Beginning Spanish students need a diversion from reading, writing, listening, and speaking. They are so talented and creative but there is not always time to allow for the memorable activities which they (and I) love.
A hands on craft which celebrates Dia de los Muertos provides students an opportunity to create a folk art classic symbol of the holiday, a craft that they would not try at home.
They beg to make sugar skulls but we would be grateful for a few supplies to help get the job done more efficiently.
Mexico's Day of the Dead has become well known in America thanks to recent films and the ever growing popularity of Frida Kahlo. Students are so excited to discover Day of the Dead in pop culture and bring these experiences to class, but most importantly, to have the understanding of and ability to explain the significance of the holiday.
The students genuinely beg, every year, to be able to create their own sugar skulls similar to those found in Mexican markets.
For most students this is also their first experience using meringue powder, pastry bags and decorating tips. Learning curve!
More supplies equals more efficient use of time, full class participation, and ability for completion - making it easier to justify a departure from traditional academics for a few days. This is an important component of second language learning, to understand the customs and traditions associated with a holiday that America is still learning about. Students are proud to bring home their creations and share with their families the creative process as well as the information of this holiday, which focuses on remembering loved ones - very different from the Halloween activities they know well.
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