Junior Schoolers Celebrate Modern Language in Food, Crafts, & Music

Last Friday, Jan. 19, the Modern Language department arranged an afternoon of culinary exploration for students. Teachers from each language led workshops on traditional foods and crafts.

Students interested in the Italian Program first learned about the tradition of homemade pasta from the Emilia Romagna region of Italy. They then practiced making the dough for three different kinds of pasta from scratch: tagliatelle, tortelli (ravioli) with a spinach ricotta filling, and cappelletti (tortellini) with a cream cheese and parmigiano filling. The students enjoyed the tortelli with a butter and sage sauce and the cappelletti with a bolognese sauce, which they shared with students from the other Modern Language Activities who came to sample the food.

Spanish students built upon the Spanish 1B unit on Cuba. The students learned about the Taínos, an indigenous group that lived in the Caribbean. Students looked at petroglyphs - rock art found on islands in the Caribbean where the Taínos were present and learned the meaning of different symbols. The students then created their own petroglyphs on clay. They also learned about the importance of handmade crafts and toys and made yarn dolls. The activity ended with delicious Cuban Sandwiches and Guava Pastelitos! 
In the Chinese cohort, students learned about some Chinese New Year facts and traditions. First with an interactive game, then the students explored many aspects of the celebration by playing traditional percussion instruments, parading with a dragon puppet typically used in a dragon dance, dancing with masks and original choreography. Finally, students stuffed red envelopes with candies to be given out to other students at the end of the activity. The two-week New Year tradition culminates in the Lantern Festival. The students rolled out glutinous rice balls filled with sweet red bean paste, eaten at the Lantern Festival. The event concluded with a yummy treat and a lively dragon parade around the atrium. 

French students learned how to make savory and sweet crêpes, shared with many of their classmates. Some French students also worked on performing the French classic song "Les Champs Élysées" and performed it for all of the students and teachers.

See some photos and videos of corresponding performances below. 
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