Saturday, June 18, 2005

Lesson Plan: Cinco de Mayo

Lesson Plan: Cinco de Mayo - Teaching plan for teachers 3rd-4th grades. Gives historical background, objectives, time alloted, resources required, procedures, questions for discussion, and a list of Spanish words.

From the site:

"After Mexico gained it's independence from Spain in 1821, it faced internal power struggles that left it in a volatile state of rebellion and instability for years." (Internet: Pasmanick, 1992) In 1846, the Mexican government, under the dictator Santa Anna, went to war with the United States. As an outcome of that war, Mexico lost a large amount of land--the land we now know as Texas. In 1854, Juan Alvarez and his troops led a successful revolt to drive Santa Anna out of power. One of Alvarez's strongest supporters was a man by the name of Benito Juarez, a Zapotec Indian leader.

In 1855, Juarez became the minister of Justice under the new regime and issued two new controversial laws. One denied the right of the church and military courts to try civilian cases and the other made the sale and distribution of church lands legal. Many people disagreed with these laws and for three years a civil war raged between the two sides.

In 1861 Juarez took control of the capital, Mexico City, and put his new Constitution into effect. Not only had Juarez's laws split the country, they had caused the civil war that left Juarez in debt to Spain, England, and France. The three countries were concerned about the debt, so they held a meeting in London, at which Spain and Britain decided to waive the debt in exchange for military control of the Custom House in Vera Cruz. France did not agree to these terms and invaded Mexico in 1861 in hopes of defeating the country and disposing of Juarez.

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