El cinco de mayo

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A WebQuest for Spanish Classes

Designed by

Señorita Medina



Señorita Medina’s web page




So, what is Cinco de Mayo, you ask?  Well, this Webquest is designed to allow you to find that out for yourself as you travel through the internet searching for specific areas relating to El cinco de mayo.  Here is the scenario:  You are a very important member of Señorita Medina’s CFFSC Team (Culture Facts For Spanish Class), and you have just been given an assignment to gather all the information you can find about cinco de mayo and present it in a professional manner to the client who requested it.  As part of the CFFSC Team you will have a job in one of the following departments:  History Hunters, Festive Foods, Modern Music & Moves, Fascinating Facts, and Typical Traditions.

The Task

Each department is responsible for completing the following:

  • Answer the preliminary questions below - (copy and paste the questions below into a Word document and type in your answers; then print out and turn in)

    Answer the following questions based on what information you know right now (before doing any research).

    1.  What is cinco de mayo?

    2.  What does it celebrate?

    3.  Who celebrates cinco de mayo?

    4.  How is cinco de mayo celebrated?

    5.  List everything else you know about this holiday (prior to doing your research).

  • Find the requested info below and type up a 1 page summary

  • Send information to Señorita Medina via e-card from 
    this website: 

  • Prepare a five minute speech to present your info to     the class

    History Hunters
    1. Who were the following people? 
    - Benito Juarez
              - Porfirio Diaz
              - Ignacio Zaragoza
              - Napoleon III
              - Maximilian 

    - The Marquis de Radepont
    2.  What role did each of these people play?
         3.   What is the biggest misconception about cinco de mayo?

    4.  What caused the conflict that led to the Battle of Puebla?
         5.  Explain what happened at the Battle of Puebla.

    6.  How long did the conflict last and in what year did it end?
         7.  What was the end result of the conflict?

    Festive Foods
    1.  Explain what the following foods are:
               - Menudo
               - Mole
               - Chorizo
               - Chilaquiles
               - Flan

         2.  Name and describe three typical foods served at Cinco de mayo celebrations. (not including the ones listed above)
         3.  Mexican food is a mix of what types of food?
         4.  What are some common staples found in the Mexican diet?

          5.  What food item accompanies almost every meal?
         6.  What does the word "taco" really mean?

         7.  What Mexican foods do we eat in the U.S. today?

    Modern Music & Moves
    1.  What are some common topics in Mexican songs?
    2.  What is the significance of the "La Cucaracha" song?
         3.  What is Mariachi music?
         4.  What kind of instruments are used in Mariachi music?
         5.  Identify at least two modern-day Mariachi groups and give a few details about each one.
         6.  What is Tejano music and why is it so popular?
         7.  What kind of dances are popular in cinco de mayo celebrations?

    Fascinating Facts
    1.  Why is Cinco de mayo significant to all Americans?
    2.  Other than the Battle of Puebla, what three things does Cinco de mayo celebrate?
         3.  What was France's excuse for invading Mexico?
         4.  What now occupies the space that once was the battlefield of Puebla?
         5.  How many Mexican soldiers and French soldiers were involved in the Battle of Puebla?
         6.  Why was the initial victory at Puebla important in Mexican history?
         7.  Name an important Mexican battle cry.

    Typical Traditions 
    1.  What can you expect to see in a Cinco de mayo parade?
    2.  Other than parades, what other activities are common for a Cinco de mayo celebration?
         3.  How do people in San Diego's Old Town celebrate Cinco de mayo?
         4.  What type of events are popular in Los Angeles to celebrate Cinco de mayo?
         5.  Describe the typical costume for Cinco de mayo.
         6.  Why is Cinco de mayo celebrated on a much larger scale in the U.S.?
         7.  Name and describe a popular decoration made for this holiday.

The Process

1.  Assign a job to each person in the group
     A.  One Task Organizer / Leader - this person is in charge of assigning tasks and locating the information for the summary typists; he or she will take notes if needed 
     B.  Two Web Explorers - these people will be in charge of operating the computer and searching for the information on-line
     C.  Two Summary Typists - these people will be in charge of typing up the summary and typing the answers to the preliminary questions

2.  Answer the preliminary questions listed in the Task section

3.  Find the information for your assigned department and present it in summary format.  Use Microsoft Word to type your summary and then copy and paste it into an E-card on the following website: http://www.web-holidays.com/cards.asp 

4.  Use the hints below to find information on your assigned topic.  Make sure to look for the specifics requested in the Task section.

