How to Rock Cinco De Mayo

The end of the year can be a tricky time to keep kids engaged. The best way to keep them motivated and learning is to choose activities that are meaningful and related to your curriculum, yet are easy for teachers to plan and set up. Over the next few days, I'll present some ideas that are easy for you, the teacher, but fun and engaging for the kids.

Complete a Cinco de Mayo Project

After state testing is the perfect time for kids to learn about Cinco de Mayo. It's a great civics lesson in culture, courage and patriotism.

Here's a quick resource that will get you going. It's a colorful PowerPoint presentation that tells the history behind Cinco de May, why it's celebrated in the United States, and why courage and patriotism are so important.

The lesson format is simple:

1.  Show the PowerPoint. Shown below is a three-slide excerpt from the presentation. Maps increase students' geographical literacy. Colorful artwork engages students' interest. Rationale statements help students understand civic lessons and build real-life patriotism.

While the PowerPoint is showing, kids fill in the blanks on the Student Notes page that is provided. When the PowerPoint is finished, students keep their Notes page as a handy reference guide.

2. Students prepare the Brochure, using their Notes page as a reference to complete their project. Students decorate their brochure and fold it in thirds.

3. Brochures can be displayed on a bulletin board. Displaying student projects on a bulletin board is a great motivational tool. Later, students take their brochures home.

4. If possible, play Latino music during class and serve a simple Mexican treat such as tortilla chips and salsa. Explain that tortillas were made by Mexican peasants a long as 500 years ago, and salsa is made from tomatoes, peppers, onions, and cilantro, all of which are a staple in the typical Mexican diet.

Even when planning time is short, your students will enjoy a memorable cultural activity in the classroom. To download this resource, click here. Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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