Monday, May 5, 2014

Cinco de Mayo....let's celebrate bilingualism!

Did you celebrate Cinco de Mayo today? My students and I had a blast with the topic today. We watched Brain Pop Jr.'s video clip on Mexico and then broke out our Venn Diagram charts.

Yes, folks, I tried using the Expanding Expression Tool for a comparison and contrast activity! I thought it was going to be a stretch, which is why I didn't want to blog about my plans over this past weekend. The EET never ceases to amaze me though. It was such a tremendous help at motivating my students to try even though a few of them groaned at the start. We compared Mexico and the USA after watching the Brain Pop clip. The majority of my students pointed out our language differences first. I wasn't greatly surprised by this as we've had an influx of parents upset over their children losing their Spanish. Most of the students act really embarrassed about being bilingual so my goal for this last month is to encourage them to embrace it. I asked them to tell me what Annie said in the clip and how to say several other simple things in Spanish. They LOVED teaching me and laughing at how badly I butchered the words. My hope is that this will encourage them to learn more Spanish at home over the summer. For my monolingual students, I hope this will motivate them to learn about other cultures.

The second topic that fascinated them were the differences and similarities of our flags. As an adult, I take the American flag for granted. It's just a small piece of life that I have embedded in my brain. My students totally called me out for not having a flag in my room. So we looked at pictures of the flags.

We ended up talking about a ton of useful social studies vocabulary (the difference between countries & states, food, presidents, etc). My kindergarten students even stumped me by asking if people in Mexico eat watermelon. According to my internet researching binge, the answer is a yes though there are differences in the way we serve it.

Sometimes it really pays to keep things simple. 

This little girl gets to go to the specialists tomorrow. I hope she's going to do "smash"ingly well.

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