Cancionero de Cinco de Mayo


The Battle of Puebla, commonly referred to as Cinco de Mayo, was just one event in a larger conflict called the French Intervention of Mexico, (La intervencion francesa).  We’ll save the history lesson to others for now, as it is too complicated to do it justice in a blog post.

As it turns out much of the content found on the web related to this “holiday” revolves (sadly, or amusingly, depending on your mood) around making piñatas, and coloring Mexican flags, or just simply reminding the myopic population of the USA  that Mexico even exists.

Instead of all this,  today we offer this Sound Cloud archive of popular songs from the era, as recorded by Amparo Ochoa, a Mexican folk singer and ethnomusicologist of sorts.

Some suggested uses:

Use the lyrics and songs in your bilingual or Spanish Class, and have the students do their own research about the terms, personalities and incidents mentioned in these songs.

Be prepared for some harsh anticlerical and anti-European tone and language! Also, be prepared for words that are not exactly in Spanish.

We give credit to INAH and Amapro Ochoa, a Mexican folk singer for putting this together.

Here is a slide share releated to this project with Lyrics!

Or try it on YouTube, where many of these files also live:

OR try Mixpod:<br><a

Want MORE? check out this “official” government site with downloadable (descarga) links to two centuries of Insurgent music!

Click here !


“…80 percent correlation between being two years behind in reading at the 4th grade mark and dropping out of high school later.”

Holy what are we going to do if we can’t read, Batman?!

Well, according to this alarming statistic, 17% of African-American, 14 % of Hispanic,  and 25% of affluent students will drop out of high school 8 out of 10 times.   Not only that, but most of us also know that “they” also use this same statistic, 4th grade reading, to project funding for prisons.  It doesn’t take a fourth grade teacher to point out those context clues and draw a conclusion.

Luckily,  The Digital Teachers Corps: Closing America’s Literacy Gap policy brief moves on to explain that to combat this impending doom we should create a super teacher work-force that utilizes all forms of technology at our disposal.  Research shows that technology, used strategically, certainly gives students the authentic opportunities needed to develop language, hence, thinking, proficiency.  This could be huge for English Language Learners as well as Academic English Language Learners.  Have a by-gone perusal of the brief (only a nice 7 pages).

I guess I can lay my head down to sleep and know that folks are creating solutions at the public policy level that don’t have to do with replacing me by RoboTeach.

Biblioteca Digital: An Indispensable (and Contemporary) Source of Spanish Language Texts

Mexico’s Biblioteca Digita ILCE has been around for many years now, and has undergone many face-lifts over the years. It’s newest form is no different and still constitutes one of the greatest portals for Spanish Language quality texts available on-line.

It not only features curated sites for the study of humanities, sciences, art and more, it also has an impressive children’s library containing dozens of high-quality, illustrated books that will students reconnect with their Mexican heritage as well as learn content area material ranging from science to social studies, ecology, and more.

The site is perfect for anyone who either teaches Spanish as a second language or in a primary language Spanish-bilingual classroom.

I’ve used their materials over the years throughout the elementary grades. The format tends to vary, as the materials comes from various authors and illustrators, but the content is available in most cases on mobile devices, making it an indispensable tool for the Spanish or bilingual classroom, or those wishing  to stay connected to Mexican and other Latin American cultures.


ILCE which stands for the Latin American Institute for Educational Communication, is the organ that put together this great project. They have been around for 55 years and these days they are dedicated to setting up all kinds of collaborations between countries and making Spanish language educational materials available online through various partnerships.