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Cinco de Mayo, translated, “The fifth of May” commemorates the victory of the Mexican army over the French invaders at Puebla in 1862. Cinco de Mayo is a national holiday in Mexico and is celebrated there as well as in Mexican-American communities.
This is a wonderful Cinco de Mayo project!
You will need: A large balloon, lots of newspaper, flour, masking tape, colored tissue, paint (optional), glue, scissors, string, pencil.
Blow up the balloon & tie tightly. Then tear the newspaper into long, thin strips (about 1 inch wide and at least 12 inches long). You'll need lots of strips! In a large bowl, mix 5 cups of flour with water- adding the water slowly until it is the consistency of pancake batter. Dip the newspaper strips in the flour and water mixture, wetting them completely. Remove any excess moisture from the strips by running them through your fingers, and then drape them over the balloon. Continue overlapping strips until the balloon is completely covered. Add more and more layers of newspaper until you have applied 5 -10 layers.
To decorate your pinata, let it dry completely, then either paint it, or cover it with colored tissue paper attached with craft glue. Overlap the tissue like roof shingles.
To fill the pinata, cut a small flap in the top, bend it back carefully and drop in small wrapped candies or goodies. When the pinata is full, fold the flap back in to place.
For an authentic snack — and a fun counting and measurement lesson at the same time invite students to make their own nachos. Provide an ample amount of nacho chips of all shapes and colors, plus lots of other traditional (and not-so-traditional) ingredients. Place the ingredients within reach of the students, and divide the class into small groups. Give each group a plastic bowl, a plastic spoon that will function as a "teaspoon," and a clear plastic cup with permanent marker lines delineating quarter, half, and three-quarter cup measures. Then, write your own nachos "recipe" on the board. For example: 20 blue chips, 10 round chips, 5 red-hot chips, 1/2 cup orange cheese, 1/4 cup white cheese, 2 tsp. tomatoes, 3 tsp. lettuce, 5 tsp. salsa, 2 tsp. sour cream, 1 tsp. guacamole. The children will love measuring it out, then chowing down!
It's Cinco Time!
Give five cheers for Cinco de mayo, the May 5 holiday that's celebrated each year in Mexico with colorful parades and picnics. Since this historic date is the fifth day of the fifth month, why not celebrate with counting by fives? Try this little routine to reinforce clock skills. Call a student's name and ask, "What time is it?" The student will then answer with the time; for instance, "9:30." Then the class will chant, "No, it's cinco time!" The student must count to the next hour by fives starting with the time on the clock ("9:30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, and 10:00!"). The class can quietly clap along with the count. Make the announcement spontaneously throughout the day, and reward five stickers for perfect five counting. For older students, try counting backwards!
Fun Science Project for Cinco de Mayo:
What makes Mexican Jumping Beans jump?
The movements of a jumping bean are actually caused by a caterpillar that lives inside the seed. Butterflies of the species laspey resia saltitans deposit their eggs in the shrub's flower.
After the eggs hatch, the caterpillars burrow into the young seeds of the shrub. The caterpillar eats away the inside of the seed, but it leaves the seed wall undamaged. The caterpillar then builds a web along the inner wall.
Apparently, the seed jumps when the caterpillar grasps the web and jerks its body vigorously. This helps scare away birds and other animals that might try to eat the seeds.
Warmth - increase the caterpillar activity and jumping. Jumping beans remain active for several months. The caterpillar makes a circular lid by cutting through the seed wall.
The caterpillar later forms a cocoon and begins to change into
a butterfly. When the change is completed, the adult butterfly pushes
through the lid and leaves the seed.
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