Celebrating Hispanic Culture

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Fourth graders in Diana Santos’s bilingual class at Frank P. Long celebrated Hispanic culture in recognition of national Hispanic Heritage Month.

With the upcoming Halloween holiday, the students studied the Day of the Dead, a holiday traditionally celebrated in Mexico on Nov. 1 and filled with prayer and remembrance of deceased family and friends. In preparation for their celebration, the students read two nonfiction articles, “Dia De Los Muertos” (The Day of the Dead) and “The Ofrenda,” about the collection of objects placed on an altar to honor the deceased during the Day of the Dead. The articles were followed by the students’ writing of important facts, which were included on a colorful bulletin board. They also colored a traditional skull-shaped sugar mask and skull key chains, an iconic Day of the Dead symbol.

During a two-week nonfiction unit, the students researched a famous and influential Hispanic person in English. After collecting all of their research, they were instructed to write a paragraph about the person in Spanish. The culminating activity included a wax museum, where upon being touched by Ms. Santos, the students read their thoughtfully written paragraph to classmates. The unit not only taught the students how to conduct research but assisted with their oratory skills in Spanish and reading skills in English.