Thursday, June 4, 2015

A Guatemalan Adventure in Room 209!


My summer time consists of sleeping in, pool time, working a few hours a week at a little boutique, Netflix, shopping, afternoon naps, reading, long walks with my dogs, The Bachelorette, and utter relaxation.

We teachers, have it good.

*I meant to blog about my unit over the culture of Guatemala last week but better late than never!

I'm one of those teachers who teaches up until the last day of school or else the kids will drive me absolutely CrAzY. In my town, we have a large amount of Guatemalan immigrants. In my class, I had fourteen English Language Learners who are mostly the children of Guatemalan immigrants. I planned a unit around the culture of Guatemala. Needless to say, my English Language Learners were thrilled to be learning about Guatemala. To my surprise, my native English speakers were just as eager to learn about another country.

To start my unit off, I began with a KWL anchor chart. I charted what my students knew about the culture of Guatemala. They knew about the language and sports. Next, we discovered what the students WANTED to know about the culture of Guatemala. Their answer... EVERYTHING. Ha! We brainstormed some topics together and came up with wanting to know about the food, clothing, education, music, poverty, money, the national bird, and main tourists attractions.

The resources I used to teach my unit about the culture of Guatemala are all from TeachersPayTeachers:

Culture of Guatemala Powerpoint
The Quetzal Bird
Guatemala Booklet

I created a lesson through Skype Classroom looking for a Native English speaker who could talk about the culture of Guatemala to my second grade class. We got a hit! We ended up speaking with an American missionary who is teaching in Guatemala City. My students prepared questions about the culture of Guatemala, and some even asked their questions in Spanish! How sweet!

It gets better... We made tortillas in the classroom! The kids and I were SO excited! We used an electric skillet, flour, and water. I mixed the flour and water together and then gave each student a small ball of dough. Next, as a class we practiced flattening the tortilla with our hands by passing it back and forth to each palm. One by one, each student gave me their tortilla to cook on the electric skillet. After everyone had a cooked tortilla, we tasted our creation. Let's be honest, the tortillas were a bit bland, but it's the experience that counts!

I concluded our unit over the culture of Guatemala by sharing my own personal experience in Guatemala. I went on a mission trip three years ago to teach in a school in Guatemala City.

Guatemala City with our mission group

Mayan women making tortillas and coffee.

My sweet Guatemalan students in my class.

Zip lining through a popular tourist attraction, Lake Atitlán.

I loved teaching about Guatemala and I believe my students loved learning about Guatemala.


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