Since I took Spanish throughout middle school and all of high school, Cinco de Mayo, or, “the Fifth of May”, is a holiday that I celebrated in the classroom for many years in a row. This day honors the Mexican Army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. However, an interesting fact is that the holiday has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage and is celebrated more prominently in Mexican – American families in the U.S than in Mexico. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on the streets with parades, mariachi bands, and food festivals throughout Mexico and the U.S. Here are some ways you can bring the celebration into your classroom!
The days that we had fiestas/parties in my Spanish class were the best days of the year; we got to watch movies, bring in homemade Mexican or Mexican themed meals, and talk about the culture of Mexico. The food especially was mine and my classmates favorite part of the day.
Even though I celebrated Cinco de Mayo in only middle school and high school, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be introduced to elementary school as well. These recipes appeal to all ages, but are simple enough to be used in younger grades. For all of these products and snacks that we will be using, don’t forget to check the packing to make sure the ingredients were not made in a facility that also processes nut products. These snacks are made to be enjoyed safely by every student (and teacher)!
Spanish Hot Chocolate
…with a Twist
Really, this could read, “Spanish Hot Chocolate… on a Stick” but either works! Spanish/Mexican Hot Chocolate goes a step further in flavor, versus the regular hot chocolate we are used to. Cocoa, cinnamon, and chili powder can be found in a recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate, which makes it spicy and rich. We are going to make this hot chocolate a little more kid and classroom friendly for Cinco de Mayo…
Cosmo creations Spicy Siracha Puffed Corn
Hot Tamale Candies or Cinnamon Jelly Beans
Optional: Coconut Oil
The Sriracha puffed corn brings the spicy flavor that you get in Spanish or Mexican Hot Chocolate from the chili powder, and then we will drizzle melted chocolate over the popcorn to add richness and sweetness. The hot tamale candies add a cinnamon taste, and since we are used to putting marshmallows in our hot chocolate, that’s where the mini ones come into play in this recipe.
The first thing to do is melt the chocolate chips. To do this, you can add the coconut oil to about a cupful of chocolate chips and melt them in the microwave in 30-second intervals (I’ve found that to be the best way to melt and not burn the chocolate) and stirring in between. The coconut oil helps the mixture to become thinner and easier to drizzle. If you don’t have access to a microwave or don’t want to run to the teacher’s lounge/cafeteria in order to melt the chocolate, you could use a hot plate to do so as well. The science department used them in my school a lot, so if they are available, you could borrow one (or bring one in if you have one at home!) After you have your chocolate melted, drizzle it over pieces of the Sriracha puffed corn. (Or full on dip them if you are a chocolate lover like me!) It’s easier to take the puffed corn out of the bag and separate the corn into small containers or even cupcake wrappers and then drizzle the chocolate. The mix of sweet and spicy is delicious! Set the chocolate-coated corn puffs to the side to allow the chocolate to harden.
Now, all you have left to to do put the snacks on the sticks! This part can incorporate teaching different patterns to your students. Decide on a pattern you want, (ex. A-B-C patterns) and having them follow it. On one toothpick should be at least one piece of the chocolate covered Sriracha puffed corn, one mini marshmallow, and one Hot Tamale, in any pattern you choose. If you don’t think that your students will get too much of a sugar high from one of these, you could always use a longer wooden skewer instead of a toothpick, which would allow more of each ingredient to fit on one stick, also allowing for longer patterns! I will be eating these much more than only on Cinco de Mayo, but they are quick and easy for your classroom celebration!
Healthy Snack Ideas
If you are looking for something healthier to make for Cinco de Mayo, these recipes might do:
Want a healthy salsa recipe? Check out the recipe from Pampered Teacher.
You can make this in the classroom and even incorporate a little math with it! Have your student’s use the recipe proportions found online and add fractions to double or triple the recipe in order to feed a larger crowd.
Another easy recipe to make for Cinco de Mayo is Salsa Roll ups! The recipe can be found on The Country Cook blog.
Have your students try to make as many words as they can from ‘Salsa Roll Up’, ‘Tortilla’, or Cinco de Mayo’.
I hope your Cinco de Mayo party is filled with yummy Mexican themed (or authentic) food and activities that all of your students will enjoy!
This time of year is often punctuated with fun, classroom celebrations. This is a great way for teachers to connect with students and relax as the year winds down. To help you celebrate in style, Pampered Teacher is featuring a pack of really cute and colorful party napkins in upcoming subscription boxes.
Have an awesome end of school year!