Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo Mariachi Guitar craft……

We had a great week learning about Cinco de Mayo and Mexican Culture……

And dancing the Mexican Hat Dance…..

Happy Cinco de Mayo Everybody!  
Cinco de Mayo is a great holiday to study and learn all about the Mexican Culture in our classroom.
I always celebrate it because I always have the culture represented in my room.

We write about doing pinatas, singing with the mariachis, dancing the Mexican hat dance and eating tortillas and salsa.

We read lots of stories about the Fiesta and the Celebrations of the Day!
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 a week ago by doing a choral reading of FIESTA 
and our READING STREETS story A Birthday Basket for Tia.  Both are about the Mexican culture and both are filled with spanish words they kids LOVED figuring out the meanings of!! Then we looked at some of the Mexican blankets, a tortilla maker, and clothing of the Mexican culture and watched the Mexican Hat Dance on youtube.

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

Here are our cute mariachi guitars….

Here is our hallway bulletin board full of color! Happy Cinco de Mayo!

 Ole…..Ay, yiy yi yi…..

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.

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! I made these for dinner for the hubs! Yummy!

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

We 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.  Another year we decided to make Marracas out of empty, rinsed out,  vegetable cans I’ve been saving up all year. The kids filled them with dried beans and rice. Then we colored some designs on a white piece of paper cut to fit around the can. Lastly we added a piece of yard with pony beads tied on the knotted ends. It looked great! 

I found some paper that looked kind of AZTEC-Y so I copied it and Added the Cinco de Mayo label..
Normally I have the kids bring in a washed out string bean or corn can. Here was a finished one with the yarn and beads added to the ends. This year we ran out of time though. But they are cute and easy to make. 
Mexican Maracas….were one of our Vocabulary Words too. So put popcorn and black beans inside and taped them shut with book tape…..then add some yarn with colorful beads tied onto the ends…
After the beading of  finished Maracas you just HAVE to do The Mexican Hat Dance! 
Da da…..da da……..da da…..clap clap!  Mexican Hat Dance! I had hats all over the classroom! I have all these hats just for this one week of school. haha. 
These are the stickers I had to add to the Mariachi guitars…. they
were from Oriental Trading…

 One math game I made up is  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! I used the website dk

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!

Cinco de Mayo Fun!

Today we celebrated Cinco de Mayo. We ate tortilla chips and mango salsa. Then we played CINCO BINGO with numbers I called out.  (20 + 20 + 1 or 5 tens 3 ones or 1 quarter plus a dime) and kids had to figure out the numbers before they placed their bingo chip. They are getting good at this.

After about 3 games and 6 winners later, we read 2 Weekly Readers and read all the picture captions. Then we created a mariachi art project on a Mexican flag.   And sang a song to the tune of the ABCs.

We sing this song using percussion instruments!

 I had made up a spinner with Mexican words the kids might not know.  Then we read the book FIESTA (that is in an old literature series we still have in our closet at school_  It tells about how Mexican kids celebrate Cinco de Mayo in their community. After discussing some of the new vocabulary in the book we had kids come up and spin the vocabulary spinner. Then they had to use the word in a sentence. Everybody was great at it.

We did our vocabulary test this week using some of the Spanish Words we learned.

Then we passed out Mexican sombreros for art and some Oriental Trading stickers on the Mexican theme. They colored, cut out and decorated their sombreros.  We counted up to 10 three times in Spanish. Then I’d ask the kids “What is ocho, what is tres?” They loved it!

Here we are just before our 1st Grade Musical called “Seasons Change”
Boy did they do a fantastic job dancing the Maypole Spring dance!!!

While they were working I read them The Tortilla Factory. They loved eating their plates of tortilla chips and salsa with mango and peach. Mmmmmm….. Some years I buy a pinata or we make little ones out of brown paper bags and tissue paper with a donkey head. I usually fill the pinatas with colorful taffy. A cute book on pinatas is Curious George Pinata Party by H.A. Rey. It also has the spanish right along with the English words.

Everybody picked out 7 stickers to put on their hats.

We did the hats in red, green and yellow
The Mexican Hat Dance is one of the cute songs on the Dance CD

Lastly, we have to do the Mexican Hat Dance. I have a Dance Party CD that I use all the time for many holidays. It was a great purchase! And we make speech bubbles with “talking marks” of what the Mariachis were saying to one another and put them and our hats up on the bulletin board. We call the quotation marks 66 and 99 (the number words) in my class. Kids love to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!