Friday, April 14, 2017

Learning About Mexico!

We just finished a look at Mexico (along with Mexican-American culture)! As I mentioned before, the main books we are covering are recommended by the Five in a Row [FIAR] curriculum and Give Your Child the World by Jamie C Martin.

Our FIAR book was not about Mexico, but I really wanted to talk about Mexico since my kids are Mexican-American and I love covering countries where we have Compassion kids! Here are the books we read:

  • De Colores and Other Latin American Folksongs for Children by Jose-Luis Oroz
  • Pío Peep! by Alma Flor Ada
  • Papá and Me by Arthur Dorros
  • In My Family/En mi familia by Carmen Lomas Garza
  • Calling the Doves/El canto de las palomas by Juan Felipe Herrera
  • Sweet Memories/Dulces recuerdos by Kathleen Contreras
  • Let Me Help!/¡Quiero ayudar! by Alma Flor Ada
  • Lucas and his Loco Beans by Ramona Moreno Winner
  • The Fiesta Dress by Caren McNelly McCormack
  • Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto
  • I Love Saturdays y domingos by Alma Flor Ada
  • Cinco de Mouse-o by Judy Cox
  • The Three Little Javelinas by Susan Lowell
  • Borreguita y el coyote by Verna Aardema
  • The Goat in the Chili Patch by Lana Josefa Kratky
  • The King's Oranges by Caitlin Brooks
  • 'Twas Nochebuena by Roseanne Greenfield Thong
  • What Can You Do with a Rebozo/¿Qué puedes hacer con un rebozo? by Carmen Tafolla

    I really enjoyed Pío Peep! and actually bought the book and CD combo after borrowing it from the library. I did not grow up with nursery rhymes in Spanish, so it's been fun to learn them along with my kids! And for English speakers, these are written and sung in both Spanish and English.

    We really enjoy the books by Alma Flor Ada. Let Me Help!/¡Quiero ayudar! takes place in San Antonio, where some of my in-laws live, and Rosie really enjoyed the parrot as the main character! And it was fun seeing Juanito drawing connections from I Love Saturdays y domingos to his own life and grandparents!

    We also really enjoyed comparing and contrasting some folktales with a Mexican flare to those we read from Peru. Juanito noticed that the antagonist in Peruvian tales is a fox, whereas in Mexican tales, it is a coyote. The Three Little Javelinas, a three little pigs tales set in the American Southwest, was one of Juanito's favorite stories, along with Borreguita y el coyote.

    But my absolute favorite book out of the lot was What Can You Do with a Rebozo/¿Qué puedes hacer con un rebozo?! It was such a fun book and the kids loved it. It makes me really want to read What Can You Do with a Paleta/¿Qué puedes hacer con una paleta?.

    We found the countries on the map and spent some time praying for our Compassion kids, Jose and Elsa.

    Juanito loved Jose's hair and so he styled his and our baby Jose's hair to look the same! He also found his Mexican soccer jersey and wanted to make sure we could see the shirt in the photo we're sending to Jose.

    We also watched some videos about Compassion's work in Mexico! I really love when Compassion just uses subtitles for English because it makes my kids work on their Spanish!

    We colored the Mexican flag, and then I found some fun coloring pages (boy and girl) and paper dolls (boy and girl)!

    The kids wanted to send their art and the paper dolls to Jose and Elsa, and per Rosie's request, I helped with Elsa's doll. If you want to send letters to your Compassion sponsored kids, just remember to send at most 6 sheets of paper and label everything with your child's name and number!

    For our co-op, we played a game from Mexico, sent to us by our very own Jose who we sponsor through Compassion! I know he will be so proud that we shared his game with friends! We also created Mexican Mirrors, which was so much fun! The kids really took a lot of time and worked carefully. And I had another coloring page with a piñata for the kids who finished early:

    We also ate some chilaquiles (or migas, per my husband's family, although I know migas as ham and cheese sandwiches thanks to Argentina...), courtesy of my favorite recipe book Extending the Table: A World Community Cookbook by Joetta Handrich Schlabach. We have also been eating other Mexican meals over the past few weeks. We've had fish tacos and beef tacos, bean and cheese quesadillas (our typical lunch staple), gallo pinto (black beans and rice, our other lunch staple), and toasted flour tortilla topped with cinnamon and sugar!

    Both kids narrated What Can You Do with a Rebozo/¿Qué puedes hacer con un rebozo?.

    Juanito said,
    Mamá pone el rebozo en los hombros. Hacelo into a parque. Usalo para un bebé. Jugar con un rebozo. El tío lava el piso pero usa el rebozo de mamá. La niña baila la Gamba. La niña duerme con el rebozo. La niña ponelo para una capa de héroe. Tapó los ojos para su cumpleaños. El babé le gusta jugar el escondite. La hermana mayor ponelo en su pelo y viste más bello.

    And Rosie said,
    She's silly. She was sleeping too. She danced. They played. She put the rebozo on the girl. They put it on her. They danced with the Bamba.

    We've had a great time learning about Mexico! Next up, Brazil! It doesn't go along with our FIAR book, but I have some fun books we'll read. Brazil will be our last country for preschool, but I plan on continuing our country studies for Kindergarten!

    To view my complete plan for the year, click here. And here are the previous countries in the series:
  • China
  • Spain
  • Tanzania
  • France
  • Colombia
  • Ghana
  • Italy
  • Thailand
  • Peru
  • India & Pakistan
  • Kenya

    About Hannah Hinojosa...Hannah is a long time Compassion sponsor and writes about her sponsorship journey at Because of Shamim. In addition to being a wife and mother, she is a part-time math professor and loves to read.
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