Under the Mambo Moon

Related Activities

“Teacher Guide” for Under the Mambo Moon: http://wildgeeseguides.blogspot.com/2011/07/under-mambo-moon-by-julia-durango.html

One printable word search and one online game featuring Latin dance: http://library.thinkquest.org/J002194F/mainpage.htm

Teach a song:  Learn to sing the first verse of “Las Mananitas,” the Mexican birthday song.  Lyrics and part of melody on this website:

Music Match Game:  Find a piece of music to represent some of the types of music in the book (some styles are more clear cut than others) after or before you read each poem.  Break the kids into teams.  Hand each team a set of cards {download the Printable Dance Cards here} with the name of each dance/music type on it.  Now play the music again out of order and see if the teams can match them up with the correct dance/music.  Perhaps some kind of prize or privilege could be given to the team that gets the most matches.

Mariachi music:  “Las Mananitas” mentioned in poem “Mrs. Garcia”
Bossa Nova:  “The Girl from Ipanema” mentioned in poem “Joao.”
Cha-Cha:  Try the cha-cha version of “Tea for Two”
Mambo:  Try “Papa Loves Mambo,” or “Hey Mambo,” or Perez Prado’s “Mambo #5”
Andean: Try “El Condor Pasa”
Tango:  Try “La Cumparsita”
Son jarocho:  Try “La Bamba”
Samba:  Try “Mas que nada” (or “Mais que nada”)
Cumbia:  Try Selena singing “Como la Flor” or “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom”
Merengue:  Try “El Baile del Beeper”

Geography Game: (Supplies needed: large map or globe with Latin American countries on it; a timer)  Divide class into teams.  Take turns with each team going up to the map/globe in turn.  You call out a dance and its country of origin from our book, and they must find the country on the map within a certain period of time.  The winning team might be given a prize or privilege.  Use the list below for dances and their corresponding countries.

Andean:  Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile
Bomba:  Puerto Rico
Bossa nova:  Brazil
Candombe:  Uruguay
Cha-cha-cha:  Cuba
Cumbia:  Colombia
Mambo:  Cuba
Mariachi:  Mexico
Meringue:  Dominican Republic
Salsa:  Puerto Rico and Cuba
Samba:  Brazil
Son Jarocho:  Veracruz, Mexico
Tango:  Argentina
Vallenato:  Colombia

Make your own rhythm instruments:
http://rhythmweb.com/homemade/ http://www.rbpstore.org/downloads/fyi/WI0405/W0405_PP_FYI.pdf

Teach beginning rhythm to kids

Learn what the dances look like:  Find a video on the internet for some of the music/dance types in the book and show it after or before you read the poem about that dance/music.  (There are some examples on the Book Trailers & Other Links page.)

Teach one of the dances:  Have a community member come in and teach, or use the web videos, below:

Cha-Cha lesson for kids: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNgf7zroDzw&feature=relmfu

Salsa lesson for kids: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F758q-jifJI

Samba lesson for kids: http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-Dance-Samba-18631206

Serve food from the book:

  • A cake with rosebuds like the one in the poem “Mrs. Garcia”
  • Mango pieces from the poem that begins, “Dr. Solis enters . . .” (just before the poem “Dr. Solis”)
  • Bunuelos (fried flour tortilla usually topped with powdered sugar and cinnamon – H.E.B. sometimes has bunuelo chips in a bag) or bocadillos (a sandwich, usually ham, cheese and tomato) from the poem “Gabriel”
  • Limonada (lemonade) from “Marisol”

Book Talk Teasers

Read the front book flap.

Read “On Summer Nights” starting at the beginning and ending at the bottom of the second page with memories.

  1. Discuss the meaning of the line “Papi says you can/ read people’s souls/ by the music/ they listen to . . .”
  2. Discuss the meaning of the line, “ . . . hearts/ fly home/ when the music’s Just Right.”
  3. Discuss the meaning of the line, “people come here to buy dreams and memories.”
  4. How do these lines apply to the kids in your group and their families?

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