The countdown has begun…five days until Cinco de Mayo! I love holidays because they provide us with such a great opportunity to spur our students on toward greater fluency while they sit back and think that they’re having fun!! Bwah ha ha! And to think that I once looked forward to them as “free days” for me–a day to give the kids crossword puzzles and lame-o readings in English and eat tortilla chips. Not no more–ain’t nobody got time for that!
It is very possible to teach culture in the target language even at the Novice level. It takes some thought and planning, but you can do it! By teaching high frequency structures throughout the year (even if your curriculum is not structured around it), your students will be prepared to learn about ANYTHING. You can use every day in class–not just holidays–to talk about real things with your students (things that they actually care about). Your students will learn the language through content! It’s the bomb diggity!
So that being said, here is the link to my Cinco de Mayo plans. Once you’ve learned about Cinco de Mayo (you don’t have to use my plans; you can use any plans, of course!), give this Cinco de Mayo jigsaw puzzle to your students (the JPEG below is just the scrambled version; the link contains the solution, two scrambled versions to photocopy and distribute, and instructions–it’s all free). Jigsaw puzzles are a great literacy activity because students feel like they are playing a game, and they are reading the structures contained within the puzzle over and over and over. Zillions of repetitions! This one would be very difficult if students do not have any prior knowledge about Cinco de Mayo, although really clever students might be able to piece together the sentences by finding sentence fragments that fit together logically.
Want more Jigsaw Puzzles? Want to create your own? Download an eight-pack here that comes with editable versions.