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Cinco de Mayo - Books and Activities

Guest Author - Paula Laurita

Pack your bags and embark on a literary trip to Mexico!

Just in time for Cinco de Mayo maravilloso books and activities to explore the traditions and culture of our southern neighbor.

Ages 4-8
Cuckoo/Cucu, by Lois Ehlert.
Vivid cut-paper collages inspired by Mexican folk art create a striking backdrop for this traditional story about cuckoo. Adapted from a Mayan tale, this bilingual picture book tells how cuckoo loses her brilliant plumage and gains the gratitude of the other animals.

Activity:
Birds of a Feather
Supplies:

  • Colorful Paper
  • Brads
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Have each student create a bird. Cut out simple head, body, wing, tail, and leg shapes from brightly colored paper. (For younger students copy and enlarge patterns to make templates for tracing.) The students carefully fasten the pieces together with brads; then use scraps of paper and glue to decorate the assembled bird. Create a colorful bulletin board.

Ages 9-12
Viva Mexico!: The Story of Benito Juarez and Cinco De Mayo, by Argentina Palacios.
Benito Juárez, a Zapotec Indian, was born and raised in extreme poverty. With hard work, determination, and strong love for his country, Juárez became the president of Mexico and defeated the French, who had occupied the country for five years.

Activity
Cinco de Mayo Pictionary
Supplies:

  • Chalkboard
  • Chalk
  • Eraser
  • Papers with Cinco de Mayo/Mexican objects written on them
  • Bag
  • Timer

How To Play:
Put papers with Cinco de Mayo/Mexican objects written on them into bag. Divide children into two groups. Flip a coin to see which team goes first. Invite a child from the playing team to approach the chalkboard, draw a slip of paper, and read it to themselves. On your mark, the child should then draw the object in hopes that his/her team members will guess the object on their paper. If the team guesses correctly, before time runs out, they score a point. If the playing team does not guess correctly the other team has five seconds to try to come up with the correct answer. If they guess correctly they score a point and it is their turn to play.

Take a journey with these great Cinco de Mayo sites.

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Content copyright © 2014 by Paula Laurita. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Paula Laurita. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Christine Sharbrough for details.

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