Sunday, October 6, 2013

Week 6: Mexico, Central America, & the Caribbean | Our Fiesta

Hola amigos! As we continued our study of Mexico this week, we prepared a Fiesta.

We created woven place-mats with drawings in the squares to decorate our table. We made miniature burro pinatas - so cute! We cut designs out of tissue paper to create Mexican papel picado banners and used fishing line to hang them. We decorated the sombrero pinata we started last week.

Here's a closer look at our fiesta mats. You can find the lesson plan for them free at Crayola -  - we used colored pencils instead of crayons. If I had a laminator, I would laminate them. (It's on my wishlist)

The super cute mini pinata instructions, including a printable template, can be found at Alpha Mom -  - instructions for mini sombrero pinatas are also included. We used the elastic string option that allows the pinata to be pulled open without breaking it. We saved them and will use them again for future occasions (like cinco de mayo). Instead of tissue paper, we used paper streamers that I had on hand and folded it to create double rows of fringe. For the candy inside, if you choose light weight candy they stand up easier. We used small boxes of milk duds inside our mini burros.

Our traditional pinata would have resembled a sombrero better if we had a skinnier, more pointed top and a wider brim. However it probably held more candy this way, and we used what we had on hand to create it. We had fun breaking it open :)

We prepared a lot of food!

Lindsey made cinnamon crisps (pictured right) for our fiesta dessert and they were really good. This is the cinnamon crisps recipe she used from Taste Of Home  -  - there is also a recipe for fruit salsa. We didn't make the fruit salsa this time but might try it in the future.

We created a Mexican buffet so everyone could create their own taco, burrito, or fajita. Options included flour tortillas, corn tortilla chips, beans, taco beef, chicken fajita filling, cheese, lettuce, sour cream, etc... We also included taco salad, cheese quesadillas, chips and salsa, and lemonade for our drink.


We also wore our sombreros and danced around the living room singing our songs from weeks 5-6. Then we watched the Disney movie "The Three Caballeros". We enjoyed our fiesta celebration and had fun learning about Mexico.


We finished our study on turtles and tortoises this week and returned Speedster the baby turtle to his home at the lake. Lindsey did a great job taking care of the baby turtle. She even read to him. She wrote about taking care of him in her zoology notebook pages.

She was sad to say goodbye to Speedster and will miss him, but she knows he will be much happier with his turtle friends and family at the lake. I took this picture of her holding Speedster just before she released him back into his home. Now when we visit the lake, we will look for turtles swimming near where Speedster was released and maybe she will see him again someday as he grows into a bigger turtle.


We are still using Khan Academy for math and it is working pretty well for us. So far she has mostly been reviewing skills. She has also been working with negative numbers and adding negative numbers which she was only briefly introduced to last year.


We've been studying the desert, oases, and learning about transpiration. We learned that most desert animals are nocturnal. We also learned how some animals, like the desert tortoise, estivate in summer. We did an experiment to observe transpiration, placing leaves in a plastic bag in the sun for an hour and observing the condensation. This experiment worked well for us.

We love to hear from you, please comment below.

Next week we head north to study Canada! 


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