Grade: all
Subject: other

#1060. Mexican birthdays

other, level: all
Posted Tue Apr 27 20:44:32 PDT 1999 by William Domiano (
Pre service teacher at Slippery Rock University of PA, Slippery Rock, Butler County
Materials Required: See lesson plan
Activity Time: Varied
Concepts Taught: How Mexican birthdays are celebrated (as well as vocab and symbolism of the piata)

Grade level: 3rd grade Teacher:
Subjects: Music/Spanish/Mexican Culture/Social Studies William Domiano

This lesson uses "Compleaos Feliz" to introduce students to words in spanish that are associated with our birthday parties. It also allows the teacher to teach some Mexican culture by explaining the symbolism involved in the piata.
As a result of this lesson, students will:
1learn the words to "Cumpleaos Feliz"
2learn the spanish for words that are associated with birthday parties.
3learn about the symbolism behind the piata.
1 Piata
a sheet with the words to the song "Cumpleaos Feliz" and the vocabulary translated
note cards with each word and it's English equivalent on it.
Either a drawing of an object or the object

1In preparation for the lesson the teacher will make note cards for each vocabulary word, as well as either making a labeled drawing of each object or labeling the object and bringing it in.
to sing - cantar candy - el caramelo
gift - el regalo cards - la tarjeta
candle - la vela cake - la torta
doll - la mueca hat- el sombrero
toys - los jueguetes little car - el carrrito
ball - el baln top - el trompo
marbles - las canicas jump rope - la cuerda
skates - las patines
Anticipatory Set
2. Teacher will call someone up to the front of the room that has a birthday on either the day the lesson is being taught or very close to that day.
3Teacher will then give the child a hat to wear that says happy birthday.
4Teacher will have the students sing happy birthday to the student.
5Teacher will then tell the students that they are going to learn about Mexican birthday celebrations and to do this the teacher will teach the song "cumpleaos feliz" using the echo technique.
feliz cumpleaos a ti
feliz cumpleaos a ti
te deseamos
feliz cumpleaos a ti
6Teacher will then tell the students that they are going to learn some spanish vocabulary words that have to do with birthdays by playing charades.
7Teacher will call the children up to the front of the room by teams.
8Teacher will introduce the vocabulary words by having the children tell what each item is in English. Teacher will then say the Spanish word and ask the children to repeat it.
9Teacher will then call a student up and show them a note card with a word on it.
10The student will then act out the word until someone guesses what it is in English.
11The teacher will then tell the class what the word is in spanish and have the class repeat the word.
12Teacher will do steps 7-11 until all the words are covered.
13Teacher will then get out a piata and then explain how the piata is part of many celebrations in Mexico and what it's symbolism is. The Mexicans believe:
The multicolor paper piata, its brightness and the joy that its treats bring to children all those who participate, symbolizes the evil, that always deceives and seduces, fascinates and represents itself as something different than its true being. The breaking and hitting of the piata symbolizes that all humans must defeat the evil. When participating, the eyes are covered with a scarf. This symbolizes the Faith one must have. The stick used to hit the piata symbolizes the virtues : strength, charity , faithfulness, prudence, and goodness. Once the piata has been broken, the goal has been achieved: the evil and sin were have been defeated. The candy and fruit coming out of the piata is a gift presented to the children for defeating the evil.
13. Students will then get to break the piata.
The evaluation of this lesson involves a spanish vocabulary test. The use of these words in the students Spanish work at a later date is also another way to evaluate the lesson. The song "cumpleaos feliz" can be sang for each birthday after the lesson is taught.