Mexico -- School-age

Mexico

Mexico Map Flag

Things to Know

Capital: Mexico City

Mexico has 31 states and 1 federal district (Mexico City).

Roman Catholicism is the faith of more than 90 percent of the people.

The official language of Mexico is Spanish.

The flag of Mexico is three equal vertical bands of green , white, and red; the coat of arms (an eagle perched on a cactus with a snake in its beak) is centered in the white band.

Mexico is located on the continent of North America. Most geographers do not consider Mexico a part of Central America. Mexico is in North America.

Video

Land

Mexico is an immense area flanked by mountain ranges, low coastal plains, desert landscapes, and snow-capped volcanoes. Two of the highest volcanoes (Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl) are near Mexico City. Mountain ranges fall sharply off to narrow coastal plains in the West and East. The Sierra Madre Occidental is in the west and the Sierra Madre Oriental is in the east., which meet in the Southeast.

The Ring of Fire is a horseshoe-shaped area where a large number volcanic and earthquake activity occurs. Roughly 90% of the world's earthquakes 75% of the world's active volcanoes occur along the Ring of Fire. The 25,000 mile (40,000 km) follows the edges of the Pacific Ocean. Located on the Ring of Fire’s eastern half is Mexico with a number of active volcanic and earthquake areas.

The Rio Grande (Rio Bravo in Mexico) is the river that forms the border between Texus, USA and Mexico. The Rio Grande originates high in San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado in the United States. It flows through New Mexico before becoming the boundary between Texas and Mexico. The Rio Grande makes a big bend emptying into the Gulf of Mexico at Brownsville, Texas and Matamoros, Mexico.

Rio Grande

Animals

National Animals of Mexico: Golden Eagle (national bird), Xoloitzcuintli (national dog), Grasshopper (national arthropod), Jaguar (national mammal), Vaquita (national marine mammal), and Green turtle (national reptile).

There are a large variety of animals in Mexico.

In northern Mexico, deserts are full of plants and animals. The west coast of Mexico Eastern North Pacific gray whales make a round trip between Mexico and Alaska. There are wetlands in eastern Mexico home to tropical plants and animals like the jaguar.

Noteworthy Animals in the Yécora Area

The spotted bat is a medium-size bat of North America. It has the largest ears of any bat on the American continent. It's ears are nearly 2 inches (51mm). It lives in the western United States and Mexico.

Spotted Bat
Spotted Bat

The monarch butterfly migrates to Mexico from Canada and the USA every year.

The volcano rabbit is one of the smallest rabbits in the world
It is a rare rabbit found in Mexico in areas near volcanoes.

Volcano Rabbit
Volcano Rabbit

History

Many different cultures existed in various parts of Mexico: the Olmecs, the Teotihuacans, the Maya, the Mixtecs, the Zapotecs, the Tarascans, the Totonacs and the Aztecs.

The Rio Grande (Rio Bravo in Mexico) is the river that forms the border between Texus, USA and Mexico. The Rio Grande originates high in San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado in the United States. It flows through New Mexico before becoming the boundary between Texas and Mexico. The Rio Grande makes a big bend emptying into the Gulf of Mexico at Brownsville, Texas and Matamoros, Mexico.

The Classical Period 300-900 CE

A major region of Mayan development was the Yucatan peninsula making up the southern and eastern portions of modern-day Mexico

10 Maya foods that changed the world's eating habits

Sites to See

Maya Mathematics

Maya Ruins
A photographic tour of several fascinating archaeological sites in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize.

Maya Adventure
The Science Museum of Minnesota web site highlights science activities and information related to ancient and modern Maya culture.

The Post-Classical Period 900-1521 CE

The Aztecs were an advanced native population in Mexico.

Ancient Mexico
Interactive map about the Aztecs, Mayas, and the predecessors. A flash presentation of the "Fall of the Aztecs" and more.

Aztecs referred to themselves as the Mexica or Tenochca. A small, nomadic tribal people. The Aztecs finally settled on small islands in Lake Texcoco (modern-day Mexico City).

The Aztec Calendar
The Aztec civilization developed an amazing calendar that was even more accurate than the one we use today.

Hernán Cortés A Spanish adventurer and conquistador who overthrew the Aztec empire and claimed Mexico for Spain (1519-21).

1800's

Mexico fights for and wins independence from Spain in 1821.

In 1836, Texas declared its independence from Mexico. Mexicans and Texans battle at the Alamo and San Jacinto.

The Alamo

Read documents, background history, the events leading up to the siege and about the heroes and legends such as Davy Crockett and Sam Houston.

In 1836, the USA wins the Mexican-American war and gains Mexican territory including what are now: Nevada and Utah, parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming and Colorado.

The battle of Puebla in 1862 was the victory of the Mexican Army over the French. The holiday Cinco de Mayo honors this battle.

Artist

Diego Rivera
Considered the greatest Mexican painter of the twentieth century.

Diego Rivera Coloring Pages

Smithsonian Institution--Corridos sin Fronteras
Mexico has recorded her triumphs, defeats, determination, and daily life through narrative songs called corridos. Listen and sing along to songs from a timeline of Mexico's history.

Things to Do

Decorative Studded Beaded Dish
Need: paper plates, paper cups, seed beads or paint.

Use a large sturdy paper plate. Draw a simple flower design in the center of the plate with a pencil. Add a wavy design around the rim.

Pour white glue into paper cups. Paint a thick layer of glue into the petals of the flowers. Carefully drop colored seed beads onto the glue petals. Glue seed beads in the center of the flower.

Paint glue over the wavy line. Drop seed beads onto the glue. Let the glue dry overnight. Shake to remove any loose beads.

The children could also paint the flower and wavy line designs on the paper plates.

Yarn Art Painting
Need: posterboard or cardboard, yarn in bright colors

Draw a simple picture on cardboard (a picture of something from nature works great such as a butterfly). Brush on glue. Then lay yarn on the lines. Fill in the picture with yarn in squiggles and circles.

How to Make Donkey Pinata

Make a Day of the Dead Pancho Skeleton Puppet

There are many festivals in Mexico where people like to dress up. Many people wear big hats called sombreros.
Mexican Sombrero Craft (need adult help with this)

Chihuahua wearing sombrero color page

Recipes

Mexican Recipes
A variety of recipes. Corn is one of the most important foods in Mexico. The basis of native Mexican cooking was, and still is, corn-made tortillas.

Sites to See

Primary Global Eye-Mexico (UK Site)

Discovering Mexico-National Geographic

Thresholds
A journey through Mexico and Central America.

Mexican Jumping Beans
Learn why these beans jump.

See Also

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