It's was field day - at my school it is only a half day event. This left me a whole afternoon with tired, smelly kids and some standards that needed to be covered. Here in Texas in Social Studies we have to cover Cinco de Mayo. Here is how it went....
They are lounging on the carpet, ipads near by. I am in my chair.
"Who knows why we celebrated Cinco de Mayo on Sunday?"
"So how can you find out why, when we live in Texas, would we celebrate a Mexican holiday?"
"You could tell us"
"Try again" (said with a smile - I know they are tired.)
"We could look it up."
"Get going then"
They grab ipads/ipod/kindles and partners where needed and get started. Discussion is happening then -
"That's when Mexico won it's independence from Spain"
"So..we are Texans, part of the US. Why do we celebrate?"
"That's when we got our 3rd flag!"
"Well, when we learned about the 6 flags of Texas we learned we were a part of France, Spain, Mexico, Texas, Confederate and the US. So that war is how we got our third flag and that is important to our history."
"Right on!! Okay...since we celebrate Cinco de Mayo because of our history who can think of a Texas symbol that also relates to our history?"
"Chips and Salsa - our state snack!"
"Great! Now find me a recipe to make salsa."
Lots of ingredients start being shouted at me and I make a list of on the board putting check marks next to ones that are mentioned more than once. After a good list I get their attention and continue.
"I have here two types of Salsa, one made in Texas, one not made in Texas. I need Nate to read the class the ingredients on this one and Gracie please use a blue marker to circle the ingredients he names on the board."
When he is done I call on two other students to do the same thing with the other bottle and we compare the ingredients. We then make a prediction of which one we will like better and my favorite part....
"Before we vote on the best salsa you need to take a class list page and ask everyone what they liked and then create a graph using whatever you want and show me. When you are done you may have more chips and salsa."
I was amazed (as always) by my kiddos. I had 3D graphs, hand drawn graphs, graphs drawn on drawing apps on the ipad, and one boy video taped him drawing his graph and talked about what he did.