I’m sure that many of us teachers (especially if you’re reading this post), ran into February with the following sentiment: to increase awareness of the African diaspora in the Spanish classroom! If so, then you’re in good company. Because I started February like:
But now we are in the middle of February. One-off #BHM lessons have been completed. But how can we keep the cultural richness of February alive in the Spanish classroom throughout the month? I like to explore the African Diaspora in the Americas through the lens of Afro-Latinos, keeping it culturally relevant for Spanish class throughout the WHOLE month, dang it, the whole year! Here are some quick ideas for how you can integrate more culture into the classroom if you’re tight on time or ideas.
Exploring Lived Experiences
- I enjoy referencing the lived experiences of Afro-Latinos in my classroom so that my students can “build a relationship” with a variety of role models in the community. I usually do a research project at the beginning of the month on famous Afro-Latinos, but for the middle of the month, you might want to consider doing mini-bio explorations. You can do this on your own by featuring an Afro-Latino of your choice in class and going over their bio (even a well-written Wikipedia in Spanish page might suffice), or by checking out some made-for-you no-prep resources that you can utilize as bell ringers or reading activities throughout the weeks!
- Another way you can have students learn about the lived experiences of Afro-Latinos is to fill out a graphic organizer or to take notes about what they learn about a featured Afro-Latino. Here are some made-for-you resources:
- In class, I’ll use videos that I find particularly insightful to open my lessons: discussing this video of Celia Cruz singing Quimbara in Africa is particularly interesting to my students. I’ll talk about the relationship between Cuban + African music; the symbolism of Salsa being performed in Africa; and the fact that this famous Latin song is titled in a word derived from African languages!
- I also rely on my no-prep resources that I can use for a musical week or once a week, depending on how many songs I have at my disposal! Check out my Mix Musical Series! Example bundle below:
Don’t Forget About World Social Justice Day (Feb 20)
- While Feb is Social Justice Month, Feb 20th is World Social Justice Day! Check out these two new ways that I’ll be incorporating Social Justice themes in my classroom:
And btw, Happy Valentine’s Day ❤️
- I don’t know about you but I get so frustrated at the lack of diversity for Valentine’s Day cards for our students. So I made some. Hope you enjoy them! Different skin tones, LGBTQ+ community represented, and authentic expressions!
So how are you going to get through the middle part of February? Let me know!