Mardi Gras - Fat Tuesday - Carnival

 This Tuesday will be Mardi Gras, the last day before Lent brings forty days of sacrifice for Catholic people.  Share the traditions of this lively holiday with your students this week.

Start by reading Mimi's First Mardi Gras from Pelican Press, Alice Couvillon and Elizabeth Moore's detailed account of a little girl's first experience at Mardi Gras in New Orleans.  Readers will learn about local traditions like beignets for breakfast, Mardi Gras Krewes, Second Line Dancing, and parades with beads, cups and doubloons.  This story is long, but Marilyn Carter Rougelot's beautifully detailed illustrations will engage attentive audiences.  If the story is too long for your time frame, the illustrations alone can supplement a description of New Orleans Mardi Gras traditions.

After reading the story, let students make shoe box Mardi Gras floats or masks using the traditional Mardi Gras colors: green, purple and gold. Listen to streaming Mardi Gras music from Basin Street Records while you craft.

Finish up your study with a Mardi Gras treat.  Learn to make a King Cake and then retell the tradition that says the person who finds the tiny toy baby inside the cake will host the next King Cake party.

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