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Date: Fri 12-Feb-1999

Date: Fri 12-Feb-1999

Publication: Bee

Author: ANN

Quick Words:

Lavelle-Morales-mexico-culture

Full Text:

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.