Maple Avenue Elementary School first-graders said “adios” to Wisconsin’s cold weather and “hola” to the warm sun recently as they celebrated their weeklong study of Mexico.
Students in Nicole Farrar’s classroom eagerly traded their turtlenecks and pants for tank tops, shorts and sunglasses as they traveled to various centers throughout the room. They enjoyed making and eating quesadillas, playing the BINGO-like game of LoterÃa, making a Mexican craft and viewing money and artifacts from the country.
The celebration also involved a lesson by a former Spanish teacher, Tonya Sumiec, who taught the students the song “La Lechuza” and many other hands-on games that helped the vacationers learn their colors and basic commands.
Student teacher Sylvia Hoem also taught the students the Spanish alphabet, numbers 1-10, and a variation on the Hot Potato game using a sombrero instead of a potato.
Finally, what would a celebration of Mexico be without the tradition of breaking the piÃ±ata? Students were excited to learn that the piÃ±ata originated in Italy and was later adopted by the Mexicans who have made it part of their customs. After fun in the sun, it was back to Wisconsin where their boots and snow pants awaited them. The activity helped students to learn the language, customs and history of the Mexican culture.