Lesson 9: The Cry for Mexican Independence

On September 16 each year, Mexicans from all parts of the republic flock to the small city of Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato to commemorate the “Grito,” the call for independence from Spain. The Grito’s originator, the popular but unconventional priest Miguel Hidalgo, issued the call in 1819 from the steps of the town’s stately church. The annual celebration involves the entire community, but we are offered a special tour by one of Father Hidalgo’s descendents.

Learning Objective

Students will understand when and how Mexicans celebrate their Independence from Spain.

Social Studies Standards

Civic Ideas & Practices E, F, J

Discussion Prompts

  • What might drive religious leaders to lead fights for independence or justice?
  • How might other countries who were also colonized by Spain, celebrate their independence? How might their celebration differ from the Mexican celebration and why?
  • Father Miguel Hidalgo was a priest and yet he had children. Is he a hero or a villain? Support your argument using political, religious, and social perspectives.
  • What are some of the befits and/or losses for Mexico with the independence from Spain?

Lesson Activities

  • Compare and contrast Mexican Independence Day celebrations with another country. Use a Venn Diagram to show the similarities and differences.
  • Create a timeline reflecting important events and people of the Mexican Independence war.
  • Write a story about why the unconventional priest, Miguel Hidalgo, might be confused about the fact the United States acknowledges 5 de Mayo as an important victory for Mexico.
  • Create a photo essay illustrating the development of war artifacts starting with the Mexican independence war.


  • commemorate
  • conspiracy
  • diversity
  • expropriating
  • inquisition
  • martyr
  • national identity
  • originator
  • treachery
  • unconventional