Once a month since September Alison Reilly’s High School English Language Learners and Karen Maregni’s fourth grade Avery students have come together to share both language and culture during a shared block of time.
During these sessions, the high school group came into the fourth grade classroom to practice reading and speaking in both English and Spanish.
Presentations ranged from children’s stories read in Spanish and translated into English, to a PowerPoint show of Costa Rica with flags, pictures, and researched information. All stories were introduced with vocabulary posters explaining key words in both languages.
On Dec. 5, students from Ms. Reilly’s and Ms. Maregni’s class worked together to choral read a favorite childhood poem, “There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly.”
A high school leader worked with a small group to practice reciting one stanza of the poem. Pictures were drawn by the 4th grade students, and each leader translated the repeated lines (I don’t know why she swallowed a fly, perhaps she’ll die.) into Spanish (Pero yo no se por que ella se trago una mosca, tal vez se va a morir), which was then posted on the Smartboard.
Each group shared their animal illustrations, labeled in English and Spanish, to the rest of the groups, and each recited their verse in English. Everyone said the repeated lines in Spanish together.
It has been such an enriching experience for both schools to collaborate, and this experience will continue throughout the school year.