We study Mexico prior to our Cinco de Mayo fiesta.
We learn Spanish color words, numbers and a few simple phrases. I found a work book put out by Frank Schaefer(?) and the Mailbox magazine with activities. On or near May 5 we have a fiesta. I sent up stations and we do Mexican crafts: pottery, tissue paper flowers, corn husk dolls, weaving baskets, we make sarapes out of large paper bags and make a fringe with yarn. I play a CD with Marachae?? music. For food we have soft taco's with all the fixings, Sprite and vanilla ice cream with a garnish of cinnamon graham crackers. If you can get a hold of an of Mailbox magazine with Mexico in it there are lots of the crafts I described. I also decorate the room the night before with streamers of red, green and white. We also make tissue paper banners (cut out like a doily or snow flake)to hang around the room in a string. I hang a pinata. We aren't allowed to break one at school.I had lots of parent volunteers for this. It was a great time!
Cinco de Mayo
A collection activities to help you celebrate Cinco de Mayo with your class.
We study Mexico prior to our Cinco de Mayo fiesta.
We make paper flowers. You take 3 squares of different colored tissue paper about 6" x 6". Place them on top of one another and fold them accordian style. Then tie a pipe cleaner around the middle and carefully fan out or separate the pieces of tissue paper.
We also make Ojos de Dios--God's Eyes. It is hard to describe, but I am sure you could find directions on teh Internet. Here's my best try at directions...You glue together 2 large tongue depressors in a cross shape. Tie off a LONG piece of multicolored yarn to the center. To make the God's Eye you wrap the yarn over the top of a stick and around the back side once. Then turn the God's Eye counterclockwise 1/4 turn. Wrap the yarn around that stick the same way...over the top and around the backside. Turn the God's Eye 1/4. Wrap the yarn. Turn 1/4. Wrap the yarn. Do this until you get to the edge of the tongue depressors and tie the yarn off. It really is a neat craft and the kids love it.
I am also planning a festival. We are making punchos out of grocery bags. The children will decorate this. Then making a sumberrro, I don't know if I am spelling this right but you know what I mean, out of tagboard. You draw it out then cut in the middel. Then we are having a parade with the first grade class. Then performing the Mexican Hat Dance. I hope this helps! Online has a ton of ideas. I also have an activitiy where the kindergartners make their own Spanish counting book!
We are making tissue paper flowers, mosaic masks (pattern ran off on tag, const. paper mosaic), simple maracas made from plastic water bottles, and are going to try making a paper mache pinata. Some things I did last year: paper sack ponchos, God's eye's (hard for my K's), and tissue paper flags (fold like a fan, cut shapes like making a snowflake, then hang from a string strung across the room).
When you take a look at Mexico, remember they have two independence days! In the community I live in in Illlinois, the Mexican Community celebrate Sept. 16, the independence from Spain, more than they do cinco de mayo. Being early in the school year makes for a fun project and sets up things the kids have to look forward to thoughout the year. In the past I have filled a pinata with candy and taken it out to the play ground to break. The kids are warned that not every one will get a turn to hit the pinata, and not everyone will get the same amount of candy. They are usually pretty good with this. I have been able to buy them Mexican candies, but since they are not very sweet, the kids in my class dont like them very well. If you want to do the food, fry up some hamburger, then keep it warm in a crock pot until lunch and fix tacos. Most stores sell flour tortillas and that is what my family likes better than the corn ones. (my husband is of Mexican decent)
I let the kids look at the art of Diego Rivera, and one year we made construction paper cala lilys. The lilys are used in many of his painting. Also, if you know how to make tissue flowers, those would work well also. Remember, Mexicans love bright colors, and they are very happy people too.
One quicker thought on Africa, I tend to study this in February for Black History Month. Stories like Ashanti to Zulu and A Story A Story are good ones to share for this time of the year.
How about a time line of important Mexican events beginning with the Maya or Aztec through the modern day...have the Mexican Independenc highlighted or stand out in the middle of the door. Decorate it with pictures of the events and information. Don't forget to do it in Green, White and Red...
I love around the world themes! We just had a whole week of Mexico for Cinco de Mayo. We made maracas out of a balloon with beans in it taped to a popsickle stick and covered in paper mache. We also cut out a large sombrero shape to decorate and wore in on our heads by attaching a strip of paper to make them fit. When we did the Chinese New Year, we made Chinese lanterns. I ordered them from Oriental Trading this year, but in past years they have just been made out of paper.
We are making salsa in class and then having a taste test - ours against store bought. They love it. We then dance the Mexican Hat dance and learn about what the 5th of May means to Mexico.View Thread
We are doing the cake walk.
Place numbered cards on the floor in a snake pattern, enough for everyone. Students parade around the room stepping on the cards while mexican music plays. Then we stop the music, they top on a card. WE pull a number out of a hat ( A big mexican hat!). If you are standing on that number, ou come and chose a cake off of the table. We play until everyone wins, then we eat our treats and watch a video about Cinco de Mayo.
We have just finished an "all-school" fiesta day in conjunction with San Antonio's annual Fiesta celebrations. Here are some of the activities we had:
Preschool/Kinder Parade--our littlest ones parade through the parking lot to the accompaniment of mariachis. "Princesses" ride in decorated wagons pulled by handsome princes. The "band" plays their favorite tunes on rhythm instruments, and the clowns carry balloons. The rest of the school lines the parade route and waves and cheers.
Pinatas--we fill these with trinkets and candy and enjoy this traditional activity. If candy isn't an option, try filling the pinata with math facts written on pieces of colorful tagboard.
Crafts--Ojo de Dios, yarn art, tissue paper flowers, cascarones, etc. Google can help you find lots of ideas.
Food--Raspas (snow cones), nachos, empanadas, tortillas (several of these foods would work well in "Kid's Kitchen".
We read stories...Too Many Tamales, Chato's Kitchen, Fiesta Fiasco, and F is for Fiesta, are some of my favorites).
Dancing--Mexican hat dance is a favorite.
Spanish--Learn to greet each other in Spanish, to count to 10, etc. Create a Spanish ABC book.
History--research Cinco de Mayo.
And yes, make salsa or pico de gallo!