What Do You Know About Mexico? Lesson Plan: Mexican Geography, Culture, and History

Submitted by: Angela Watson

Grade Levels: K-3

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades K-3, students use BrainPOP Jr. resources to explore the basic geographic, historical, and cultural characteristics of Mexico. Students will explain what Mexico is like today and list examples of Mexican culture that are evident in the United States.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Identify basic geographic, historical, and cultural characteristics of Mexico
  2. Explain what Mexico is like today
  3. List examples of Mexican culture that are evident in the United States

Materials:

  • Internet access for BrainPOP
  • LCD projector and/or interactive whiteboard

Vocabulary:

civilization; compass rose; Cinco de Mayo; Dia de los; Muertos; observatory

Preparation:

You may want to read over the Lesson Ideas page that includes background information on this topic. Preview the Mexico Movie and make photocopies of a printout of Annie's notebook questions. The notebook questions can be accessed by clicking on the "Print Notebook" icon to the right of the movie.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Find out what students already know about Mexico and what they'd like to learn by completing the KWL Chart as a class.
  2. Play the Mexico Movie for students. Have them listen for new information about the country and encourage them to think about whether everything in the "K" section of the chart is accurate.
  3. Facilitate a discussion around any misconceptions students may have mentioned during the KWL brainstorming session.
  4. Distribute copies of Annie's notebook questions to students and have them work in small groups to answer the questions.
  5. Play the movie through a second time, pausing after each notebook question for students to reconvene with their groups and talk about any changes they'd like to make to their answer sheet. Be sure to turn on the closed captioning to help students record what they've learned.
  6. Have each group choose one interesting fact from their notebook questions sheet and copy it onto the "What I Learned" section of the KWL chart.
  7. Project the Easy Quiz for the class to see, and have the groups see how many questions they can answer correctly. You may want to have them discuss and write down their answers as a group and tally up the correct responses at the end of the quiz, or have the groups indicate their answers using hand signals or written signs while you can keep score on the board.
  8. Challenge students to beat their group's score on the easy quiz by projecting the Hard Quiz. Can each group get more correct answers this time around?

Extension Activity:

See if each group of students can stump the other groups by coming up with a new quiz question about Mexico based on what they learned in the movie.