How to encourage your child to write:
Choose the level of your child:
Toddler/Preschool – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and have your child draw a picture of the answer
Preschool/Kindergarten – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and write the answer down for him/her leaving one word for him/her to write out himself/herself with your help. You could also encourage him/her to draw a picture as well.
Early Grade School – have your child either write out the answer himself/herself (encourage phonetic spelling) without your help, or offer to help with spelling each word out loud one word at a time.
Grade School – have your child write a sentence or two on his/her own and then read over and discuss the response. (You decide whether to correct the spelling or not)
Older Child – have your child write a longer response (paragraph).
As A Challenge – instead of a question ask your older child to write a story or poem about Mexico.
Try to find some of these nonfiction/ learning titles:
A True Book: Mexico, by Elaine Landau, Children’s Press, 2007 – Presented in easy little chapters this is a good one for new readers to learn more about Mexico.
Countries Around the World: Mexico, by Ali Brownlie Bojang, Heinemann Library, 2012 – Lots of detail in this little book for kids eager to learn more about Mexico.
Cultural Traditions in Mexico, by Lynn Peppas, Crabtree Publishing Company, 2012 – this book examines various celebrations in Mexico from birthdays to saints day, New Year’s Day to Cino de Mayo, this book covers all the holiday fun in Mexico.
The Culture and Crafts of Mexico, by Miriam Coleman, PowerKids Press, 2016 – Learn about Mexican culture and get some craft ideas (and instructions) in this book.
It’s Cool To Learn About Countries: Mexico, by Barbara A. Somervill, Cherry Lake Publishing, 2011 – Part of the Social Studies Explorer series this little book offers a good overview for grade schoolers.
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For books about the Day of the Dead check out the Reading & Writing Page on our Day of the Dead Family Theme Day!
WRITING AND READING
JOURNALING Question Prompt:
Write out one or more of the following questions in your Family Theme Day Scrapbook or on a piece of paper to glue in your scrapbook:
What do you know about Mexico? What would you like to learn about Mexico?
NOTE: I like to do the journal prompt as a final activity for International Theme Days to see what my children have learned: Would you like to visit Mexico? Why or why not? If you traveled to Mexico what would you like to visit or do? What are three interesting facts you learned about Mexico?
Here are some picture books for your Mexico Family Theme Day:
Cactus Soup, by Eric A. Kimmel and pictures by Phil Huling, Marshall Cavendish, 2004 - A similar tale to Stone Soup...see what can be done with one cactus thorn.
I See the Sun in Mexico, by Dedie King and illustrated by Judith Inglese, Satya House Publications, 2012 - Luis gets to spend the day with his father a cook on an excursion boat and you get to experience the day with him.
P is for Pinata: A Mexico Alphabet, by Tony Johnston and illustrated by John Parra, Sleeping Bear Press, 2008 - I love the alphabet books published by Sleeping Bear Press! They offer bright illustrations, a fun little rhyme for each letter and word associated with the letter, plus additional facts along the side.
For some Mexican folktales and legends try these titles:
Adelita: A Mexican Cinderalla Story, by Tomie dePaola, Puffin Books, 2004 - Less magic but the story remains the same in this fairy tale.
Borreguita and the Coyote: A Tale from Ayutla, Mexico, retold by Verna Aardema and illustrated by Petra Mathers, Dragonfly Books, 1998 - Borreguita (little lamb) has to be clever to save herself from the coyote who wants to eat.
Fiesta Femenina: Celebrating Women in Mexican Folklore, retold by Mary-Joan Gerson and illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez, Barefoot Books, 2001 - Eight tales from Mayan, Mixtec and Yaqui peoples depicting Mexican heroines.
Horse Hooves and Chicken Feet: Mexican Folktales, selected by Neil Philip and illustrated by Jacqueline Mair, Clarion Books, 2003 - This book offers 14 tales beautifully and brightly ilustrated.
How Music Came to the World: An Ancient Mexican Myth, retold by Hal Ober and illustrated by Carol Ober,Houghton Mifflin Company, 1994 - bright Aztec inspired illustrations help relay this tale of two gods (wind and sky) put aside their rivalry to bring music to the world.
The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volanoes, by Duncan Tonatiuh, Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2016 - I love the hand-drawn and digitally collages art in this book that tales a love story that is part Romeo and Juliet, Part Sleeping Beauty, and all heart.
The Tale of Rabbit and Coyote, by Tony Johnston and illustrated by Tomie dePaola, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1994 - This colourful book offers a similar story to the above Borreguita story of the little lamb but this time it is a rabbit who comes up with many ways to trick the coyote.
The Tree that Rains: The Flood Myth of the Huichol Indians of Mexico, retold by Emery Bernhard and illustrated by Durga Bernhard, Holiday House, 1994 - Watakame is a hard worker and Great-Grandmother Earth warns him before a great flood comes.
Whiskers, Tails & Wings: Animal Folktales from Mexico, by Judy Goldman and illustrated by Fabricio VandenBroeck, Charlesbridge, 2013 - This book offers five animal tales.
Let’s Go Traveling in Mexico, written and illustrated by Robin Rector Krupp, Morrow Junior Books, 1996 – Written in the form of a picture book with the feathered serpent Quetzalcόatl as narrator, this book offers a lot of historical facts about Mexico in a colourful format.
Meet Our New Student From Mexico, by Tamra Orr, Mitchell Lane Publishers, 2009 – Opening and closing with the story of a new student arriving to a classroom this book offers a nice background into Mexico.
Mexico, by Christine Juarez, Capstone Press, 2014 – This is a great book for new readers as the text is large and the information presented simple.
Mexico In Colors, by Ann Stalcup, Capstone Press, 2009 – This is a good book for preschoolers as it offers big bright photographs and reviews the colours while showcasing a bit about Mexico.
Mexico: The Culture, by Bobbie Kalman, Crabtree Publishing Co., 2009 – A great resource for kids interested in learning more about Mexican culture as it has lots of information and photographs. (Also in this series - Mexico: The People and Mexico: The Land)
Spotlight On Mexico, by Bobbie Kalman, Crabtree Publishing Company, 2008 – A thorough book for grade schoolers with photos and medium text.
We’re From Mexico, by Victoria Parker, Heinemann Library, 2005 – This is another good book for preschoolers, it looks at Mexico through the eyes of a few different children.
Having an International Theme Day is a great excuse to visit the library with your child!
Try to find books about the Aztecs as well for your Family Theme Day:
Lost Temple of the Aztecs, by Shelley Tanaka and illustrated by Greg Ruhl, Scholastic /Madison Press Book, 1998 - this non-fiction book tells the true tale of achaeologists and an amazing discovery by workmen in Mexico City.
Montezuma and the Fall of the Aztecs, by Eric A. Kimmel and illustrated by Daniel San Souci, Holiday House, 2000 - An account of the Spanish conquest.
School Children in Mexico City