Despite a widely held belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. That is on September 16.
Cinco de Mayo, or the Fifth of May, celebrates the Mexican Army’s victory at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. They defeated Napoleon and celebrate every year.
Share the excitement of winning with your students using this list of writing prompts meant to encourage deeper thought and a better appreciation of this secular holiday.
Using these Prompts
Prompts can be randomly distributed to the students through several methods, from simple teacher assignments to drawing numbers and receiving the associated prompt.
You could also let students pick the one they find most interesting or give it to the student you feel is best suited to each prompt.
- Why do you think that more Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo than Mexicans?
- What makes a great Cinco de Mayo celebration?
- What is the best thing to do to celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Why?
- Write a story about what it might have been like at the battle of the Puebla.
- Write a story about an underdog winning over a fearsome opponent. Use details.
- Create a fictional character who was involved in Cinco de Mayo and make them the main character in a story.
- What makes an underdog victorious? Explain your view.
- Can you describe a personal situation when the outcome was different than you expected it to be?
- Does Cinco de Mayo mean anything to your family? Explain why or why not.
- Why do you think Cinco de Mayo is confused with Mexican Independence Day?
- Write a story from the perspective of the French (who lost) at the Battle of Puebla.
- Pretend you are watching the Battle of Puebla and describe what you would have seen.
- Why was the Battle of Puebla so important to the Mexican war effort in 182?
- Why do you believe Cinco de Mayo has become such a celebratory event?
- What is your favorite Mexican food for Cinco de Mayo?
- Can you write a story where the main character is a soldier and describe what that would be like?
- What is your favorite thing about Mexican culture or heritage? Why?
- Can you think of another holiday that is little known but celebrates a specific cultural heritage? Describe it.
- How could Cinco de Mayo help promote less discrimination towards Latinos and Mexican Americans?
- Why is accepting other cultures and traditions so important to society?
- Are there any traditions that your family keeps that are related to your ethnic heritage?
- Does Cinco de Mayo promote tolerance or further differentiate a culture? Explain your answer.
- Cinco de Mayo has become about Mexican American heritage. Why is it important to celebrate this outside of Mexico?
- Do you speak another language? What advantages are there to being bilingual?
- Do you think that schools should include more teaching about Cinco de Mayo? Why or why not?
- Can you write a story about a family and their Cinco de Mayo celebration?
- Describe the most interesting thing you have learned about Cinco de Mayo. Then explain why this is so interesting to you.
- What do celebrations like Cinco de Mayo provide for the community and culture?
- Why is it important to remember your ethnic heritage?
- Can you explain an interesting thing about your family’s heritage?
- Write a story explaining how your family came to live in the United States.
- Describe the best and worst things about family and cultural traditions.
- What is the craziest holiday celebration you have ever been part of?
- Do you feel that non-Mexicans should celebrate Cinco De Mayo? Why or why not?
- Create the perfect Cinco de Mayo party and invite three famous people of Mexican descent. Explain your choices.
- Create a celebration that would be perfect for Cinco de Mayo.
- Why is the act of following traditions important to people?
- Do you know anyone who celebrates this holiday somewhere else? How?
- What is your favorite smaller holiday, and why?
- Write the story of the Battle of Puebla through the eyes of an animal present.
- What is the real significance of the Battle of Puebla, in your opinion?
If You Liked These Prompts…
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