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Mexico, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic: they’re places that most Sessums students in Maria Mitchell’s fourth-grade class have never been. Friday, students got a taste of the culture and cuisine right in their classroom.
As part of the district’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, Ms. Mitchell wanted to give students a real flavor for the different traditions through a class project.
“I thought it was a great idea to have them explore different types of countries and then also explore the food. Food is so important in these Latin countries, and this is how they come together as a family, so I was like, we can do that as a school family,” said Mitchell.
Students researched the food, sports, tourist attractions and traditions of the location they chose as a group and created a display. Classmates and teachers stopped by the different “restaurants” for a sampling of food.
“We made a restaurant called ‘The Mexican Grill.’ The Jarritos (a Mexican soda pop) are different flavors, which is a drink. For dessert we have muffins and cookies,” said fourth grade student, Elizabeth.
Fourth-grader, Christian, convinced his group to research Honduras, where his mom grew up. “My mom was from Honduras. She lived in a small little hut on a farm. We learned that they don’t call it soccer, it’s called fùtbol,” said Christian.
One of Ms. Mitchell’s students, Sarita, wanted to know more about Columbia, where she used to live, and share it with classmates. “I am Columbian. I lived there until I was seven. It’s important to learn about other cultures and other places, because we’re all different and we need to learn about one another,” said Sarita.
“I learned that Dominican Republic do carnivals, eat plantains, chicken, rice and beans,” said fourth-grader, Julien. “If you learn about different cultures, then you know more about the world.”
Mitchell believes the hands-on experience taught the students a valuable life lesson.
“The world doesn’t just have one culture. We’re all different, and we want to show them that being different is okay. I think they did a great job, and I’m super proud of them,” Mitchell said.
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