Grades 6–8

This lesson can be taught in 1–3 class periods

Lesson Introduction:
The focus for older students in Celebrate Hispanic Heritage is on people and an introduction into the history of Hispanic Heritage. Explain to students that they will be learning about one of the largest cultural groups in the United States, Hispanic Americans, and the contributions they have made to this country and to the world.

1. Begin a discussion about Hispanic heritage. Have students talk about what it means to be Hispanic (being a member of Americans descended from more than 20 primarily Spanish-speaking countries as well as from states and territories in the United States) or a member of any ethnic group. Have students record new information that they learn about Hispanic cultures in their notebooks.

2. After the introductory discussion, introduce the Hispanic History in the Americas activity by organizing students into small discovery groups. Point out the different areas of the map and how they correspond to particular places that were influenced by the Spaniards. If available, use a projector to model how to access the map and time lines, if not then instruct orally or with transparency copies.

3. Assign each group an area on the map and its corresponding time line to examine. Ask students to list three facts concerning Hispanic heritage and let them know they will be sharing these facts with the class by the end of the lesson. Suggest that students write these facts in their notebooks.

4. Next, have each group investigate the Latinos in History activity and find a Latino or Latina whose roots originate from the area that the group studied in the Hispanic History in the Americas activity. Encourage students to find more information both online and in the library

5. Now, have each discovery group create a time line revealing major events that contributed to Hispanic culture and influence in the New World. Have group members share responsibilities that include choosing the most important events, arranging events in sequence, and creating the timeline. Have students publish their time line on large construction paper, on flash cards, or as a power point presentation. Encourage groups to present their work to the class.

Extend the Lesson with these activities:

1. Challenge discovery groups to state how certain events that occurred in their timeline, contributed to shaping Hispanic culture and influence in the New World.

2. Encourage students to revisit Latinos in History and using the biography skill sheet, write a biography about a Latino/Latina they found most interesting.

3. Individually, in pairs or the same discovery groups, have students click on the Meet Famous Latinos activity. Students will read the various biographies and then create interview questions to go along with the online biography.

Have students exchange questions with partners for feedback on relevance. Then have students conduct a mock interview in front of the class, with one student being the interviewer and one being the interviewee. Alternately, you can make this a group assignment and encourage students to conduct a mock talk show, and add audience questions to the interview.

4. Visit the Research Starter and investigate the Spanish Missions of California.

Cross Curricular Extensions

Music (Grades 6–8)
Play music from various countries to show the diverse cultures within Hispanic heritage. As a group, create a multicultural songbook that incorporates the music of the various cultures, and include songs from a variety of countries.

Art (Grades 6–7)
Students design and make a postage stamp or a small poster that honors Hispanic heritage. They can find different art styles from countries in Central and South America and incorporate them. They can also use pictures of famous Hispanic Americans, maps, or different symbols.

Drama (Grades 6–7)
Students can choose to dramatize the life story of historical figures, rehearse the play, and then present it to the class.

Language Arts (Grades 6–7)
Students read a book from one of the following authors as an example of autobiographical narrative: Family Pictures by Carmen Lomas Garza, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, or White Bread Competition by Jo Ann Yolanda Hernandez. Then students may choose a story or episode from their lives to develop into an autobiographical narrative.

Math (Grades 6–7)
Using Web sites such as the U.S. Census Bureau as well as offline research sources, students may do a report on the current Hispanic population in the United States. Students can determine which states in the United States have drawn the largest number of Hispanic immigrants, according to the most recent census figures

Discussion starters:

• Where is Latin America? What areas of the world does it include?
• Where are the Spaniards from?
• What is the "New World"?
• Who discovered the "New World"?
• List the different civilizations that were already in existence before the explorers arrived.
• What happened to all of the civilizations and Native Americans after the explorers arrived?
• What is a conquest?
• Why were the Spanish called "conquistadors"?
• Why were slaves shipped to the "New World"?
• What is a mestizo?
• What is heritage?
• What is your heritage?
• What does your heritage mean to you?
• Who is (Pam Munoz Ryan, David Diaz, etc.) in the Meet Famous Latinos activity?
• What is this Latino/Latina famous for?
• Where is this Latino/Latina from?
• Why is heritage important to this person?
• What is a biography?
• What type of information does it contain?
• What do these Latinos/Latinas have in common?

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