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Posted on May 4, 2014 in Culture Corner, Featured, Spanish Lessons

Free Cinco de Mayo 2014 Teaching Materials

Cinco de Mayo is here! Americans get so excited about it, but be sure to students that Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. That celebration is on the 16th of September. Cinco de Mayo is still fun and a great opportunity to bring in Mexican geography, history- The Battle of Puebla- and culture in to your classes.

I’m a lover of content based lessons and activities so I take Cinco as an entre to do content lessons for all levels. But, if you don’t have the time, use a Cinco de Mayo activity as a warm up or as the class-closer or reward.

To Do’s

  • Project a map of Mexico and teach geography basics and the location of the Battle of Puebla
  • Practice Days, months, dates and years.  Birthdays are great lead- in to the dates of Mexican history
  • Plan a virtual Cinco de Mayo fiesta with an invitation, a list of foods, decorations, music, and dancing. Bring clothing in too.
  • For more advanced students, bring in Mexican history internet summaries
  • For more advanced students, do a lesson on the French influence on Mexican history and culture

Cinco de Mayo: Unity & Patriotism- a General Overview

Cinco de Mayo honors the victory of the Mexican army over the most elite army of Europe, the French.   The unity of the many indigenous groups and the energy of the young country came to vanquish the  French. It’s a day for celebrating Mexican culture, the diversity of Mexico’s native peoples, and the drive of the Mexican army.

Cinco de Mayo People
Here are the movers and shakers of 19th century Mexican history and Cinco de Mayo:

  • Benito Juárez: The popular Mexican President of the Mexican Republic who inspired Mexican Independence from European domination. Juárez was a Zapotec Indian.
  • Ignacio Zaragoza: The Mexican general who won the Battle of Puebla.
  • Emperor Maximillian: The puppet of the French government who was placed as the Mexican Emporer
  • Empress Carlota: Maximilian’s wife

Content from Culture

A national holiday is the best way to bring several aspects of Spanish into the learning experience: language, culture (food, music, art) and one of our favorites, geography. So many tangential units can come form Cinco de Mayo: the history of Mexico, the French in Mexico, French cultural influences there, and most importantly the vast indigenous cultures of Mexico. Here are some Cinco de Mayo activities for a variety of ages.

Full Selection of Cinco de Mayo Materials

Free Cinco de Mayo Materials

Cinco de Mayo Bundle of Activities & Materials

Cinco de Mayor Lessons for Grades 6-12 Novice Learners

Simple Cinco de Mayo Information & Reading for Novices


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