Famous Hispanic Americans

Famous Hispanic Americans

Famous Hispanic Americans

Grades 4, 5, and 6

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  • Password: demo

Materials list:

  • Video- Famous Hispanic Americans
  • Paper and Pencils
  • Access to Studies Weekly Online
  • Celebrate Hispanic Heritagefound in the Hispanic American Heritage weekly unit in Heritage Studies Weekly.
  • Projector or document camera
  • Cornell Note Taking template (to access go to and click on a publication, then an article. Then scroll down to K-6 General Resources and select the sub-tab General Resources. There you will find Studies Weekly Cornell Note-Taking Method.)
  • Most Important Book instructions (found here)
  • Resource Books
  • Computers

Approximate time the lesson will take not including the video:

  • One hour

Balanced Literacy Format:

  • Shared Reading
  • Guided Reading

Lesson Presentation Format:

  • Whole Group
  • Cooperative Groups

Specific Strategies:

  • Observation
  • Listening
  • Note Taking
  • Independent Writing
  • Researching


  1. As a class, read the article Celebrate Hispanic Heritagefound in the Hispanic American Heritage weekly unit in Heritage Studies Weekly and discuss what it means to be Hispanic and where the word comes from.
  2. Watch the video Famous Hispanic Americansand use the Cornell Note Taking Method to take notes on the video. Students may want to pause the video every few seconds so the students have time to write. You may also need to watch the video more than once.
  3. Remind students to pay specific attention to:
  4. The different people in the video andwhy they are famous.
  5. Thedifferent jobsin the video that the people are famous for.
  6. Divide students into 9 pairs/groups and assign each group one of the 9 people mentioned in the video to research. They may research in both Studies Weekly and other classroom resources. If possible, students may also research on the internet. Have each group make aMost Important Bookabout the person they researched and present to the class what they have learned. See Most Important Book instructions here and an example below. The 9 people mentioned in the video are:
  7. Joseph Marion Hernandez
  8. Bill Richardson
  9. Melquiades‘Mel’ Martinez
  10. Franklin Chang Diaz
  11. Luis Walter Alvarez
  12. Joan Baez
  13. Cesar Chavez
  14. Gloria Estefan
  15. Rita Moreno

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Suggested Differentiated Instruction Tips:

  • All activities can be done individually, in small groups, or as a class depending on the needs of the students.
  • Students may read the article on their own instead of as a class.
  • If as needed, in order to take notes.

Extension or Enrichment Activity:

  1. Have students find a picture of the famous Hispanic they researched. Save the picture to the computer.
  2. Have students write a one-paragraph summary of what they learned about that person as if the person were speaking. Ex. “I am Rita Moreno. I am a singer and dancer. I have wonseveral performing awards.”
  3. Go to Click on ‘make’ and browse for the picture of the famous Hispanic that was saved to the computer. Follow the instructions on how to make the picture talk. Students will read the script they wrote as the mouth of the picture opens and closes. Note: The louder the student talks, the wider the picture’s mouth will open.


  1. What does the word ‘Hispanic’ mean and where does it come from?
  2. Name a famous Hispanic American and list two facts about them.

Answer Key/ Complexity Levels:

  1. Hispanic is a word that started in the United States and it includes anyone who can trace their family to 20 different countries where Spanish is the main language.


  1. Answers will vary. Acceptable answers are:

Joseph Marion Hernandez-first Hispanic American Congressman, plantation owner,


Bill Richardson- Governor of New Mexico, Secretary of Energy under President Clinton

Mel Martinez- US Senator from FL, Chairman of Republican Party

Franklin Chang Diaz-physicist, engineer, astronaut, been to outer space seven times, in

NASAHall of Fame

Luis Walter Alvarez-won Nobel Peace Prize in physics, developed x- ray device used on

Egyptian pyramids

Joan Baez- Part of the civil rights movement, friends with Martin Luther King Jr.,

protested Vietnam War

Cesar Chavez- fought for rights for farm workers, looked for non-violent ways to protest

Gloria Estefan-one of the world’sbest-selling musical artists, has won sevenGrammy Awards

Rita Moreno- received allfour performing awards, dated Elvis