Farragut Middle School
Hastings-on-Hudson Union Free School District
- Farragut Middle School
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Latin Fiesta Closes Out Social Studies Unit
Fifth graders marked the end of their eight-weeks-long unit on Latin American cultures with a Latin Fiesta that featured a street market, relay races and salsa music, focusing on Latin American ancient civilizations.
“Every part of the day was connected with something we studied,” said Shannon Mulholland, the fifth grade team coordinator for the Latin Fiesta.
The day began with a simulated street market, where students bartered and traded items they had made. There was a huge variety of goods, from handmade jewelry to painted rocks, stenciled note cards, jumping paper frogs and decorated coconut shells.
After trading with students in their own class, the fifth graders moved from class to class, negotiating their transactions.
“We’re reenacting a traditional market,” explained fifth grade teacher Sarah Schnall. “They’re coming up with their own handmade goods and trading them. They’re learning some basic economics – about supply and demand.”
Nora Heilakka, who had bracelets to offer, discovered she had a skill for bargaining. “I managed to get two stencils for one bracelet,’ she said.
The Salsa Festival featured six musicians performing on a variety of jazz and authentic Latin percussion instruments, exploring the Afro-Cuban roots of salsa music and its more contemporary variations.
The day culminated with the Inca Relays held on Reynolds Field. These reflected the fact that the Inca never developed a written language, and their main method of communication was memorization. Team members relayed a message through four stations, rather like the game “telephone.” Six messages were sent in all, but few made it through to the finish with any clarity.
“It was pretty silly by the end,” Mulholland said.
Nonetheless, the connection was made. “My favorite part of the day was the relays,” said Astrid Krogsgaard. “I could see how it was related to what we were learning.”
(May 29, 2022)