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Illustration: Geoff Slater | Photo:

Level: Primary Junior
Grades: K-5 | Age: 5-11yrs | Written by: Andrea Mulder-Slater
[Andrea is one of the creators of]

For Cinco de Mayo on May 5th (or any day of the year), have yourself a special day complete with Mexican food and Mexican clothes like brightly colored ponchos. Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican national holiday. It marks the victory of the Mexican Army over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Students can make a poncho out of a paper bag or piece of fabric.

What You Need (Paper Bag Poncho):
What You Do (Paper Bag Poncho):

  1. Cut a hole in a paper bag so that your or your child's head can fit through.
  2. Cut slits up both sides of the bag.
  3. Decorate the paper bag poncho with brightly colored markers or paints or crayons.
  4. Try a waterpaint wash technique, whereby you draw on the paper with crayons and paint a light wash of paint overtop.
  5. You can also glue bits of fabric scraps onto the paper bag as well.
  6. Have a look at some real ponchos for inspiration.

What You Need (Fabric Poncho):
What You Do (Fabric Poncho):

  1. Fold the fabric in half.
  2. Cut a v-shaped slit in the middle of the fold. The slit should be large enough to let your head push through it.
  3. Cut fringes at the bottom of the poncho.
  4. Draw geometric designs on the bottom edge.


What is Cinco de Mayo?
A nice informative page.

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