Cinco de Mayo
May 5

Cinco de Mayo is a date of great importance for the Mexican and Chicano communities. It marks the victory of the Mexican army over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Although the Mexican army was eventually defeated, the "Batalla de Puebla" came to represent a symbol of Mexican unity and patriotism. With this victory, Mexico demonstrated to the world that Mexico and all of Latin America were willing to defend themselves from foreign intervention and conquest.

For the elementary classroom Cinco de Mayo is a great time to learn about Mexican history, culture, and geography. Here are websites and literature books that have been reviewed for classroom use. If you find others that would be of value to teaches, please send them to me at

Margaret Hill, Director


History of Cinco de Mayo
This MexOnline site provides a brief illustrated history of Cinco de Mayo.

The Battle of Puebla and Cinco de Mayo
Part of the PBS website “The Border,” this site puts the Battle of Puebla into modern historical context.

Mexico – World Factbook
Here is information from the American Central Intelligence Agency on the history, geography, government, economy, and people of Mexico.

Mexico for Kids
Explore the history and government of Mexico in English, Spanish, Italian or French at this site designed by the Mexican presidency for children.

Timeline Overview of Mexican History
See how Cinco de Mayo fits into the long history of Mexico by reviewing the timeline that begins with ancient times. The timeline links to further information.


Cinco de Mayo WebQuest
This WebQuest for grade 2-3 students concentrates on the holiday Cinco de Mayo and encourages students to explore the cultural roots connected to today's current celebrations.

Cinco de Mayo Mini Unit
This unit of study for 4th and 5th grade students by Jessica Shaw provides an overview of the history and ideas to help students understand the importance of holidays that are unique to specific peoples and countries.

Let's Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
This lesson provides elementary students with an opportunity to learn about Cinco de Mayo including: the history of Cinco de Mayo, mariachi music, piñatas, photographs of a traditional Cinco de Mayo celebration, and a traditional Cinco de Mayo recipe.

Mexican Crafts and Activities
Enchanted Learning provides resources for learning about Mexico for young students. There are crafts, geography, and language activities.


Campoy, F. Isabel. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the Mexican Hat Dance (Stories to Celebrate). Alfaguara Infantil, 2006.

Doering, Amanda. Cinco De Mayo: Day of Mexican Pride (First Facts). First Facts Books, 2006.

Gracia, Aurora C. Cinco De Mayo (Holiday Histories). Heinemann Library, 2003.

Garcia, James. Cinco De Mayo: A Mexican Holiday About Unity and Pride (Proud Heritage-the Hispanic Library). Child's World, 2003.

Heinrichs, Ann. Cinco De Mayo (Holidays, Festivals, & Celebrations). Child's World, 2006.
Levy, Janice. Celebrate! It's Cinco De Mayo/Celebremos Es El Cinco De Mayo. Albert Whitman & Company (Bilingual edition), 2007.

Lowery, Linda. Cinco De Mayo (On My Own Holidays). First Avenue Editions, 2005.
Mattern, Joanne. Celebrate Cinco De Mayo (Celebrate Holidays). Enslow Publishers, 2006.

Orozco, Rebeca and Maria C. Urrutia. Cinco de Mayo: Yesterday and Today. Groundwood Books (Reprint edition), 2002.

Wade, Mary D. and Nanci Vargas. Cinco de Mayo (Rookie Read About Holidays). Children's Press, 2003.

Walsh, Kieran. Cinco De Mayo: Holiday Celebrations (Holiday Celebrations). Rourke Publishing, 2003.