Looking for a Cinco de Mayo word search puzzle for your homeschoolers or other students?
Whether you’re studying history, social studies, or geography, the Cinco de Mayo celebration is such a great way to bring culture to life for kids!
It is so rich in history, colors, clothes, food, dancing, and music! No wonder so many people in the United States love jumping in to celebrate the Cinco de Mayo holiday!
May 5th is really a powerful date to teach your kids about, but be careful that you’re teaching them accurate information. Up until recently, I thought it was a celebration of Mexico’s independence from Spain. Boy, was I surprised to find out that Spain had nothing to do with it!
And Mexico had already had its independence for over 50 years before this fateful battle took place.
****At the bottom of this post you will find simple instructions to get the printables in PDF format and printed today!
What, Isn’t May 5th Mexico’s 4th of July?
Just in case, you haven’t gone over the history of Cinco de Mayo with your kids (or you don’t know it that well either), here is a quick rundown.
Mexico actually gained its independence from Spain in 1810. That holiday is celebrated on September 16th every year in Mexico.
After gaining independence though, Mexico struggled through a war with the United States and a civil war. The country was nearly bankrupt, and France decided to take advantage of that fact.
French forces sailed into Mexico in 1861 to invade the country. At the time, France had one of the most powerful armies in the world, and they had not been defeated in over 50 years.
8,000 highly trained French troops marched towards 4,000 poorly equipped Mexican troops in what became known as the Battle of Puebla.
Unbelievably, the Mexcian army handily defeated the French. This victory of the Mexican Army did much to boost the morale and patriotism of the people.
There has not been an invasion from Europe to a country in North America since.
Check Out Your Free Printable Cinco de Mayo Word Search!
The list of words includes:
As you can see, there are some good vocabulary words on the list to help your student learn and retain solid information about the Fifth of May!
There are some food items among the hidden words: tacos and guacamole. Of course, there are many other foods eaten during this time, but these are very popular. In fact, 81 million pounds of avocados are consumed in the U.S. during Cinco de Mayo according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
There are celebration words listed, such as fiesta (party in Spanish), music, mariachi, dancers, and parade. Those are just a few of the ways that this important date is remembered and celebrated around the world.
Lastly, there are words that mark the Mexican army’s victory – May, Puebla, Victory, France, and Mexico.
As was mentioned earlier, the Mexcian army fought off the invading French during the Battle of Puebla against incredible odds. That was not the last battle the Mexican army had to fight, but it greatly united the people to fight for their country.
And Of Course, We Provided the Answer Sheet!
This printable worksheet might be an easy word search for some older students, but young children may need a little help.
To save you some time, I provided the answer keys for quick reference. We don’t always have the time to go through line by line with a frustrated child who can’t find something.
I would encourage you though to show the child the proper word find strategy of going letter by letter as you scan though the rows.
Not sure what that means? Below is a step-by-step way to teach kids how to crack a word search!
Strategy To Teach Kids For Solving Word Searches
If your younger students are just staring at the block of letters and hoping that the words pop out to them…they are going to get very frustrated and overwhelmed.
Many word search games have words going backward and diagonal – which is pretty hard to notice at a glance.
Instead of just handing them the sheets and hoping for the best, I encourage you to teach them strategies to conquer their free Cinco de Mayo word search.
Show the child how to pick one word from the word list and remember the first two letter of it. Let’s say they pick “dancers.”
Start slowly going through letter by letter, looking for that first letter – /d/. When they find /d/, they should look at all the surrounding letters for an /a/. If there is no /a/, then they should move on to the next /d/.
If there is an /a/, then they should follow that line to see if it spells out d-a-n-c-e-r-s.
This method might seem tedious, but it is actually a very efficient way to help kids who are having a difficult time.
Benefits Of A Fun Word Search For Kids
I have often said that word searches are busy work for early finishers…but I will admit that there are some good reasons to pull them out from time to time.
- Vocabulary Building: Word searches can help kids learn new words as they search for and identify them within the puzzle.
- Improved Spelling: As kids search for words, they see how words are spelled and can reinforce their spelling skills.
- Enhanced Visual Perception: Word searches can help develop visual perception, cognitive skills, and fine motor skills as kids search for patterns, shapes, and words.
- Increased Focus and Concentration: Completing a word search requires focus and attention to detail, which can help improve concentration and attention span.
- Fun and Engaging: Word searches can be a fun and engaging way to introduce new topics or reinforce learning in a variety of subjects, including language arts, science, and social studies.
More Ideas To Teach Cinco de Mayo Vocabulary And History
- Attend a Cinco de Mayo parade in your area.
- Get a pinata for your own celebration
- Listen to Mariachi music
- Watch a quality Youtube video for kids about the Battle of Puebla
- Ask a friend to teach you some traditional Mexican dances
- Get some Cinco de Mayo coloring pages for your younger kids
- Play Cinco de Mayo Bingo!
- Try Cinco de Mayo crossword puzzles to challenge your older kids
- Cook a Mexican feast!
The above text link will take you to a pdf file of your free word search printables. Download the digital files and print them today without email, personal information, or any additional cost.
I hope you and your students enjoy using this fun Cinco de Mayo activity to learn about and study this Mexican holiday.
I encourage you to really focus on the history and vocabulary, but also the wonderful celebration of Mexican culture. Include delicious Mexican food and mariachi music in your lesson plans for the very best experience.
Kids of all ages will love doing this fun activity and learning about the David & Goliath-style victory that Mexico fought for.
If you are on the hunt for more Cinco de Mayo activities, be sure to check out my Cinco de Mayo Bingo Cards!
They are the perfect activity for any Cinco de Mayo party you may be planning!