Gold Fairy Dust

In class this afternoon, first graders came to Spanish and happened to notice that my classroom was–almost literally–coated in glitter: from the carpet to the tables, to even the teacher’s chin [I learned that after class], specks of gold fairy dust were everywhere.

BACKGROUND: If you have a child in kindergarten, you already know why–but a quick recap is that Pato had to escape from an erupting volcano, and used a boat, treasure map, and telescope to make his way to an island, which had a treasure chest full of gold there (convenient how these things work out in Stuffed Animal World, right?!).

Anyway, first graders collected tiny rocks, squished them around in glue, and coated them with gold glitter (the same activity as kindergarten), but LEVELED UP!! and alongside a much more culturally-based lesson.

Here, students learned that while the Camino (500-mile hike) is located in Spain, today we would be traveling to Peru, another Spanish-speaking country. We used Google Maps to locate Peru with respect to Spain, Mexico, our state, and more. In Peru, there is a place called Rainbow Mountain, or Vinicunca, that has a unique composition–14 different, colorful minerals–which make the mountain range appear like the inside of a jawbreaker.

A day or so away from Rainbow Mountain in Peru is [arguably] the highest city in the world, or La Rinconada, at a whopping 3 miles high! We did a little math, and that would be a student who measures 4 feet, standing on top of 4,183 of his/her own clones, going straight up. REALLY HIGH! This location is of interest because the town was built on top of a–you guessed it–GOLD MINE! First graders watched a 43-second video of how gold is mined, and then (as described above) created their own little pieces of gold to bring home. It was an exciting start to the week!