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Hispanic Heritage Month 2016
Background Information, Lesson Plans, and Internet Resources for the
Elementary Classroom
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Miami-Dade County Public Schools

Department of Social Sciences

September 15 – October 15, 2016
THE SCHOOL BOARD OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA

Ms. Perla Tabares Hantman, Chair

Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, Vice-Chair

Ms. Susie V. Castillo

Dr. Lawrence S. Feldman

Dr. Wilbert “Tee” Holloway

Dr. Martin Karp

Ms. Lubby Navarro

Dr. Marta Pérez Wurtz

Ms. Raquel A. Regalado
Sebastian M. Lorenzo

Student Advisor




Mr. Alberto M. Carvalho

Superintendent of Schools


Mrs. Maria L. Izquierdo, Chief Academic Officer

Office of Academics and Transformation


Ms. Lissette M. Alves, Assistant Superintendent

Division of Academics


Mr. Robert C. Brazofsky, Executive Director

Department of Social Sciences




Introduction to Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.


The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402. In Florida, State Statute 1003.421, passed in 1998, requires the study of “the contributions of Hispanic to United States history.”
The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30-day period.
Many Hispanics trace their roots to the cultures of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, including the Arawaks (Puerto Rico), the Aztecs (Mexico), the Incas (South America), the Maya (Central America), and the Tainos (in Cuba, Puerto Rico and other places). Other Hispanics trace their roots to the Spanish explorers who set out to find riches and trade with the Indies. Still, other Hispanics trace their ancestry to the Africans who were brought as slaves to the New World.
The term Hispanic or Latino, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, refers to Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race. On the 2010 Census form, people of Spanish/Hispanic/Latino origin could identify themselves as Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or "another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin."

As of July 2015, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 56.6 million Hispanics live in the United States. That is just over 17% of the total U.S. population making Hispanics the largest ethnic or racial minority in the nation. By 2060, the Census Bureau projects that there will be almost 128.8 million Hispanic people in the United States and that they will comprise 31% of the total population.




An Instructional Note to Teachers about Hispanic Heritage Month
Each year, Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 through October 15. Hispanic Heritage Month provides our community and schools with opportunities to further study and celebrate the wide range of historical, cultural, social, political, and economic contributions made by Hispanics to our community and nation.
To assist schools, the Department of Social Sciences has developed this instructional resource guide to support instruction on Hispanic heritage and culture. These resources are further intended to serve as tools to help fulfill the requirements of Florida Statute 1003.421, which requires the study of the contributions Hispanics have made to the United States.
The resources in this guide include:


  • BACKGROUND INFORMATION - Background information that is helpful for both the teacher and student is provided in this section of the instructional resource guide.




  • LESSON PLANS - Detailed primary and intermediate lesson plans with all support materials needed to teach the lessons are provided in this section of the instructional resource guide.

  • INTERNET RESOURCES - Additional related lesson plans, teacher background information, interactive activities and downloadable worksheets may be found on the websites listed in this section of the instructional resource guide.




  • ELEMENTARY CHARACTER EDUCATION RESOURCES – Additional lesson ideas are included to support the core values of “respect” and “responsibility,” which have been designated by the District for the months of September and October.

To be meaningful, the many contributions made by Hispanics - past, present, and future – to the development of the U.S. must be taught throughout the school year, not just during this special month of commemoration. Teachers are highly encouraged to utilize the resources and lessons found in this instructional resource guide to reinforce Hispanic contributions to the U.S. throughout the school year. Teachers are further encouraged to select and adapt the resources and lessons to best fit the needs of their students.




Background Information

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