Sunday, March 27, 2016

Los cascarrones

The Easter season brings cascarrones for those in Mexico so it is only natural that we celebrate this in class. I love giving students experiential opportunities and this is a great activity to not only show them then tradition or simply read about or discuss the tradition, but they actually get to role play and act out the custom.

About 20 years ago I came across this reading, but do not recall where it came from or where I found it. If anyone recognizes it, please let me know and I will give credit to the source. José is a young student who finds himself in an American school for the first time and regularly messes up his words, trying to accurately get the customs figured out. By spring time he is feeling quite discouraged that he will never get it right. Finally, the Easter traditions so prevalent in US schools opens a door to sharing his Mexican heritage and ultimately gains newfound friendships.

Yes, you can imagine the numerous themes in this short bilingual reading!

As the students enter the classroom, I hand them a copy of the script on colored paper. Each paper is color-coded:
N         Narrator         white
MM     Miss Martin    pink
J           José                 blue
M         Mamá             red
S          Student          green
T          Timmy            tan
 José’s family               yellow
CLASSMATES          purple

Once the students are in the room and settled, they learn what the colors of the papers mean. They are then instructed to move to a side of the room that corresponds to José's home and the school. The narrator and José are in the middle to start the role play. The narrator begins reading the text and the students act out the story. At the moment that it says they go out to the playground, we all leave and go outside. At first the students look rather perplexed until they figure out that yes, indeed, we are going outside! The story continues as they act out the smashing of the eggs on each other's head. Before returning to class we brush off the confetti from each other so as not to upset the custodial staff when we return to the building.

[This was first period of the day so we got the early morning sun in the photos, too.]

After returning to class and finishing the role play, the students watch a brief video of a woman making and selling the cascarrones in a market. We then discuss some of the themes: immigration, seclusion, religion, language barriers, exchange program experiences, etc.

No comments:

Post a Comment