Free Lesson Plans and Teacher Resources at Verizon Thinkfinity Help Bring the Stories of National Hispanic Heritage Month to Life in the Classroom

From the stories of the Spanish missions, to the artists of the Mexican Revolution to the little-known story of the Bracero guest worker program, Hispanic Heritage Month offers a unique opportunity to celebrate the diverse history and important contributions Latinos have made to American culture.

To help educators pique their students' interest in Hispanic-American history and celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, Verizon Thinkfinity.org will offer a rich collection of free lesson plans, activities and educational resources to educators on a special section of its home page.

Verizon Thinkfinity.org contains thousands of free, engaging educational resources that make learning fun. Lesson plans, in-class activities and homework help can be found quickly and searched by grade level, keyword or subject.

Among the resources available in the Verizon Thinkfinity Hispanic Heritage section are:

  • Mission Nuestra Señora de la Concepción and the Spanish Mission in the New World - In this Picturing America lesson, students explore the historical origins and organization of Spanish missions in the New World and discover the varied purposes they served. Focused on the daily life of Mission Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, the lesson asks students to relate the people of this community and their daily activities to the art and architecture of the mission. For students in grades 6-8. http://edsitement.neh.gov/view_lesson_plan.asp?id=780
  • Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942 -1964 - This lesson examines the program and experiences of Bracero workers and their families. A little-known chapter of American and Mexican history, the Bracero program was originally created to fill labor shortages during World War II. Between 1942 and 1964, approximately 2 million Mexican men came to the U.S. on short-term labor contracts, making it the largest guest-worker program in U.S. history.  For grades 6-12. http://braceroarchive.org/teaching 
  • Five Artists of the Mexican Revolution - In this lesson, students research the major events and personalities in the Mexican Revolution and explore how they influenced the art created at that time in Mexico. Using guided directives, students learn about the relationship between art and history. Students can complete this lesson in English or in Spanish. For grades 9-12. http://www.artsedge.kennedy-center.org/content/2253/ 
  • Latino Poetry Blog: Blogging as a Forum for Open Discussion - In this lesson, students use critical-thinking skills to analyze Latino poetry. Students then refine writing skills as they respond to their peers' poetry analyses on a class blog. Students have the option of making the blog public, thus encouraging good Internet etiquette and further analysis with people outside of school. For grades 9-12. http://www.readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=1160

"Hispanic Heritage Month presents a tremendous opportunity for students to learn more about the wonderful, rich history of Hispanic-Americans and Latin America," said Verizon Foundation President Patrick Gaston. "Through Verizon Thinkfinity, teachers receive quick and free access to a multitude of educational resources to bring the stories of Hispanic-American history to life."

In addition to providing standards-based resources from the nation's leading educational organizations, Verizon Thinkfinity.org also offers a comprehensive professional-development program that allows teachers to sign up for free online or face-to-face training to learn how to make the most of Verizon Thinkfinity tools.

Content for Verizon Thinkfinity is provided through a partnership between the Verizon Foundation and 11 of the nation's leading organizations in the fields of education and literacy: the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Council for Economic Education, International Reading Association, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Center for Family Literacy, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Council of Teachers of English, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, National Geographic Society, ProLiteracy and the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2008, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $68 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  It also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in an additional $26 million in combined contributions to nonprofits.  Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 87 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations provide converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  Wireline also includes Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 235,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.