Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15. From landmark Civil Rights cases to the current debate over immigration policy and reform, this four week period is rich with opportunities to incorporate critical thinking instruction while teaching about the history, heritage, accomplishments, and struggles of Latinos in the United States.
At thinkLaw our mission is to empower all students with the critical thinking skills taught in law schools. We provide resources that foster critical thinking but require very little teacher prep time.
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, thinkLaw will be publishing infographics that highlight key historical and current Hispanic court cases. Each infographic will be accompanied by a probing question to push students to deeper understanding and critical thought.
We want these graphics to be tools that can be easily implemented into your classroom. Here are some suggestions for using these free resources.
- Allow students to view an infographic in class. Post the probing question on the board and have students respond as a quick-write activity, informal discussion, debate, or allow interactive responses using a platform such as
- Divide students into small groups. Give student groups an opportunity to review the case information presented in the graphic. Display the probing question but assign each group a different community member. Groups must brainstorm the question from that individual’s perspective and present their responses.
- Use the probing questions to create an offline twitter chat within your classroom. Present each question to the class. Students must write their response to the question in the format of a tweet and use less than 140 characters plus hashtags. Simply use notecards for students’ responses or download a template from our Teachers Pay Teachers Store. Display the “tweets” in your building or room to engage students in further thought and interaction.
- Participate in our ACTUAL twitter slow chat. Check us out Have your class reach a consensus for an answer to our questions and tweet them to us! We LOVE to hear from teachers and students!
- Present infographics for two different cases and have students complete a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting the events and rulings.
- After viewing an infographic, have students write a first person narrative of what it would have been like to hear the case being argued.
- Collect all infographics and probing questions. Assign each case to a different group. Student groups will be responsible for presenting a case and leading the class in a discussion based on the probing question.
- Use the infographics and probing questions as a spring board for an extension activity. Students can research case events, historical figures, and rulings in greater depth. Students could choose and research their own court case or historical event and create their own infographic using or t as free resources.
- If you’re looking for a quick and easy full length lesson check out on our TPT store. This lesson breaks down the landmark desegregation case Mendez V Westminster (infographic below) into an investigation and discovery activity. Students receive small pieces of information at a time. They must determine how they could learn more. Students determine witnesses that need to be interviewed, evidence that needs to be collected, and questions that need to be asked. As they work through the exercise, more and more information is revealed. This lesson is priced at just $3! You’ll receive a power point and a 15 page PDF guide that includes teacher directions, student worksheets, and two pages of probing questions to accompany the slides.
To learn how your school or organization can adopt thinkLaw’s standards-aligned program that helps educators teach critical thinking to all students, please click here to schedule a time to speak with someone on the thinkLaw team, call us now at (702) 318-7512 or join us on our next webinar; Thinking Like a Lawyer: Powerful Strategies to Teach Critical Thinking to All Students