    • History Hunters
          History of Cinco de mayo
          Cinco de mayo - the real story
          Lots of historical info - includes lots of names
          Significance of Cinco de mayo
          UCLA's information about Cinco de mayo
          More historical info about Cinco de mayo
          Cinco de mayo history facts
          History of Cinco de mayo - in English & Spanish
          Mexico Online - Historical background
          Important Historical figures of Cinco de mayo
          Historical facts at fiestacincodemayo.com
          Historical figures
          More Historical figures

    • Festive Foods 
          Glossary of Mexican Cooking
          Cinco de mayo recipes
          Traditional Mexican food
          Pictures of Cinco de mayo costumes
          Recipes for Cinco de mayo

    • Modern Music & Moves
           Cinco de mayo music - La cucharacha
          Information about the Mexican Hat dance
          Basic information - includes a song
          Radio Sol - a radio station's celebration of Cinco de mayo
          Info about Mariachi music
          Mariachi music on Mexconnect.com
          Info about Tejano music

    • Fascinating Facts
           Themes & Thoughts of Cinco de mayo - & a rap song!
          Basic Facts about this holiday
          Mexican Battle Cry
          Victory at Puebla

    • Typical Traditions 
          Info about parades for Cinco de Mayo
           Mexico Online - Cinco de mayo celebrations
          Cinco de mayo celebrations in the USA
          Fiesta Cinco de mayo
          Cinco de mayo celebrations in San Diego
          More info about Cinco de mayo celebration in San Diego
          Old Town Fiesta Cinco de mayo in San Diego
          Personal story by a Mexican girl
          Cinco de mayo in the U.S.
          Cinco de mayo costumes
          L.A. Events


As you can see from the chart below, each student's grade for this project will consist of an individual grade and a group grade.

Needs work










Completion of Assigned Job


* little or no work on assigned task

* minimal work on assigned task

*  above average work on assigned task

*  excellent job on assigned task


 Ability to cooperate with group members

*  did not cooperate with other group members

*  showed little or no responsibility within the group

*  had minor problems cooperating with other group members

*  showed little responsibility within the group

*  had little or no problems cooperating with group members

*  showed responsibility and maturity most of the time

*  was very cooperative with entire group

*  showed responsibility and maturity within the group setting


Using class time wisely

*  did not use class time wisely

*  used class time wisely half of the time

*  used class time wisely most of the time

*  always used class time wisely



Peer Evaluation



*  was not a valuable part of the team

*  caused problems within the group

*  had a negative effect on the outcome of the project

*  was somewhat valuable to the team

*  did enough work to get by

*  had a neutral effect on the outcome of the project

*  was valuable to the team

*  did assigned task and was helpful to the group

*  had a positive effect on the outcome of the project


*  was a very important member of the team

*  did all assigned work and was very helpful to the group

*  had a positive effect on the outcome of the project


 Completion of Preliminary Questions

*  did not complete preliminary questions or completed very few of them accurately

*  completed about half of the preliminary questions accurately


*  completed nearly all of the preliminary questions accurately


*  completed all of the preliminary questions with accurate and detailed answers





Completion and Quality of Written Summary


*  written summary was done poorly with very few if any specific details

*  information provided was brief and confusing to the reader

*  average written summary with a few specific details

*  information provided was brief and was somewhat unclear

*  written summary was done well with many specific details

*  information provided was and clear informative

*  written summary was done extremely well with very specific details

*  information provided was extensive, informative and interesting



 Quality of Entire Project

*  overall project needed a lot of improvement

*  overall project needed some improvement

*  overall project needed little or no improvement

*  overall project was extremely well done



 Completion of Cinco de Mayo E-Card


*  Cinco de mayo E-card was neither sent nor received

0 points

*  Cinco de mayo E-card was sent and received

2 points





When you are finished with this project you should have a basic understanding of the importance of Cinco de mayo.  Once each group has turned in their summary via E-card, the information will be presented to the class in a PowerPoint presentation.  I hope you enjoyed exploring the Web to find out more about this holiday.   


Credits & References

All sites linked to this WebQuest are being used for educational purposes only.

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