Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 and offers the opportunity to celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of those who came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. During this time, we encourage you to weave these histories into your lessons through intentional book choices and discussions honoring Hispanic culture.
From our communities to our classrooms, diversity creates a dynamic and beautiful place to live and learn. For Hispanic Heritage Month, it helps to ground your students in the wide range of countries and cultures that we celebrate this month. According to a recent Pew Research Report, United States citizens of Mexican origin account for nearly 62% (about 37.2 million) of the nation’s overall Hispanic population as of 2019. Those of Puerto Rican heritage are the next largest group at 5.8 million. Other significant Hispanic communities include Cubans, Salvadorans, Dominicans, Guatemalans, Colombians, and Hondurans.
There is much to discover, learn, and celebrate with roots that stretch worldwide during this month. To support your teaching, we’ve created our suggested book picks for students from Pre-K to 3rd grade.
Pre-Kindergarten (Level PR)
Isabel and Her Colores Go To School by Alexandra Alessandri
Kindergarten (Level A)
Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day/ Celebremos El dia de los ninos/El dia de los libros by Pat Mora
Round is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes by Roseanna Greenfield Thong
First Grade (Level B)
Brick by Brick by Heidi Woodward Sheffield
Abuela by Aruther Dorros
Second Grade (Level C)
Island Born by Junot Díaz
Gracias/Thanks by Pat Mora
Third Grade (Level D)
Waiting For the Biblioburro by Moncia Brown
Dragon Slayer: Folktales from Latin America by Jamie Hernandez
By celebrating the cultures of your students through books, you’re forming strong relationships and affirming their identities.Creating a safe and inclusive space to celebrate different cultures in books and classroom discussions promotes diversity and inclusion, fosters cultural awareness, and helps students develop a global perspective. Students grow their critical thinking skills, develop deeper empathy, and prepare to interact effectively in a multicultural world. It shows that you’re seeing where your students are coming from and what informs their perspective. It’s a level of respect that all your students will appreciate — regardless of their background.
And keep in mind that Hispanic Heritage Month doesn’t need to be limited to the classroom. Encourage students and their families to read these books together!
We also strongly encourage using the wonderful (and free) resources of local libraries.