Contributed by Leanne Guenther
This is a great cut and paste paper craft project for learning about Mexico. It includes some symbolic icons, the flag and a map of Mexico.
This turns out to be quite a large project (about 25 inches x 25 inches) and there are lots of templates to print.
Note: If you'd like a smaller project (both in size and time) do a 4 square quilt instead of a 9 square quilt: only print templates 1, 2, 4 and 5.
Alternatively, you might like to have a group of children each make a quilt piece or two and then assembling everyone's pieces into one quilt.
Image 1: The Maya are a people of southern Mexico and northern Central America with some 3,000 years of history. The Aztecs dominated central Mexico in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries - their capital was Tenochtitlan on the shore of Lake Texcoco – the site of modern-day Mexico City. The Mayans, Aztecs and other Mesoamerican civilizations built many stone "step pyramids" with temples on top. The remains of these pyramids can be found throughout the country.
Image 2: Maize, also known as corn, is a grass domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mexico in prehistoric times. The Aztecs and Mayans cultivated it in numerous varieties throughout central and southern Mexico, to cook or grind into flour. Over time, the crop spread throughout North America and then was brought to Europe explorers in the 15th century.
Image 3: "Megadiverse countries" are a group of countries that harbor the majority of the Earth's species and are therefore considered extremely biodiverse (in other words there are lots of different kinds of plants and animals). The United Nations' World Conservation Monitoring Centre has labeled 17 countries as megadiverse -- Mexico is one of them. There are over 40 volcanoes in Mexico, many of which are still active. Several of these active volcanoes are part of the reason that Mexico is "megadiverse".
Image 4: The sombrero is a Mexican hat with a very wide brim. They come in many designs with different colorings, woven patterns, and decorations. In Mexico, peasant sombreros are usually made of straw, while wealthier people wore sombreros made of felt. In present times, people do not tend to wear sombreros except as part of folk costumes - the Mexican sombrero has become a national and cultural symbol.
Image 5: The flag of Mexico has three stripes: green, white and red. In the center of the flag is a golden eagle sitting on a cactus, grasping a snake in it's talons.
Image 6: The dahlia is the National flower of Mexico. Dahlias are large (almost dinner plate sized) flowers that are native to Mexico, Central America and Colombia. Today, there are many varieties grown in gardens throughout the world.
Image 7: The cactus family is native to the Americas, where their range extends from Patagonia in the south all the way north to parts of Canada, but they are densest and most diverse in the regions of northern Mexico and the southern tropics of Argentina and Bolivia. Cacti have many ways to survive in hot, dry weather -- they often have thick bodies which are able to store moisture and spines which protect the plant and give it shade.
Image 8: Mexico is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of Mexico.
Image 9: The national sport of Mexico is bullfighting
(although football/soccer is probably more popular). The
largest bullfighting ring in the world is La Monumental in Mexico
City. Bullfighting was brought to Mexico by the Spanish
explorers that settled there.