How nice could it be… 15 zanahorias saltarinas, 2 crazy teachers and a curious monkey landing anywhere in the world. Going with my little kids to explore and meet people from all over around… Well, being realistic, this is not going to happen (yet). So I needed it to come up with another idea about how to travel with them. Mmm, what if instead…
the world comes to our class!?!? Sounds like a plan! Ready?!?
Rumbo loves sharing. He would love to share all the experiences that have made him feel and get impressed. But this time, he will bring what is most close to him: Spain. The idea is not to share that this music or this smell is just from there. It’s place there because it’s simply waiting to be discover by real explorers. But the aim is to feel that the world is diverse and that makes it rich and beautiful. There is always, always something to learn, something to feel, something to discover. For me teaching this is essential because:
1. We are developing an essential value: DIVERSITY
2. We are giving them a reason to learn a second language: for traveling
And I find really important to do it through ALL THE SENSES I like to take in my classes the Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), to be aware that we all learn through different systems Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic, Olfactory and Gustatory. Although we use all the systems to understand the world, we have one referred system to learn.
So little by little, we were discovering from Rumbo’s suitcase….
Coming directly from Granada, I’ve brought small tee bags, 5 different kinds so I could give to different children and let them rotate: Mil y una noches, Flor de Granada, Rooibos a la naranja, Te de Navidad and Embrujo de Granada. (I bought them in this shop but you can make your purchase online too). It’s really a pleasure to smell them and they have enjoyed it so much. And using their nose to experience something new makes them feel so so excited!
While doing it, ask simple questions to engage them in using the second language: how does it smell like? Can you say any fruit? (strawberry and orange were quite strong and characteristic so I expected them to be able to answer) What can you observe inside the bags? Which colors can you see?
Thanks to our great chef, we have had the opportunity to try Tortilla de patatas. It takes time to ask in the office and prepare everything, get up early in the morning to help cooking… but believe me, it’s more than worth it! Bring awareness to how this tortilla is prepared through the following TPR performance:
- Peel the potatos, wash the potatos, cut the potatos, be careful with your fingers!
- Put oil in a frying pan, turn on the fire, put the potatos inside, be careful: the oil is so hot!
- Open some eggs, beat some eggs
- Mix it all
- Turn upside down the tortilla, 3, 2, 1, up in the air…. move it a bit and again 3, 2, 1…
- Hurray!!! We’ve made this awesome tortilla! Who wants to try it???
In my trip with Ali a Granada we were visiting La Alhambra, admiring the walls and feeling the tentation of touching them… Of course we couldn’t! But then I thought, “as much as I enjoy feeling all those different textures, my students will enjoy it too!” And I can ensure you that they enjoyed!
Find things that they can manipulate (and you are not afraid of breaking them, that will make you feel so tense and not enjoy the moment at all). Could be anything that estimulate their finger tips!
Bring pics, many! And give them time to see them, ask questions, observe in detail, share with a friend (Tip: Plastify them).
Make a round of sharings about what do they see in the images, colors? patterns? people? Pay attention and that will give you a good moment to check how much language they can produce!
I brought also different objects, clothes, instruments… It was really fun! They couldn’t believe when I was getting dress in that way, it was so impressive for them to see the process!
Come up with great ideas with the things you have at home. And if you are planning to share this experience far from where you are, be aware that half of your luggage will be things to share with them! But it’s worth enough!!
And finally, let’s listen to some music! We were listening to flamenco, jota, paso doble…
You might not have enough time, but make that time! Snack time, while playing! Give them the opportunity to experience new sounds! And move to the rhythm of new beats!
Also, we were trying out castanets. How does it sound this instrument? Do we like the sound?
At the end of the day we ended dancing some of the songs! It was a really nice day!
There are so many places to discover, share experiences from your travels, places that you’ve lived! The point is not to have a whole full understanding of a place, but to ENJOY THE PROCESS OF LEARNING above all!
So, please! Share with us how you do it? Do you have materials to show? Ideas? Experiences that you want to share with this community? First hand fresh material! We love it! And my kids will love it too! And if you let me, I will publish it right here so everyone can grow from your experience!