5 No-Prep Caribbean American Heritage Month Activities for Elementary

May 9, 2024 3 min read

How do you celebrate Caribbean American Heritage Month in the elementary classroom? Read on for five quick, no-prep activities you can quickly implement!

5 Caribbean American Heritage Month Activities

When is Caribbean American Heritage Month?

June is a busy season for teachers (hello, end of the year), but it’s also National Caribbean American Heritage Month!

This is a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Caribbean Americans to the rich cultural tapestry of the United States.

#1 – Introduce Caribbean Heritage Month

First, use an educational video to address the big overarching questions—why is Caribbean American Heritage Month important, when did it start, where is it celebrated, and how can we participate?

#2 – Discuss Famous Caribbean Americans

One way to celebrate Caribbean American Heritage Month is by recognizing the various contributions of famous Caribbean Americans.

I like to expose my students to well-known, lesser-known, and modern figures throughout the month (and beyond).

Some examples include:

  • Rihanna
  • Usain Bolt
  • Brian Lara
  • Kirani James
  • Edwidge Danticat
a gallery of famous Caribbean Americans

Ways to Use Biographies

The most common way to use these biographical posters is on a bulletin board display. Students love learning about new people as they pass by in the hallways.

Another way to utilize biographies during Caribbean American Heritage Month is to do a research project. Here’s how: have students use kid-friendly sites to research a famous Caribbean American, then create a presentation to share with the class.

Of course, a gallery walk is always a great idea, too!

#3 – Explore Caribbean Food

Food is an integral part of Caribbean culture. Introduce students to popular dishes like jerk chicken and rice and peas, and discuss their rich history and cultural significance.

If you can, I’d highly suggest cooking one of the meals together! Or, if you have Caribbean restaurants nearby, invite some guests to tell your class about their food offerings and history.  What better way to teach than with these fun and interactive experiences and experts!

Alternatively, you can familiarize students with Caribbean food recipes, like this Trinidadian Roti.

# 4- Learn Traditional Caribbean Dance

Have students learn traditional dances from Caribbean dancers on YouTube.

It’s best to start with an introduction to the dance and its rich history.

For example, start by introducing students to Soca music. Use an educational YouTube video.

Next, follow-along videos are perfect for elementary students to learn. Here’s an example of teaching students soca.

Additionally, you could introduce students to SocaKidz on YouTube, music videos featuring kids singing popular soca songs with kid-friendly lyrics. What an inspiration for students today!

Along the same line, you can infuse Caribbean music throughout the day with this Kid’s Caribbean Party Jam Spotify playlist.

#5 – Read Books Representing Caribbean American Experiences

The importance and impact of read-alouds should not be overlooked. It’s a quick way to incorporate inclusion and diversity into the classroom while also exposing students to cultures outside their own.

Check out this booklist of 14 Caribbean picture books, each offering a unique perspective on Caribbean American experiences.

Choose a few (or all) to read to your class and spark meaningful discussions about diversity and inclusion.

Caribbean American Heritage Month Ideas

Remember, you can incorporate these ideas all year, not just in June!

  1. Introduce Caribbean American Heritage Month
  2. Discuss famous Caribbean Americans
  3. Explore Caribbean food
  4. Learn traditional Caribbean dance
  5. Read books representing Caribbean American experiences

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