Cinco de Mayo is next week! It’s a fabulous opportunity to teach students about holidays around the world and to celebrate Mexican culture.
Picture books are my favorite therapy tools. Today, I’m discussing some great books that you can use next week and how you can use them to target a variety of language skills. Many of these books are not specific to Cinco de Mayo, so you can also use them year round too!
Fiesta Time! Celebrating Cinco De Mayo by Sandi Hill
This is a fun and simple informational book! It describes the sights and sounds of Cinco de Mayo – from mariachi bands to the piñata! There are a variety of skills you can tackle with this book:
– Categories: Foods of Cinco de Mayo, Things to do on Cinco de Mayo, etc
– Five Senses: This book discusses things you’ll taste, see, hear, etc! The five senses are so important, because they’re truly the foundation for describing!
– Verbs: smell, taste, dance, etc
Cinco de Mouse-O! by Judy Cox
If you’ve visited my blog before, you might know I’m just a tad bit obsessed with mouse books! I was so excited when I found this gem! A little mouse wakes up and smells something spicy – he ventures down to the park and discovers the Cinco de Mayo celebration! There’s also a pesky cat that stalks him throughout the night and he narrowly escapes! Use this book to target:
– Vocabulary: This book introduces lots of Cinco de Mayo themed vocabulary words!
– Problem/Solution: Mouse desperately wants the treats inside the piñata!
– Adjectives: There are so many great describing words in this book!
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
This book is always a major hit! I’ve used it year after year and it never gets old! A taco party goes awry when the mild salsa actually contains jalapeños! See, dragons love tacos… but they don’t like spice! You can work on:
– Executive Functioning: Have students plan their own taco party!
Chicks and Salsa by Aaron Reynolds
This book is so much fun! The chickens are fed up with chicken feed and desire a more tasty cuisine! Luckily, Rooster has been watching cooking shows in the afternoon with the Farmer’s wife! Unbeknownst to her, he perches outside the window and watches! haha! He takes the chickens to the garden and they gather the ingredients for salsa! This inspires the ducks, who then make guacamole… and then that inspires the pigs to make nachos! There are so many goals you can address with this book:
– Problem/Solution: The chickens are tired of chicken feed, so they make salsa. The pigs are tired of slop, so they make nachos! This book is perfect for talking about problem solving!
– Inferencing: On each page, there is always a major ingredient that nobody knows who gathered. For instance, the chickens ate chips and salsa, but nobody knew where they got the chips! The ducks made guacamole, but nobody knew where they got the avocados! This is so much fun, because if you look closely at the pictures, there’s always a sneaky mouse providing the ingredient!
– Sequencing: Describe the steps for making salsa! The back cover also has a fun recipe!
Mañana Iguana by Ann Whitford Paul
Iguana wants to throw a fiesta on Saturday and tries to recruit help from her friends. She asks Conejo (rabbit), Tortuga (turtle), and Culebra (rattlesnake) to help her write the invitations, but they each come up with an excuse. Each day, she asks for help with a new task and they always decline. Sound familiar? Yep! It’s a twist on The Little Red Hen – which happens to be one of my favorite folktales! So, I love this little story!
– Compare/Contrast: Students can compare this story to The Little Red Hen!
– Inferencing: Have students infer what the animals say each day, they can infer that the animals said no on Monday, so they’ll probably say no on Tuesday too!
– Context Clues: This book goes through each day of the week. On the first page it says Monday (lunes) and then it drops the English word for the rest of the book. Have students figure out what day of the week is martes, miercoles, etc. Also, they can use clues to figure out what fiesta means and mañana.
– Vocabulary: The book also features a glossary of all of the Spanish words used!
Dragons Love Tacos 2 by Adam Rubin
The Dragons are back and they still love tacos! But one problem.. The world’s supply of tacos has been depleted and the Dragons are super sad! How do you solve this problem?! Well, there is only one solution. You hop into a time machine and go back to your taco party (before they ate the spicy tacos) and grab a few tacos to bring back to the future to plant some taco trees! hahahaha!
– Time Concepts: Time travel is a tad bit complicated, but it’s fun way to talk about the past, present, future and before/after!
I hope you found some ideas on how you can integrate Mexican culture into your therapy! Do you have any must-have books that you use for Cinco de Mayo? Leave a comment and let me know! I love adding to my book collection!
Have a wonderful day!