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This month, students in Señora García-Levitas’s kindergarten and third grade classes celebrated Cinco de Mayo. Students learned that Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexico’s unlikely victory against the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, during the Franco-Mexican War. Although considerably outnumbered, the Mexicans defeated a much-better-equipped French army. Cinco de Mayo is often mistaken in the United States for Mexico’s Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16 and commemorates the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence from Spain. Students were surprised to learn that Cinco de Mayo is not a national holiday in Mexico, as it is mostly celebrated in the town of Puebla and in the United States. 

Cinco de Mayo provided an opportune time to learn more about Mexican culture and traditions. Kindergarten students learned about different facets of Mexico, and they created festive Mexican ornaments and decorated their own stickers. The third grade delved deeper into their study of Mexico to learn about the original inhabitants of Mexico, the Mayan civilization, and their contributions to the fields of the arts, architecture, mathematics, and astronomy. The third graders then created Mayan temples.

Students listened to mariachi music, danced, learned some words in Spanish associated with the holiday, and they also learned what foods originated in Mexico. As a result, they are all more well-informed about this holiday and Mexican culture in general. ¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!