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Cinco de Mayo: The Beat of Mexico

Subject: Music
Grade: Pre-K, K-2, 3-5


Brief Description

While celebrating Cinco de Mayo, students learn about mariachi music and create their own rhythm instruments.


Students learn about Cinco de Mayo and the music of Mexico.


Mexico, mariachi, rhythm, instrument, culture, cinco de mayo

Materials Needed

  • El mariachi.com!
  • Instructions for making musical instruments. See source 1 and source 2.
  • Supplies for making instruments. Examples include:

    Rhythm egg
    plastic eggs
    electrical tape
    unpopped popcorn

    paper plates
    stapler or glue
    hole punch
    jingle bells

    empty oatmeal boxes with covers
    construction paper

    paper towel rolls
    waxed paper
    rubber bands

Optional Web Sites for Cinco de Mayo Celebration
About Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo crafts and activities
More Cinco de Mayo crafts and activities

Lesson Plan

  • Explain to students that music is an important part of Mexican festivals. Play a selection of mariachi songs from el mariachi.com!. Discuss the mood each piece of music creates.
  • Ask students to vote for the mariachi song they like best.
  • Distribute craft materials and help students follow instructions from source 1 and source 2 in order to make a rhythm instrument.
  • Play the song students voted as their favorite and invite them to use the instruments they created to accompany the song.

Extension: Use this source to discuss Cinco de Mayo with students and then have a Cinco de Mayo celebration. Include Cinco de Mayo crafts and activities (find additional ideas here).


Evaluate students on their ability to listen, follow directions, and participate in the class discussion.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World (with resources from the Florida State University Geography and Technology Education Program)

Submitted By

Linda Starr


Updated 04/27/2015