Inside: Hispanic Heritage Month Music Madness. A music bracket for Spanish class to mix up the fall and celebrate the diversity of the Spanish-speaking world.
Why Music for Hispanic Heritage Month?
You all know I have been posting about using authentic music in Spanish class for years. It goes way back to my original ideas of música miércoles & baile viernes in 2014, as well as the very popular yearly March music bracket mania musical.
Early in my career as a Spanish teacher, I realized I needed to do a better job celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month in my Spanish classes. It is a great time to specifically celebrate the diverse cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. If you want something besides music, I have a post with a lot of ideas for HHM here Hispanic Heritage Month. Plus check out the new Hispanic Heritage Month Movies for Spanish Class.
One Song From Each Spanish-Speaking County
While on maternity leave in the fall of 2016, I created a popular resource, 1 Song from each Spanish-speaking country. It has 22 songs, one for each of the school days from September 15 to October 15. My original idea was to play one song each day of HHM. That would give the chance to specifically focus on each country. But, the next year with I used HHM version 2, I decided to use it as a Hispanic Heritage Month music bracket.
When I posted about my HHM fall Spanish class music bracket on social media, the idea took off. Many teachers started using my 1 song from each Spanish-speaking country slide as a bracket in their classrooms. Since then, I have created a new version each school year including version #3, 2019 version #4 & the 2020 version #5, HHM6 version for 2021, HHM7 for 2022 & The NEWEST 2023 Hispanic Heritage Month Music Resource!
Which HHM Music Bracket Set should I get?
Money Saving Bundle – You can now also get all 10 HHM music sets for a deal. This is a growing bundle and the best possible deal if you want diverse music to use all year long. All versions have a mix of classic songs and current hits. But, how do you pick which version to use for this fall?
The 2023 Fall HHM Bracket – The NEWEST 2023 Hispanic Heritage Month Music Resource (on TPT) has the most up-to-date music. This will be the version that many teachers will be using for fall 2023. The brackets do not need to be done in any kind of order or start with version 1. You can start this year for the first time with the newest HHM8 version (also available in my store) for the most diverse music selection yet.
Young Students – By request, if you teach younger students or at a more conservative school, check out YOUNG 1 song from each country instead! It has a mix of my most appropriate songs from HHM1-6. Plus now there is the NEW 2023 Young Hispanic Heritage Bracket. Or get all young music brackets together here in this Young Music Bracket Bundle
How can I use this 1 song from each country slideshow for HHM?
Here are ideas of how you can use these songs this year, from the least time commitment to the most.
0 class time – Song of the day Transition for Hispanic Heritage Month
My English teacher BFF next door picks one song each day to play loudly in her room during our four-minute passing time. She writes the song and artist on the board and plays it as soon as the bell to end of class rings. As soon as the bell to start class rings (or the song ends), the song is turned off and no instructional time is used. Her students are VERY into it and come to check the song before they even have class. This would work great for Hispanic Heritage Month, playing HHM8 version for 2023 each day. I bet the tradition will continue after October 15 as well 🙂
3-5 minutes – Para Empezar Class Starter
Use the first 3-5 minutes of each class during HHM to play a 1 song for Para Empezar. You can quickly mention where the song is from, using a map to show where in the world it is. Depending on the level, you can also evaluate the song, from a basic “(no)me gusta” in level 1, to a more elaborate critique in upper levels. Or you can use the free voting form to have students self-reflect on the song of the day.
3-5 minutes Cantaninja Brain Break
Using Martina Bex’s Cantaninja procedure, you can have a student pick when during each class the song is played. They yell Cantaninja! and everyone stops what they are doing to watch the song of the day. (Usually, that person picks the song, but during this month you could just play the next song). If you would rather have more control over when your brain breaks, just plan to play this song at a good breaking point. If using it as a brain break, I would let students walk around, dance, and move, just as long as they are watching and listening.
6-10 minutes – Country of the day – adding in travel videos too – NEW
By request, in addition to playing a song each day, some teachers wanted to do more to introduce each country of the day. I created slides have the country, capital, nationality, two maps, flag, and a video for all 22 Spanish-speaking places. You could combine it with your song of the day slideshow to really dig deeper into each place for Hispanic Heritage Month. *Update you can get the newest 2023 country slides in my shop or on TPT. Learn more about using these travel slides in this blog post.
Or if you want multiple options for each country, you could get the culture slides bundle.
NEW – Chat about Music
If you want to chat about these songs in Spanish, check out the new blog post Talk About Music in Spanish Class. Use these New Music Question Cards to chat about music and to discuss songs you listen to. They would work well in later rounds of your bracket when you want to mix it up.
Country of the day – dig deeper
If you have more time to dedicate to Hispanic Heritage Month, you could go even deeper. In addition to playing your song of each day and travel video each day of HHM could be dedicated to a different country. You could bring in guest speakers, food, research, dance, and use other elements of culture.
One idea is to split up the countries or artists/groups of each song and have students do some research on the song, artist, country, etc. These could be shared around the room gallery walk style, or even in the hall or somewhere in the school, to help celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month school-wide.
