What's Up World? Spain

Learn about life in this country across the Atlantic. 

Per Bengtsson/Shutterstock.com

Spain is a country in Europe. Its leaders have shaped parts of the world for hundreds of years. In the past, Spain showed its power through the exploration and takeover of lands in parts of North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean Islands.

Over time, places such as Mexico and Cuba won independence from Spain. But Spanish culture is still strong in those countries.

In the United States, National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated each year from September 15 to October 15. It honors the traditions and ways of life of people whose ancestors can be traced back to Spanish-speaking countries. 

Fun and Games

Soccer is Spain’s most popular sport. Many people think La Liga, or the Spanish League, is one of the world’s best soccer leagues.

Bill Cheyrou/Alamy Stock Photo

Look at This! 

This park is like something out of a fairy tale. Parc Güell in the city of Barcelona is a popular tourist spot in Spain. It was designed by a famous architect named Antoni Gaudí. Can you tell from the colors, shapes, and plants that he was inspired by nature? 

Georgios Tsichlis/Shutterstock.com

Let’s Eat! 

Tapas are small plates of food that are often shared. They are eaten with lunch or dinner, or as snacks between meals. There are hundreds of different tapas, including patatas bravas, or potatoes served with a sauce (pictured, below). It’s delicious!


Say Hello!
Castilian Spanish is the official language of Spain. You’d greet someone by saying hola (OH-lah). Give it a try!

Creature Feature 

This Iberian lynx makes its home in Spain. In 2002, only 94 of these big cats remained because of illegal hunting and loss of habitat. Spain took action to protect them, and there are now more than 1,000 Iberian lynxes in the wild. 



Tamborrada is a joyous, noisy festival in the city of San Sebastián. Starting at midnight on January 20, people drum and sing for an entire day.

Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

1. Based on the article, what are ancestors?

2. Based on the map on page 5, what countries are Spain’s closest neighbors?

3. Has Spain been able to help the Iberian lynx? Give evidence from the article to support your response.

Skills Sheets (2)
Skills Sheets (2)