Day of the Dead Presentation y Calaveras de Azúcar
Mrs. Rita gave a presentation about Halloween and the Day of the Dead. Students learned about the historical origins of the holidays and their transformation into the celebrations of today. Through video, PowerPoint, and hands-on activities the students were able to investigate and compare aspects of each tradition.
Ana, Emilia and Andrea’s mom, kindly volunteered to organize a Sugar Skull-making experience with the Elementary and Extended Day classes. Gracias!
Middle School Field Trip to Pilsen
Students had the chance to visit an area where the culture thrives – the Chicago neighborhood of Pilsen! With Ms. Sophia as a guide, students explored the many murals that have blossomed in the most unexpected places — on the fronts of homes, along railway overpasses, and wrapped around train platforms. Ms. Rita led the visit to the National Museum of Mexican Art in which the offerings/ofrendas displayed were admired and studied by students and teachers.
The trip ended at the wonderful and unique restaurant MeztiSoy. In addition to serving authentic and fresh Mexican food, they also offer a variety of vegetarian Mexican meals and fresh fruit juices. Chef Raul directs the kitchen; he cooked for us and explained some secrets of the Mexican cuisine to our students.
Community Event (book donation)
On November 14th, Ms. Sophia and I collaborated to put together Alcuin’s All-School Community Event. In art class Ms. Sophia was working on the Monarch butterfly migration to Mexico, and for Spanish I was working on the Day of the Dead as celebrated in Mexico.
We set up reading corners with cultural and Spanish books, and invited the Middle School students to read in Spanish to the younger children. The books were then donated to the Montessori School of Englewood. Also a card in a shape of a Monarch butterfly was created, signed by students and teachers, and sent with the books. Thank you all for the donations!
Doy Gracias Por (I Am Thankful For)
Extended Day students created a book for Thanksgiving, “El libro de Día de Gracias” using familiar and abstract nouns. On November 25th during the Extended Family Day, the Extended Day students read their book to their families. Students expressed gratitude for many things:
- Doy gracias por mi hermana. I am thankful for my sister.
- Doy gracias por los pájaros. I am thankful for the birds.
- Doy gracias por el helado. I am thankful the ice cream.
Visit to the Montessori School of Englewood
Middle School students and teachers visited the Montessori School of Englewood to give the Spanish and cultural books donated by the Alcuin families. Once there, students shared stories, songs, and read books to each other in Spanish and English. Ms. Barksdale and the staff were very welcoming and warm – we were received with big smiles and much kindness.
On December 17th Senior Elementary students in Spanish 1 & 2 presented plays based on their interpretations of “Little Red Riding Hood” to the Alcuin community. The Spanish classes wrote the scripts, built the props, and designed the invitations.
The activity began in November when students first heard the Spanish version of the tale. After participating in listening, speaking and writing activities, students decided to organize a play.
- Spanish 1 used the same tale and added some new characters and lines.
- Spanish 2 wrote a story in which the humans, not the wolves were the villains.
Please watch their wonderful performance on the Senior Elementary website.
Wishes for 2015
Extended Day students were offered a list of positive wishes/values:
Amistad (friendship), Paz (peace), Amor (love), Union (togetherness), and Felicidad (happiness). They were then asked to choose the one that they most wanted for their family and friends in 2015, and to create a symbolic representation of the wish in the form of an ornament.
The same work was introduced to the Middle School students; but they were invited to generate a more comprehensive list based in their understanding of personal values and the difference between needs and wants.
Looking Ahead to January
The Spanish Language Acquisition Program at Alcuin is thriving!
- Primary and Junior Elementary classes are exploring the concept of likes and dislikes.
- Extended Day have begun creative writing exercises and have been invited to read in Spanish to the Toddler class.
- Senior Elementary are proud of their Spanish language skills and are already planning an end of the year event to share their learning.
- Middle School is preparing for their trip to San Jose, Costa Rica.
- News Flash! Middle School students who have taken the World Language placement tests for High School have been placed in sophomore level and even more advanced classes! Congratulations Alcuin Middle School!