Hispanic Heritage Month music bracket in Spanish class
How the Hispanic Heritage Music Bracket started
The idea of an HHM bracket credit goes to the awesome Sarah Whisenhunt. When she got version 2, she told me she had a head-to-head playoff/bracket in mind for version 2 songs vs. version 1 songs. So the OG HHM Music bracket idea actually included 44 songs, 2 songs from each country.
Since I was gone during HHM in 2016 on maternity leave in 2017 I decided to do a Hispanic Heritage music bracket. But for the sake of time only used 1 song per country. The lack of symmetry got the best of me with 22 songs competing. No, it is not an even match for every song. Yes, my board looked like Packman. No, I did not allow enough space for this board and everything was crunched.
The OG Fall Music Bracket Bulletin Board
To be efficient, instead of putting all of the song titles as I do during March madness, I just reused Spanish-speaking country signs that I already had in my filing cabinet (yeah hoarding!) that I am pretty sure came from this unit. I wanted it to put more of an emphasis on the song’s related country. The all-orange country bulletin board below was the 1st annual Mis Clases Locas Hispanic Heritage Music Bracket.
We watched 2 videos per day and had all classes’ votes combined to decide who moved on. We started September 15 and using just one slideshow, there were 20 matchups. The students LOVED the fall music bracket and it became a yearly tradition after that.
Hispanic Heritage Month music bracket – updated version
How to set up your own Hispanic Heritage Music Bracket Bulletin Board
Above is my bracket for 2018 (& my later versions look basically the same!) I got new country posters from Miss Maestra Cassie, whom she generously shared for all future HHM brackets. The country labels are on the instructions page of each slideshow.
- Print the included country labels on colored cardstock. To make it more colorful, I made each page a different color, but you could make them all the same color if you prefer.
- Put the country labels up first. I like to use a ruler to try and make things symmetrical.
- Make the bracket. Depending on what surface you are putting the bracket on skinny colored duct or masking tape works best. I have also used colored cardstock strips of paper stapled to the board in a pinch to make a bracket.
- Print the country labels small (I do 4 sets of 4 to a page) for later rounds. I print them all right away and then have it as a student job in the last class to staple up the winner.
No time or space for a bulletin board?
During the fall of 2020 I added a new digital Google Slides bracket to each slideshow. This way teachers could use the bracket for virtual learning. Or you can just project the bracket instead of having to make a bulletin board. This is a great option for traveling teachers without a classroom.
How to use the Hispanic Heritage Music Bracket?
- Pick 1 song from each country slideshow to use. Each year I used the newest 1 song from each country slideshow. HHM8 version for 2023 or new YOUNG 1 song from each country
- The basic idea is to listen to one pair of songs each day. All of my classes always voted together to see who moved on. We typically started class with our songs. On occasions like the day of an assessment, we might have waited and used it as a brain break or at the end of class.
- Introduce the 1st song and country. In Spanish, I introduce the 1st country, song, artist, and nationality. Then we watch the 1st video. Depending on how much time we have, we might discuss the song as a class and how we feel about it. (Or some people wait & do more discussion in later rounds)
- We repeat this for song two, introducing the song and watching the video.
- Vote – We typically just voted by a raise of hands and tally. I do have a free voting form if you need more accountability and each student to write. You could collect votes as a quick exit ticket. I also used Google Forms for students to vote while we were Hybrid. Google form voting also works well in later rounds if you run out of time to watch the videos again as a class.
What about later rounds in the Spanish class music bracket?
Many teachers have different variations of what they do each round of a music bracket. For example, I know a teacher whose round 1 only plays the audio, in round 2 play the video, and then in later rounds does other activities with the song like these New Music Question Cards. See this blog post for song activity ideas.
Personally, I always start round 1 with the introduction of the song and the music videos. There is so much culture to be found in a music video. Especially when the goal is learning more about diverse countries and people, I find the videos to be important. The first round always takes me longer, so make sure you allow for about 10 minutes of class the 1st 2 weeks or 10 matchups.
In later rounds, depending on how much time you have, you can either move faster, or you can dig deeper.
- If you run out of time, later rounds could consist of you posting a Google Form with videos included for students to watch and vote on their own time or for homework.
- If you want to dig deeper pick one of the song activity ideas to do each of the following rounds. For example, if the song has a zumba dance that goes with it, project and dance along. Once you get to the final 4 or championship, hype it up by learning about the artist, or enjoying food from that country. Or New Music Question Cards to support an interpersonal activity or assessment.
- Optional Handout – Sra Penaranda created a student handout for students to fill out about each song. You can get it here for free.
If you use my bracket, please share pictures and tag me on social media so I can see who is winning!
How do I get the newest Hispanic Heritage Music Bracket?
- Get all 10 sets here or the newest HHM8 version for 2023 or YOUNG 2023 HHM
- If you want the best deal possible on all of Mis Clases Locas music resources altogether, check out the Mega Music Bundle.
- As a recap, if this is your first year with the Hispanic Heritage Month music bracket, I would get the newest HHM8 version for 2023, this voting form if you want paper votes.
- more ideas for Hispanic Heritage Month
Want more details on how to use the Hispanic Heritage Music bracket? Watch this video &/or the Youtube video below about what to do with a song & music brackets.
Want more music? Free Music Slides
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This post was originally published on 9.6.17 by Allison Wienhold of Mis Clases Locas and was most recently updated 8.28.23.