Date: Fri 12-Feb-1999
SCHOOLS / LIBRARY
Mexico Comes To The Culture Corner
Children from Therese Lavelle's classroom at Sandy Hook celebrated Mexican
culture during the month of January. Shown among the first graders are Mrs.
Lavelle, dressed in full Mexican garb, parent, Kevin Carney and guest speakers
Nicolas Morales and Jose Hernandez.
Mrs. Lavelle enjoys the festivities with her first grade students, Garrett
Quinn and Stephen Badick.
B Y A NN M ARIE C OHEN
Nicolas Morales and Jose Hernandez paid a visit to Mrs Lavelle's first grade
classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School last month. They brought with them a
large round wooden calendar, sombreros, poncho, Mexican clock and plenty of
chips and salsa to snack on.
Therese LaValle is responsible for developing the "Culture Corner" a project
funded by a grant, and Mr Morales' visit was part of the project. The program
gave the children an introduction to the language, society, arts, and
geography of a different country.
Each month a new country is introduced. A section of Mrs Lavelle's classroom
is transformed into the "Culture Corner" where the children can take advantage
of a number of resources such as artifacts, maps, books, flags, portraits,
language, clothing, and a penpal list. The Internet provides a website where
students can listen to both words and numbers in different languages.
Students engage in various reading and writing activities, corresponding with
penpals and keeping a journal and a passport to record their insights. Parents
are then encouraged to respond to their child's entries.
Map and math skills are also reinforced as the first graders identify Mexico
on the map and graph data such as temperature.
This year's exploration will culminate in June with the study of America. In
this way children can gain an understanding of why America is viewed as the
melting pot of all nations.