Welcome to the vibrant month of November, a period woven with a rich cultural tapestry that beckons us to explore and celebrate a diversity that is especially pertinent to the Spanish classroom. As we journey through this month, we have the opportunity to bring the following cultural observances to life for our students:
- Día de los Muertos
- National Native American Heritage Month
- Día de acción de gracias (Thanksgiving Day)
- La Navidad (Christmas) ➡️ I see you caribeños putting up your wreathes in November 👀
Incorporating culture into our teaching is not just beneficial; it’s imperative. As educators, you are the Master Curators of your classroom content, where culture is the exhibit that captivates and ignites students’ passion for the Spanish language. I’ve believed since my own childhood that culture is a vital key to unlocking language acquisition.
If you’re ever caught thinking, “I just don’t have time to include cultural elements,” let’s shift that mindset. Imagine offering ‘snackable’ or bite-sized cultural content. It’s understandable that dedicating an entire lesson to “Indigenous, Native & Spanish Culture during Thanksgiving” may not be feasible. But what about distributing this content throughout a week+ in the form of warm-ups or brain breaks? My themed content allows you to pick and present bite-sized pieces like “The First, First Thanksgiving,” which, to the surprise of many, has Spanish origins!
What if you miss a holiday? Let’s be honest, #teacherguilt is a real thing. But what if I told you that imparting these valuable cultural narratives has no expiration date? That these stories can be interwoven into your curriculum at any time to foster a deeper connection with the second language (L2)? If you didn’t get around to celebrating Día de los Muertos, for instance, no need to worry. You can simply download the “Día de los Muertos | Pear Deck” and disperse the material over several days, fitting it into warm-ups, brain breaks, or closures. The deck includes engaging activities like a song with a “fill in the lyrics” exercise, themed around Día de los Muertos, that’s enjoyable at any time.
And if a student is curious about why they’re learning about a certain holiday outside its typical timeframe, share your enthusiasm with them. Tell them about your personal passion for the subject, that previously there wasn’t time, but now you can delve into it with gusto. Your excitement is contagious—it’s time to bring the celebration into the classroom!
I invite you to explore a special FREEBIE I’ve crafted for our “profes” themed around November. It includes a quick piece of cultural content complete with questions. Using the format of Google Slides, you can add your own questions for your class as you see fit! I’m eager to hear your thoughts on it, so please share your feedback through the integrated survey in the presentation! ⬇️
Let’s make this November one to remember by threading cultural vibrancy throughout our lessons, creating a learning experience that resonates with our students far beyond the classroom.