic Americans, with the resources in the Hispanic Americans portal. The largest minority group in the United States, Hispanic Americans have influenced the country and its culture in countless ways, and students can learn more about this important group with the Hispanic Americans leveled overviews and the supplemental content for this portal.
Teachers can also help students celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month by helping them better understand the opinions and experiences of individual Hispanic Americans with resources from the Hispanic Americans portal. There are many videos that highlight various experiences and opinions. Teachers could also help students think deeply about Hispanic American experiences and opinions by encouraging them to read different news articles. After students read some of the articles, teachers can challenge students to use critical-thinking skills to explain why one article might be better than another. Teachers can further challenge students by asking them to discuss how the viewpoints expressed in the videos are similar to or different from those discussed in the news articles.
Another popular way to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month is to learn about and celebrate famous Hispanic Americans. Gale In Context: Middle School includes biographies and resources about many Hispanic Americans, including famous labor leaders Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez. Teachers can use the resources in the new Dolores Huerta portal and the updated Cesar Chavez portal to help students learn about these two important Hispanic Americans. Encourage students learning about Cesar Chavez to visit the new United Farm Workers of America (UFW) overview so they can better understand the impact and importance of the labor organization that Chavez helped found. Remind students that reading and hearing the words of a historical figure can help them better understand the person. Then encourage students to listen to this interview featuring Dolores Huerta to learn more about her. The interview, which discusses President Joe Biden’s honoring Chavez by putting his likeness in the Oval Office, can help students learn more about Huerta, Chavez, and the Hispanic American experience.