''The History of Cinco de Mayo'' photo (c) 2005, DOliphant - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Cinco de Mayo, May 5th, commemorates the defeat of the French by the Mexican Army in 1862. It’s a holiday in some parts of Mexico, and is celebrated by Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans in the United States.

Finding high-interest materials for students to read, and activating prior knowledge, are both good instructional strategies, so in that spirit I offer another “The Best…” list.

You might also be interested in The Best Sites For Learning About Mexico, Central & South America.

All of these sites are accessible to English Language Learners.

Here are my choices for The Best Sites For Teaching & Learning About Cinco de Mayo:

EL Civics has a good Cinco de Mayo Lesson designed for English Language Learners..

The History Channel has a Cinco de Mayo feature.

This is a simple historical explanation by Social Studies for Kids.

How Stuff Works has a presentation on How Cinco de Mayo Works.

For students who are not from Mexico (and for those who are) here are some accessible links for them to learn some basic information about the country:

Apples 4 The Teacher has a “talking book” about Mexico.

Brainpop, Jr. has a movie about Mexico, though you need to have a paid subscription to view it.

Read Write Think has a number of good resources, including lesson plans, related to the holiday.

ESL Holiday Lessons has a lesson for English Language Learners about the holiday.

Cinco De Mayo History: 7 Must-Know Facts About The Annual Celebration is a slideshow from The Huffington Post.

Remember, Remember, The Fifth Of May
is a very good NY Times article on Cinco de Mayo.

Rethinking Cinco de Mayo is from The Zinn Education Project.

Cinco de Mayo a Mexican import? No, it’s as American as July 4, prof says is from CNN.

What to Really Eat on Cinco de Mayo is from Smithsonian Magazine.

Gustavo Arellano, creator of the “Ask A Mexican” series, has a different perspective on Cinco de Mayo:

‘Ask A Mexican’ columnist: Cinco de Mayo is “pointless”

In pictures: Mexico celebrates Cinco de Mayo is from the BBC.

Cinco De Mayo: A Quintessentially ‘American’ Holiday is from NBC News.

Three Ways to Reclaim Cinco de Mayo is from Zaretta Hammond.

Did You Know? Cinco de Mayo Celebrates the Battle of Puebla is from Smithsonian Magazine.

Beware the annual Cinco de Mayo #FAIL is from CNN.

Revisionist history turns Cinco de Mayo into American party day is from Bay News.

Here are Cinco de Mayo videos from Watch Know Learn.


Cinco de Mayo, explained: how a Mexican battle cry became an American holiday is from Vox.

What Is Cinco de Mayo? is from Teaching Tolerance.

The Historically Accurate Way to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo is from TIME.

HOW TO NOT CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE CINCO DE MAYO is from 303 Magazine (thanks to Ray Salazar).


CELEBRATING THE HISTORY BEHIND CINCO DE MAYO is a short and accessible text from The Smithsonian.

Before You Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the Classroom … is from We Are Teachers.

What Is Cinco de Mayo? is from The New York Times.

What is Cinco de Mayo? This teacher’s TikTok videos give the history through a Gen Z lens is from NBC News.

Everything you know about Cinco de Mayo is wrong is from The Washington Post.

I’d certainly be interested in hearing other suggestions, so please feel free to leave them in the comments section.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.