Sharing Conversation and Culture

During M-Term, the eighth grade Mandarin and Spanish Conversation and Culture students joined forces and worked on an integrated project together in honor of National Foreign Language Week. Blending these classes allowed the students to learn about a different culture with help from their peers. Language teachers Ou Wang and Erica Martinelli asked the students to research artifacts that are native to and an essential part of both the Chinese and Hispanic communities.

During the first week, the students broke into small groups and researched maracas, Guatemalan worry dolls, and rain sticks, along with other things representing the Hispanic cultures, as well as a leaf fan, chopsticks, and an opera mask from the Chinese culture. The following week, the students worked together to answer a variety of questions about the items they selected, such as “What values does the artifact reflect?” and “What cultural issues does it raise?” On the final week, they gave presentations about their artifacts, how they are used, and their historical significance to their classmates.