Celebrate the Cinco

Posted by Kara Parker on April 28, 2015 in 2 Authentic Resources, Cinco de mayo, Mexico

Any celebration is a chance to show your students the products, practices and perspectives of a culture while adding new vocabulary. Something I like to do when there are many aspects to a topic, is to assign a different goal to groups that they will present to the class in a station/science fair setting. Today I’ll share some authentic resources and goals about Cinco de mayo and how you can make these into student-lead stations. You can substitute these ideas for any celebration.

Start with an introduction day using the photos from Megan’s post about Cinco de mayo. It has some amazing photos, ideas and links (read the comments for some excellent ones from readers!) that get students curious. Put the students in groups (4 students per group is my preference), and let them pick a goal. Get them started with the resources I’ve already gathered here. They will be responsible for “teaching” about it so give them some prep time and talk with them about their ideas. On presentation day, half of the group will be at their station and the others will be free to learn! While they roam, they can take their stamp sheets (with main goals/see pic below) with them. The people at the stations will stamp their sheet once they complete the activity. During this time, teachers can walk around, listen and help out when needed. Then they switch roles (the ones that were presenting now roam, and visa versa). One year we did this for other classes to join and learn! Read “Let them plan a festival” for more ideas.


I can tell the basic facts about Cinco de mayo.

This station could have this infographic, and then a trivia game to answer who, where, when, etc. questions. Maybe they can use Kahoot!


I can retell the historical facts and events about the Batalla de Puebla.

At this station, they can read an infographic, then have cards for students to categorize as “México” or “Francia” as a quiz.


I can describe traditional foods for Cinco de mayo.

I love having a tasting station for them to try something and give their opinion. Read “Opinion Cards” to see exactly how I’ve done that in the past. Add some pictures/recipes/information about Mexican street food. Yum!!


I can describe the traditional music and dance.

There is a new Mariachi all-female group called Flor de Toloache from New York. They are great and it is good to see a new twist on an old tradition. Check out their hashtag #FlorDeToloache on Twitter! This station can have a few instruments (real and on iPad) to play, some more songs and lots of pictures.

I can describe the traditional activities.

The main event is a parade, but there is also eating, dancing, watching and all forms of celebrating! The Sitio Oficial has some great AuthRes for this. Also see if you can find out if your community has a traditional celebration. Denver, CO does! Perfect for a homework activity!!


I can describe the traditional decorations.

This station they can watch videos on how to make Papel Picados and Bolas (Nido de Abeja) and actually make them.

I can explain why this holiday is important.

I can compare it to one of my holidays.

These last two goals are the assessment. See what they learned about Cinco de mayo!

Here are some other sites I also found useful:



mayogato  mayo

Hope you get a few new resources or ideas from the post! Share any of your ideas too!

Featured Photo by Flickr user PaulSteinJC/Creative Commons

8 comments for “Celebrate the Cinco”

  1. Justin says:

    I love the passport background for the stamps!

  2. Kara Parker says:

    Thanks Justin! I’m finding Keynote/PowerPoint are a lot easier to format my stamp sheets. I’m thinking a collection of these sheets can be put together to look like a passport and you know I love stamps!

  3. Cristina says:

    Thank you to you lovely ladies! I’ve been following you almost since the beginning of your adventure. It’s always such fun to see what you do in your classrooms, using real authentic input. Looking forward to using some of your ideas. GRACIAS ;o)

    1. Kara Parker says:

      Thanks Cristina! It’s been an adventure for sure. 🙂 Since you’ve seen most everything, what would you like to see more of?

  4. Sharin says:

    Thank you for this! Our learning targets focus on reading, writing, speaking and listening. We don’t have Culture as a separate target, and I am hoping that as our teachers work on redesigning curriculum this summer, they will begin to see Culture as woven in through the various IPA tasks, not something in addition to what they are already doing, but a seamless important part. Loved all the various ways you’ve allowed students to interact with and learn about Cinco de mayo using video, infographics and more.

    1. Kara Parker says:

      Welcome and love it how you are reworking everything! Can you share links to your curriculum for everyone? JCPS did and I know some districts won’t, but I thought I’d ask. 🙂

  5. Jessica says:

    What do you mean by the cards that categorize Mexico and France? Do you have an example?

    1. Kara Parker says:

      Something like I did from this post: http://www.creativelanguageclass.com/authres/culture/dia-de-muertos/muerto-plans/ (Scroll down to the yellow, black and orange Venn Diagram toward the bottom). So there will be one fact on each card. Then have them decide if the fact card is about Mexico or France. There will be a large paper labeled for each country for them to put the card on. Does that make sense?

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