Sunday, May 8, 2016

Cinco de Mayo Math

Tamales, Food, Mexican, Tex-Mex, Cuisine Since I live in the boondocks of Alaska, Cinco de Mayo is not normally celebrated out here but that doesn't have to stop me from doing something.  The 5/6 grade math teacher had a pinata but being the math teacher, I look for math based activities.

I found a couple of nice activities that can easily be done. This activity links Geometry and Probability using the Mexican flag.  It has students analyze how much of the flag each color takes up which leads to determining the probability of certain things. In addition, it has questions to find the area and perimeter.  Its a nicely balance worksheet.  You do need  color printer for this one.

This site suggests students use the Census Bureau to find out where there are Hispanic communities so they can determine which states have the largest influx of Hispanic immigrants. This activity could be extended to determine percentages of state population, of the percent of total Hispanic population, and do some research to determine Hispanic business owners, etc.

Although this is a paid site, it does have a few thematic worksheets for grades K to 8.  Grade 6 has a unit ratio worksheet that has nice practice problems using taco, tomatoes and other foods.  Grade 7 has a shopping spree worksheet in which students calculate the cost of items for a big Cinco de Mayo party.

Unfortunately, there really is not a lot of material available for Cinco de Mayo but it is possible to create a few activities for the students.

1. Research the battle it celebrates and calculate the odds of winning based on the size of the armies.
2. Calculate the distance between Veracruz and Mexico City, determine the average speed the army would have traveled and calculate the time it took them.
3. How long would it take the ships to travel from Spain, France, and Britain to Veracruz Mexico.  Could they go straight or did they have to go around something?

This are simple but require research and provide a connection to social studies.  Use your imagination and have fun.