Celebrating, Learning About Hispanic Heritage

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The bilingual classes at Susan E. Wiley Elementary celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month on Oct. 7 by participating in hands-on activities.

Teachers, parents and even one student shared stories, music and dance related to the cultures of different Hispanic countries. Presenters rotated every 15 minutes so students had the opportunity to participate in all of the different lessons.

Kindergarten teacher Claudia Nakash was dressed as a gaucho from Argentina. Mrs. Nakash taught the students about the gauchos in Las Pampas of Argentina and even let them try on a special belt from Argentina.

Teaching assistant Ophelia Hines – dressed in a red and white dress from Panama – shared music and dance from the country. A kindergarten parent shared stories and regalia from Mexico. Dimedes Espinal Rodriguez, a fifth-grader at Susan E. Wiley, visited classrooms and played the accordion. The Dominican Republic native has won many awards and played the accordion all around the world.

Students also had different crafts and activities based on their grade level. Kindergartners made rainsticks, typically found in Chile, while first-grade students designed maracas, which are used in many Latin American countries. Second-grade students made guiros, a musical instrument from many Central American countries. In Claudia Millan’s third-grade classroom, students traveled to Latin America with Google Earth using “passports.”

As a culminating activity, all of the bilingual students met outside and sang to “La Gozadera,” waving the flags they made according to their country of origin.