This week the children have been continuing on with their exploration of holidays around the world, visiting Mexico and learning about Las Posadas!
They began their lesson by looking at the globe and finding where Mexico was located in relation to the United States. They learned that the primary language spoken in Mexico is Spanish, and they then learned some basic words in Spanish….HOLA…..AGUA…..POR FAVOR. Each child was asked “Como estas? Bien, asi asi or mal?” Their responses were charted on the board.
Initially the class read the story titled THE POINTSETTIA, by Tomie DePeola. In this tale the background of Mexico is set for the children and the tale chronicles a family’s preparation and participation in the celebration of the holiday. As the book was read, the children were asked to make predictions about what they thought would happen next and, once the story was over, asked to answer questions about what happened in the book.
To support the story, the children cut, glued and “glittered” poinsettias. They had to focus on cutting curves and tight angles and also to follow verbal and visual directions about how to put it together. They also created a paper mache like version of a candle (used during the parade of Las Posadas), tearing yellow paper, dipping it into a gluey mixture and covering a tp tube. They used the color cellophane of their choice to be the flame.
Wednesday’s group continued to learn more about Las Posadas and Mexico, coloring and cutting out a Mexican flag as well as coloring, cutting out and clothing Lupita, the young girl from Monday’s story. This time the read another Tomie DePeola story titled LAS POSADAS. Again, the children were asked to make predictions and answer questions about the characters and the series of events that took place.
As part of the tradition of Las Posadas, the children made their own version of Mexican hot chocolate. They followed a recipe, measuring ingredients according to the recipe and then smelling them as they added them to the crock pot in which the coco would heat. They had bunuelos to dip into their hot coco…..some liking the special version and others preferring our American prototype. Additionally, the children began creating paper mache piñatas….the best part of any REAL celebration.
Next week’s exploration will move onto Chanukah! Dreidles, latkes and menorahs….oh my!