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Poetry Break #17: Hispanic American Poetry

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Mrs. Mann's Poetry Corner

Introduction: Here is a poem from "Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems" by Francisco X. Alarcon, an educator and poet. This book is filled with poems in English and Spanish. It would be fun to read the same poem to your students in both English and Spanish, especially if you teach in a classroom with bilingual students or if you are teaching Spanish as a second language. This specific poem is about Cinco de Mayo (The 5th of May). Reading this poem on May 5th would be a good idea.

Cinco de Mayo

a battle
in some
history books

a fiesta
of music
and colors

a flag
waving
occasion

a flirting
dance
and a pinata

orchata
corn chips
and guacamole

a mango
with some chile
and lemon

a cry
of joy
and spring

yes, summer
vacation is just
around the corner!


by Francisco X. Alarcon
from "Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems"
(Children's Book Press, 1997)

Extension: Cinco de Mayo is a holiday celebrating a victory of Mexican patriots over an invading French army in Puebla, Mexico, the fifth of May, in 1862. After reading this poem to your students, you could host a Cinco de Mayo celebration and enjoy some of the food and fun talked about in the poem. (Note: Orchata is a tasty rice drink.)