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Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA
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Spanish Fashion Takes Fourth Grade

Fourth grade Spanish students have been learning and practicing the vocabulary associated with clothing as a way to also learn about colors, seasons, and cultural traditions around the Spanish-speaking world. Students worked in interactive fashion design notebooks created by Spanish teacher and World Languages Chair Kara Mertz to gather and explore vocabulary and details throughout the unit. The notebooks contain a blank body for every season where students can design their own outfits and identify the colors and the Spanish words that go with each piece of clothing.

The notebooks have been a great launching point for class discussions around clothing and cultural traditions. “We started by talking about what clothing can reveal about people’s values and beliefs,” says Kara. “We talked about traditional clothing from Mexico, Panama, Bolivia, Guatemala, Spain, and Argentina. Who wears a particular type of dress and why.” This allowed students to connect Spanish-speaking cultures with their own experiences as they shared clothing traditions from their own cultures and talked about how it reflects their values and beliefs.

In class, students practiced the vocabulary and their pronunciation with a variety of games. Kara used the Google Jamboard to play a game where students slowly uncover the tiles on the screen to reveal the picture of a piece of clothing underneath. The first student to correctly identify the item and its color in Spanish wins. Another favorite classroom game is “ladron.” One student is assigned to be the detective and leaves the room. Meanwhile, another student in the class is chosen to be the ladron or the robber. When the detective returns to class, they identify the robber by process of elimination by asking the class questions about what they are wearing. Are they wearing “una chaqueta azul?” or “una vestido rosa?” The game is over when the detective finds his or her ladron! 

On the last day of term, fourth graders hosted a Spanish-language fashion show in class. All the students brought in hats, coats, brightly colored accessories, and other clothing items and modeled their outfits for the class. Meanwhile, a partner provided the color commentary describing all the colors and items that “the model” was wearing.
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