This week we began discussing Mexico. As our closest neighbor to the south, we see many Mexican influences in the United States, including language, food, and music.

We talked about modern Mexico, where there are vibrant cities, busses, and cars. We discussed some of the first people who lived in Mexico, and the amazing temples they built.

In Kindergarten Social Studies studio we learned how to play Loteria.  A game similar to bingo traditionally played at Mexican fairs. One student “called” while two students played   the game.

One of our Primary students father is from Puebla, Mexico. We were lucky to have Antonio Fernandez visit our classroom with his wife Brittney. Antonio told us about futbol, or soccer, being the most popular sport in Mexico. We also learned about Popocatepetl, the mountain that smokes. The volcano commonly referred to as El Popo is in Antonio’s hometown. It is not unusual  for ash to fall from the sky like snow! Antonio also talked about the importance of family and that everyone gathers for lunch, their biggest meal of the day. Brittney shared her favorite Mexican pottery, talavera, in the form of a sweet little bell. We are so grateful for their visit! Gracias familia Fernandez!

Next we utilized the tomatoes the students have been harvesting from our outdoor classroom garden by making fresh salsa. Using ingredients commonly grown in Mexico we blended it up and enjoyed a taste at lunch with some crispy tortilla chips.

Lastly, we read a book about the Mexican surrealist artist Frida Kahlo. We learned that while being ill as a child confined to her bed her imagination grew and she discovered her love of painting. Her father was a photographer and inspired Frida’s talent and love of self portraits. We celebrated her artistry with a self portrait enrichment! The students used an ellipse and triangle shape from our metal inset language work to draw their self portrait then chose a background in the style of Frida Kahlo and glued on their work. One student proclaimed “mine looks just like Frida’s!”.

Mexico is such a lovely country to explore with it’s diverse geography and ancient architecture, delicious food and modern culture. With each new country, we stock our Social Studies shelf with books and hands-on activities that allow children to explore that culture through both a modern and historic lens. We will continue to reflect, what is the same and what is different when compared to our own experience?

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