|K||This term, students in kindergarten chose new sea creature passwords, and then practiced their action commands all around campus, exploring the tunnels, playground, and Upper School hallways in the target language. Integrating with their regular classroom content, students also practiced springing out of their ‘huevos’/eggs and hatching into pollitos/baby chicks. Later, they placed themselves in the chicken’s position, and imagined what it would be like inside the shell… probably dark! One day, they tried to watch a chicken/animal sounds video called Pulcino Pío, but Pato kept getting scared whenever Señorita turned out the lights. |
To help him overcome this fear, students taped paper wings onto glow sticks and made luciérnagas/lightning bugs (luz/light). Next, kindergarteners traveled to the auditorium and flew around their pink, green, and orange glowing fireflies in the pitch black environment. They also gaped at the colorful shadows on the ceiling high above and whispered, “Oscuridad” (darkness) whenever the disco ball light was turned off. Even in the darkest of dark rooms, Pato felt safe and calm with all of his friends around, and decided that darkness doesn’t always have to be terrifying. In addition, students played Spanish Bingo, Sombra/Shadow Tag, and Pato-Pato-Oca/Duck-Duck-Goose. Gracias for an amazing year.
|1||This term, students in first grade increased their vocabularies through a wide variety of songs, games, and password exercises. After choosing new identities—i.e., Spanish names—first graders sang along with a catchy tune called, “Yo me llamo” (My name is). Later, they had fun playing Spanish Bingo, Luz roja, luz verde/Red Light, Green Light, Policías y Ladrones/Cops and Robbers, and a detective game. In the latter, someone steals an object from a cauldron and hides it, and then students have to figure out what is missing, who stole it, and where it is in the room. |
First graders also made miniature password books for all of their passwords from the entire year; sorted the money in the Spanish Cave, while simultaneously exclaiming, “¡Soy rico(a)!” (I’m rich!); followed step-by-step instructions to make their own paper airplanes; selected multiple adjectives to describe their passwords; and heard a book (El despegue de Romeo y Lou/Romeo and Lou Blast Off) in both English and Spanish. It has been a busy end to the year!
|2||This term, students in second grade continued with their storytelling unit. Here, they learned that their beloved murciélago/bat had disappeared over Spring Break. This was the catalyst for a frantic search until, when interrogated, the witch handed over a post card addressed to the class from the bat… with a post mark from España/Spain! After traveling via Google Earth to a street level view of Madrid, Spain, second graders ‘explored’ the city and found the building from the post card. Students received another card not long after, but the third one took a while to arrive and had a different postmark—evidently, their dear friend had flown from España all the way to México, and was staying at a hotel near the famous volcano Popocatépetl. |
Pronouncing the multi-syllable Nahuatl word proved to be quite the challenge. For a change of pace, students also learned the basic step to the Cumbia; played Hide and Go Seek and Red Light, Green Light in the target language outside; made miniature password books for all of their passwords from the entire year; read two e-books in Spanish (Los gatos garabatos; Daniel quiere un dinosaurio); and finally, circled back around to a mini-story about a monster that liked to eat stinky socks. Gracias for a wonderful year!
|3||This term, students in third grade began with a class story about Fred, the invisible hummingbird. Because Fred loves to dance, third graders were obliged to learn the basic steps to the Salsa, Merengue, and a line dance. They also talked about the major difference between translation (written) and interpretation (spoken), and then were given the opportunity to become actual translators. Students translated in both directions—from Spanish to English as well as English to Spanish—using the walls of La cueva de español as a resource. |
Additionally, students memorized a catchy song about losing items called Botas Perdidas; mastered another challenging tongue twister: otorrinolaringólogo (ear, nose, and throat doctor); and created their very own password cards. As a culminating wrap-up, third graders circled back to the beginning of the year Play Days, but this time around, they were no longer permitted to speak any English. While initially quite the challenge, students adjusted and began realizing just how much they could say. Kudos to all for a job well done!
|4||This term, students in fourth grade learned of a new dramatic development in el pueblo: A natural disaster had struck. While they no longer had bank accounts, housing, or any physical possessions aside from the clothes on their backs, fourth graders did have… a [faux] Twitter account to vent their frustrations in the target language. Following the initial shock, students were led through a string of real-life possibilities and emotions: Desperation, violence (i.e., a paper-ball Dodgeball war, err, game), the need to emigrate, passing through ‘customs’, Red Cross donations, et al. When students recognized the necessity of emigration, they were shown numerous photos of Spain and Argentina, and then voted on where they wanted their new pueblo to be located. |
Both classes chose Puerto Iguazú, Argentina, and very ironically, were able to connect their simulated experience of a natural disaster in the pueblo to an actual natural disaster in the world: The flooding in Argentina over Spring Break. Starting from the ground up, fourth graders found part-time work in a local library, and eventually moved up the corporate ladder to their dream job (masseuses, lawyers, veterinarians, etc.). Later, students learned about and were able to sample the national tea (and very popular ‘friendship’ drink) of Argentina: Yerba Mate. Gracias for an incredible year.
|5||This term, students in fifth grade spent a good deal of time preparing for their Latin American Festival plays. They first used rubber ducks to map out where their characters would be on stage, and later worked on memorizing lines, reading with expression, and adding physical gestures and movements to reflect the narration. The culmination of all of this hard work resulted in two highly successful dress rehearsals for Lower School students and a polished final program for parents (which included four Spanish plays, Latin American cuisine, tri-fold presentations, and a Spanish soccer game). |
Additionally, students watched a video about the possibilities for linguistic expression (21 Accents: Amy Walker); discussed a language Infographic about the hardest languages to learn coming from English; and composed a postcard written from the point of view of the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortes. They also continued playing fútbol, and were assigned lines for a daily ‘class conversation’ prior to the outdoor games. Fifth graders have done a great job this year of applying the target language in a meaningful context. Gracias.