In an attempt to make social studies relevant and interesting and celebrate some birthdays in the process, we dedicated our afternoon to Mexico. Sharon, Rose, and Angela spent they’re forenoon cooking and brought us an amazing lunch of tacos, rice, guacamole, tres leche cake and flan.
The 6th graders are studying Latin America this year so they had prepared a presentation for us.
The younger ones made sombreros out of paper plates and cups, the older ones did a traditional Aztec craft using yarn and sticks. Ojo de Dios. Which, I understand, means ‘eye of God’. They turned out to be amazingly simple and fun as well as beautiful
Rosie had a short Spanish class and taught us a few basic words. Although I realize quite well that they will never learn it well and fluently by having a Spanish class every now and then, that’s not really the point. The point is that they learn that languages are different. That ‘a’ in English may have a different sound in Spanish. That grammar rules are different. That they even have sounds not represented by our alphabet.
We ended the day by playing “pin the tail on the donkey” I was very surprised that most of them had never heard of it before. It was a success, I believe, and silas won the 1 dollar coin.
I told my students recently that the correct answer to “why do we study __________(any subject) is “because it makes my life better”. I believe that learning is fun. I also believe that many children have forgotten that learning is fun. If I have one goal for my students it is simply that they would graduate as eager to learn as they were to start first grade.