Inside: How to incorporate more Spanish culture in every level of Spanish class this school year. Wondering how to dig deeper into teaching Hispanic culture for Hispanic Heritage Month and beyond? Spanish culture through music, films, dance, jokes, routines, and more with diverse representation.
As a Spanish teacher, there is so much more than just teaching students to communicate in another language. One of the main ACTFL World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages is CULTURES.
Cultures – Interact with cultural competence and understanding.ACTFL World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages
– Relating Cultural Practices to Perspectives: Learners use the language to investigate, explain, and reflect on the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the cultures studied.
– Relating Cultural Products to Perspectives: Learners use the language to investigate, explain, and reflect on the relationship between the products and perspectives of the cultures studied.
How to incorporate more Spanish culture
It does not matter if you are tied to a set textbook or curriculum or if you have complete freedom. Below are five ways to incorporate more Hispanic culture into your classes this school year.
Videos of the Spanish-Speaking World
Students are more visual learners than ever. Grab their attention with short travel videos that show the beauty of the Spanish-speaking world. I created a slideshow that has the country, capital, nationality, two maps, and a travel video for all 22 Spanish-speaking places. Or if you want multiple options for each country, you could get the culture slides bundle.
Use these Spanish culture travel videos as a class routine once per week to start each class or as a brain break. Or assign the whole slideshow as a cultural exploration sub-plan.
Music to teach Spanish culture
If you have been around for a while you know that I LOVE incorporating music in Spanish class. From weekly routines like Música miércoles & Baile viernes, to music brackets like mania musical – March Music Madness & Hispanic Heritage Month Music Bracket, music is one of my favorite ways to connect with students about Spanish culture.
How do you go beyond just Pop Latino and dig deeper into Spanish culture through music?
- Be intentional about music selection. Incorporate a diverse selection that includes Indigenous music, Afro-Latinx music, women, and more marginalized voices.
- Use clean music videos that show positive representations of the Spanish-speaking world to discuss the products, and practices to see, along with diverse perspectives.
- Use my newest song from each Spanish-speaking country slides that make sure to incorporate music from every country, way beyond just the usual white males from Colombia and Spain that dominate the music awards.
When I was in school, holiday celebrations in Spanish class typically want a day off from Spanish. Crafts, maybe some culture in English, and some stereotypical food are what I remember from “Spanish class fiestas.” While I am all for bringing joy to class, there are much more meaningful ways to learn and celebrate holidays in Spanish class.
One simple change that you can add to your celebration is to read about the holiday in Spanish! Even novice Spanish students can read these simple activities for Day of the Dead, 3 Reyes Magos & Valentine’s Day. See more specific ideas in the holiday blog posts below.
- Valentine’s Day
- Las Fallas in Spanish class
- Spring Break Chat
- Earth day in Spanish Class
- Día de muertos
- Thanksgiving in Spanish class
- Winter Holidays in Spanish class
Films to show Hispanic Culture
One of my favorite ways to show authentic Spanish culture is through movies. 10 Appropriate movies for Spanish class details very appropriate films set all over the Spanish-speaking world. You can get resources for most of them in movie guide bundle. Here are a few of my favorite appropriate films for Spanish class sorted by country.
- Colombia – Encanto & Encanto blog post
- Cuba – Vivo & Vivo blog post
- Mexico – El Camino de Xico & Xico blog post
- Peru – Pachamama & Pachamama blog post
- Spain – Ferdinand & Ferdinand Blog post
- U.S. – Selena & Selena blog post
Authentic Culture with Jokes & Memes in Spanish
Everyone loves to laugh. A great short interpretive reading practice can be fun and centered around Spanish Jokes. Culture in bite-sized portions through memes and jokes in Spanish is a great way to bring up diverse perspectives.
Start one day a week with jaja jueves with this slideshow. Or have enough jokes for a whole year with this Spanish joke bundle. Jokes work well as brain breaks as well.
Spanish Culture Through a Weekly Routine
It does not matter if you are tied to a strict curriculum or you have more freedom, using culture as a part of your class routines makes it a priority to be incorporated all year long. If you want to incorporate many of the items above, my newest Para Empezar 2022 has enough bell ringers or brain breaks for an entire year. It includes travel videos, jokes, dance, Afro-Latinx music, the newest Hispanic Heritage Month 1 song from each Spanish-speaking country, and more.
Spanish Culture through diverse representation
Most importantly when teaching about Hispanic culture, make sure it is done through a social justice lens. Beware of harmful stereotypes or lumping all Latinx people into broad generalizations. Celebrate the beauty of diverse representation all year long.
- Hispanic Heritage Month in Spanish class
- Black History Month – Afro-Latinx resources
- Pride in Spanish class
- Asian Pacific Heritage Month Asian-Latinx Resources
- Indigenous Peoples in Spanish class
Get Started with Hispanic Culture
I know trying something new can be overwhelming. So, if you want a baby step, pick one of these freebies below to get you started incorporating more Spanish culture into your class this year.
- Want to try out using music? Get this free music slide sample.
- Want to dig into teaching Día de Muertos through the film Coco? Get these free bonuses.
Let me know if there is any way I can better support you this school year in your Spanish culture journey.
Originally posted by Allison Wienhold 8.22.22