Cinco de Mayo Mariachi guitars and corn tortillas

Happy Cinco de Mayo Everybody!  

We had fun all this week learning about the Mexican culture….
Mexican Maracas made from recycled cans, dry beans, yarn and beading on the ends….Fun to dance the Mexican Hat Dance to!  

We started our Cinco de Mayo celebration this week by doing a choral reading of FIESTA 
a book in one of the reading series at our school.  Then we looked at some of the Mexican blankets, a tortilla maker, and clothing of the Mexican culture John had brought in. Thanks John!

A very cute wordsearch for Cinco de Mayo is HERE at Kaboose.

Here are our cute mariachi guitars….
Here is our Cinco de Mayo bulletin board….with our guitars and our writing…..

The inspiration for the Mariachi Guitar art project can be found HERE at Kaboose.  We made ours pretty big and VERY colorful!I let the kids choose the color for their guitars.  We doubled them, cut them out, stuffed them with newspaper strips to make them 3D, then added the string, the triangles and the “frets”(brown parts).

And we learned some new Spanish words from each other….like “Cinco” for 5 and “Mayo” for May!
Here is our finished bulletin board with Cinco de Mayo writing all about the Mexican Fiestas.

Then I showed the kids how we make corn tortillas.  I have a tortilla maker I bought at OLVERA STREET, a tourist spot in Los Angeles. You can get them at Mexican markets or at cooking supply houses.

Here is what the MASA HARINA corn tortilla dough looks like made up…it’s fun to play with! Kids love it. 

Tortilla Maker…..

Use 2 pieces of parchment paper and place dough in between them on the tortilla press…..
Smashing the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper… will look like this! A perfect corn tortilla! 

Then fry them in a frying pan…1 minute on each side! 

Check out the tutorial on my cooking blog….The Weekday Chef  HERE! 
The dough is in the Mexican food section of the grocery store and is called  Masa de harina. 

A great story I read the kids is called THE TORTILLA FACTORY. by Gary Paulsen The Link is HERE. Lots of kids have seen how they make the flour tortillas at the burrito restaurants here but not so much the corn tortillas
.Front Cover

Flower CraftWe love this Cinco de Mayo Tissue Party Flower craft for kids. It’s simple, easy and fun! And, don’t forget super colorful!
Craft supplies you will need:
Tissue paper
Pipe cleaner
Craft instructions:
Cut large squares (6X6) out of the tissue paper.
Have the children choose and stack about 10 squares of different color tissue paper.
Show the children how to accordion fold the tissue paper stack using about 1 in folds.
Then, have the children place a pipe cleaner in the middle of the folded tissue paper and secure it by bending the pipe cleaner over the middle of the folded paper and then twist the ends together.
Once done, have the children starting pulling the tissue paper pieces toward the middle, starting with the top piece.  Have the children hold on to the bottom piece as they do it.
And, voila, the children now have Tissue Paper Flowers for Cinco de Mayo!

In the past I’ve made churros and pinatas, and we’ve even done a large pinata filled with candy, but it was over so fast I didn’t feel it was very fun for most of the kids. I’m not going to do real pinatas again.  But I have done tiny individual ones from a paper bag. Link HERE for last year’s Cinco de Mayo activities.

Last year we did the flag of Mexico and some Mariachis, and cute Sombrero hats using Fiesta stickers from a party store. Link is HERE at Party Cheap. 

But this year we decided to make Marraccas out of empty, rinsed out,  vegetable cans I’ve been saving up all year. 

These are the stickers I had used last year and still had plenty….I think they
were from Oriental Trading….We put them on hats last year, and this year we added them to
the mariachi guitars. 
I found some paper that looked kind of AZTEC-Y so I copied it and Added the Cinco de Mayo label…then had the kids color them with markers as a fast finisher all week. Most of them got done with it by Friday. 
Here was a finished one with the yarn and beads added to the ends. 

Then we cut them out and glued them on cans.. We put popcorn and black beans inside and taped them shut with book tape…..then added some yarn and beads tied onto the ends of yarn….
After the beading of our finished Maracas we HAD to do The Mexican Hat Dance! 
Da da…..da da……..da da…..clap clap!  Mexican Hat Dance! 
I had hats all over the classroom!  It was fun!   
Finished Maracas! Ole!
More Maracas….just after the Mexican Hat Dance…we were all packed up to go home….
Cinco de Mayo is a fun holiday…..
The last few beaders finishing their Maracas….

It was fun….

 One math game played was CINCO math Bingo and I used mental math and place value problems I made up on the spot. They had to add and subtract in their heads.  For instance, I’d say, “what is 132 plus 20” or “What is 340 take away 300?”  Then they would put the bingo marker on that number. Or I’d say, how much is 3 quarters worth? Or one quarter plus a nickel?  Lots of fun and pretty challenging too! 
We play till 3 people get bingos and then we start a new game. 

Weekly Readers we read on Mexican culture…..
I saved a few of these Weekly Readers on Hispanic Culture.

It would be fun to come up with a Jeopardy game with simple questions on fiestas, traditions and foods wouldn’t it?  Yeah, I don’t know if I’m that ambitious! 

Color Word Match Game

A Cinco de Mayo Fill in the Blank I made up can be found HERE at this link. And of course we HAD TO DANCE!  We layed the Mexican Hats all over the floor and groups of 3 kids danced around them. I should have made a video, But we danced to this one and it’s pretty good too!

 Enjoy! Arriba! OLE!  And HAPPY CINCO de MAYO!

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