This will be my last lesson plan blog, so typing this is a bit bitter sweet. I have about 2 years and over 150 posts on my site with lessons for ages 1-5 and I feel like with my oldest entering Kindergarten next year I’m at a place where the website is complete…plus I want to start reusing my higher level plans with my younger son! It has been such a fun journey sharing our learning with everyone, and I truly hope I helped make homeschooling or even just staying home with your littles a bit easier and more fun over the past two years. My website will stay active, and as I go through my older blogs I’m going to be adding in activities where I see any holes I may have (I just pulled up the ice cream unit and already plan to add in more science and math!)
That being said, with Cinco de Mayo coming up, I thought that would be a fun and festive theme to end my blogging with! I’ve been to Mexico a few times and the vibrant culture, people and places there are such a joy to visit! Many mistakenly think Cinco de Mayo is Mexican independence day, but it’s actually the day the poorly equipped Mexican army of about 8,000 troops defeated the more powerful 16,000 troop French army at the first Battle of Puebla. It was a triumphant underdog event and a huge moral boost for the Mexican army, and thus became a minor holiday in Mexico. It’s actually celebrated much more widely in the United States to honor Mexican-American culture. Bien, si?
-Read and retell “Frida”: We read the book ‘Frida” about Frida Kahlo’s life, then I let my 5 year old use the pictures to retell the story.
-Mexican heritage ABC order: I printed this Mexican ABC order set off of Teachers Pay Teachers, laminated it and had my littles read the words. Then my 5 year old put them in ABC order.
-Cinco de Mayo emergent reader: I printed this emergent reader from Teachers Pay Teachers and then we read and colored each page together. When we were finished, I had my 5 year old read it again by himself.
-Spanish ABC’s: I took French in high school, so I had to find a good video for us to all learn our Spanish ABC’s! I loved this one from YouTube because after singing it through she goes over chunks of the alphabet, then has you repeat them- which is helpful with pronunciation!
-Spanish words and phrases: It’s always helpful to know a little Spanish, so this week we learned the basic phrases: hola (hi), adios (goodbye), me llamo (my name is), por favor (please), gracias (thank you), and de nada (you’re welcome).
-Mexian book list:
-Nacho geometry: I cut out shapes to make “nachos”, reviewed them with my littles, then had them cut out a circle for a plate and use the shapes to make nachos! When they were finished, I asked how many triangles, rectangles, circles and ovals they used on their nachos.
-Spanish numbers: Each day, practice counting 1-10 in Spanish with your little. I learned my Spanish numbers from my students as a teacher, so we did this without a video but if you need one for pronunciation YouTube has one here. Here’s a cute counting book I found too!
-Rectangle cutting practice: In Mexico, colorful banners made from rectangular pieces of paper or plastic (papel picado) are used to decorate, so we cut out some rectangles by folding a sheet of construction paper in half lengthwise and then widthwise then cutting along the lines. To relate this to math, I asked my littles what shape the paper was before and after it was cut and what made it a rectangle. Then we strung them with our papel picado craft (in the art section below) to make a banner to hang in our living room.
-Cinco de Mayo addition word problem: I got this from a set on Teachers Pay Teachers and it’s great because it has sections where your little can work out their thinking in multiple ways (drawing, number line, equation). I had mine underline the question, circle the numbers and box the action words to help him solve.
-Cinco de Mayo subtraction word problem: I printed this from the same link above (it came with several addition and subtraction problems if you wanted to do one daily!) then had my little follow the same instructions within the word problem, and solve by subtracting (he chose to draw a picture, then erase).
-STEM challenge: Build a Lego Mayan pyramid. I drew my littles a picture of a Mayan pyramid (you can also show them a picture online or in a book) then gave them the challenge to create one using Legos.
-Cinco de Mayo book and video: We read a nonfiction book on Cinco de Mayo and watched a video on the holiday too. Then I had my littles tell me 5 things they learned about it.
-Make and break a paper bag pinata: First, I had my littles cut fringe into some long strips of colorful tissue paper (I modeled it first). Then I glued them to a paper bag in layers, starting at the bottom and working my way up. When I was done, I added some googly eyes and of course candy and stapled the top shut. We’re going to break it open after dinner on Cinco de Mayo next week! I got this idea from Fluent U.
-Make a Mexican dinner: Wouldn’t you know I forgot to buy taco ingredients this week! LoL I’m going to do it next week instead on the ACTUAL 5th of May. Any who, there’s no picture for this one, but choose a Mexican dish to make for Cinco de Mayo to celebrate! My favorite are chilaquiles- but tacos, nachos, burritos, quesadillas, enchilladas are easy and always a hit with the fam!
-Alibrejes: Alibrejes are a traditional Mexican folk art sculpture of brightly colored, often mixed-up animals (think a lion with a fish tail and wings). We created our own alibrejes from clay, let it dry, threw a coat of decoupage on top of it to seal everything together (clay can be finnicky) then painted them! This took a few days to complete, so you may want to start early in the week! It was a lot of fun though! You can also use Sculpey clay and forgo the paint (actually that’s probably a better way to go…this was my first time trying decoupage and even THAT didn’t stick to the clay…these are actually a few I made two years ago because ours still need to be painted! I guess they use glaze for a reason!)
-Papel picado: Papel picado- or cut out paper- is a decoration widely used during holidays throughout Mexico. To make ours, we folded rectangles of tissue paper in half lengthwise twice then top to bottom once and cut out shapes from the sides. Then we carefully opened them to reveal the pretty design we created with negative space (ie. the holes!) I got this from Fluent U.
-Maraca craft: This is so easy and the kids LOVE them! You tape two plastic spoons together using washi tape, then fill a plastic Easter egg half way with rice (or dried beans). Tape the egg shut, then pop it in between the spoons and tape the whole thing together securely. Use in the next activity to make dancing extra fun! I got this idea from Pinterest.
-Dance to mariachi music: Ask Alexa to play some mariachi music and dance around with your littles and your maracas!
-Frida Kahlo coloring page: I printed coloring pages of Frida Kahlo, then had my littles color them. We did this the same day we read the book!
-Watch “Coco”: This movie is about another Mexican holiday- Dia de los Muertos- but it’s one of my favorites! We watched it anyway this week just because it sort of tied into our theme!
-Letter of the week: You should be finished the alphabet by now, so you can either just review the ones your little doesn’t know or skip this part!
-Word of the week: there, each day we do a different activity focused on our word- introduction/sound the word out/have your little practice writing it on the chalkboard or whiteboard, word family list- think of other words that rhyme with your word of the week, use the word in a sentence (have your little come up with the sentence and write it for them) then have your little illustrate the sentence, and workpage practice.
-Bible verse: This month’s Bible verse is “Be kind to one another, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 I write each word in the verse on a post-it, stick them to the wall then have my little point to each word and read it each day all month.
-Character trait of the month: forgiveness…this word is reviewed and posted at the start of the month then each time one of my littles freely demonstrates generosity I use the word to specifically praise what they’re doing and encourage the trait in them. (ie. “Thank you for forgiving your brother for grabbing that toy from you.”)
- book about Frida Kahlo
- paper bag (small)
- taco ingredients
- blocks or legos
- large easter egg
- 2 plastic spoons
- washi tape
- tissue paper