Cinco De Mayo is an interesting holiday- originally the day was created to celebrate a victory of the Mexican Army over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, but it evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture for Hispanic families living in the United States. In fact, more Americans celebrate the holiday than Mexicans. In Texas, this holiday is huge- and sort of like the equivalent of St. Patrick’s Day for the Irish.
As a homeschooling family, we use Cinco de Mayo to learn about Mexican culture. It is fun to create a day where we eat Mexican food, read books about Mexico, and maybe even make a Cinco de Mayo craft.
I’ve come up with a list of fun Cinco de Mayo books that children can read to learn a little more about Mexico and Mexican culture. This can be used just for one day to celebrate the holiday, for a week-long study about Mexico, or even extended into a month-long unit study about South America, if you wanted.
Mexico ABCs: This fun book explores the basics about Mexico from A to Z, including landmarks, cultures, food, fun, and more!
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the Mexican Hat Dance: This fun book shows preschoolers how to dance a Mexican hat dance (which is popular in some Cinco de Mayo celebrations). The vibrant colors will have any preschooler interested in celebrating the holiday at your house.
For Grade Schoolers
Mexico: A quick overview of both ancient and modern Mexico all together in one easy-to-read book.
Viva Mexico!: The Story of Benito Juarez and Cinco de Mayo : This book is written simply, but offers more information about the origins of the holiday and Benito Juarez. Older children may be more interested in this aspect of the holiday than making a maraca.
For Middle School to High Schoolers
Cinco de Mayo and It’s Aftermath: This serious book takes an in-depth look at the war and holiday from an adult prospective.
El Cinco de Mayo: An American Tradition: This book offers an interesting look to how the holiday has evolved since its origins and why it is more celebrated in America than anywhere else. Older students may find this look at the morphing of the holiday fascinating.
Just for Fun
Cinco De Mayo Arts and Crafts: A book of fun, simple crafts kids can make to celebrate the holiday.
Mexican Folk Dance Paper Dolls : If your kids like paper dolls, then they will enjoy these colorful dolls of Mexican folk dancers. Both a man and a woman are included.
Traditional Mexican Fiesta Recipes: Want to make a tasty Mexican dish for your Cinco de Mayo celebration? These traditional recipes will make you fall in love with everything Mexican. I also love that they are avilable on Kindle for instant download so you can start making tasty meals all the sooner.
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