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Exploring Latin American Culture In Lower School Spanish Classes

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Buenos dias! The lower school classes have been embracing new experiences during Spanish class - sampling foods from Latin America like yucca, plantains, horchata, nopal, and choclo. Spanish Teacher Tonya Whitehead said students recently sampled agua de jamaica, aka hibiscus tea. She says she did not get a unanimous "love it!". Tally marks from their vote showed three students saying they loved it, 2 who liked it, and 7 who said, no gracias. 

Over the past few weeks, Mrs. Whitehead and her classes have been talking about the importance of spreading God's love by learning to communicate with our hispanic neighbors. Many classes learned the merengue dance and sang traditional songs from Latin America. Their favorite music was Huapango de Jose Pablo de Moncayo. 

Overall, students embraced this learning experience and all that they discovered about Latin American culture. Henry Van Roekel says he "really enjoyed drinking tea!" Ellie Jeter says she "enjoyed the dancing moves and steps", while Campbell Alford added that it was great "learning about kindness and encouragement to help others who are from different backgrounds." Ethan Williams weighed in on the interesting snacks, saying "Yucca has a really different texture and shape."

Learning Spanish as a second language is a valuable opportunity for our lower school students as they are also exposed to new cultural practices, influencing how people think, act and what things they care about in their lives. Some studies suggest that learning a second language can even boost cognitive function such as memory, mental clarity and concentration.

Posted by Ji Pasko with

Diving Into Nature's Classroom & Exploring Ecosystems

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The world of ecosystems came to life for our inquisitive third grade students last week! The students welcomed Mrs. Liberty Cosseti from High Touch High Tech, who led the classes through The Chain Gang, a program where students explore the food web and discover how animals adapt to their environment. There was plenty of excitement as these young students became Wildlife Ecologists for the day! 

"High Touch High Tech science field trips provide exciting opportunities for students to explore God's creation and inspire curiosity to want to know more,” says third grade teacher Christina Brazzel. “The hands-on experiments and activities meet the South Carolina Curriculum Standards and complements our BJU science curriculum. I am most excited and thankful for High Touch, High Tech experiences because it sparks interest in science and fosters curiosity through fun hands-on learning, which helps students to remember concepts and produces a desire to learn more."

 After an in-depth discussion of biotic and abiotic factors, students created their own ecosystems with gummies and pretzels before breaking off into centers that allowed them to dive deeper into the scientific world. Students explored three different stations; making their own ecosystem in a ziplock baggie, dissecting owl pellets to find the bones of the owl’s prey, and finally looking through a microscope at various slides.

Here's what a few of Mrs. Brazzel’s students had to say about this unique experience:

"I liked making a food chain out of food because I used my imagination. I learned about abiotic and biotic." - Chase Beville

"My favorite part was making a terrarium, which contains biotic and abiotic." - Micah Romfo

"I loved making habitats out of food and then eating it!!! I also loved making a terrarium and digging in owl pellets!" - Nora Brown

"I enjoyed making food chains and biomes for animals. I loved learning about producers and consumers in food chains." - Levi Hill

"My favorite part was discovering mole bones in the owl pellets, making a terrarium, making habitats and looking in a microscope." - Athan Dimitrious

"I loved the owl pellets. I liked the habitat we did and when we planted a plant." - Piper Johannesmeyer

"I liked planting grass and sorting owl pellets." - Isaac Earle

With all the excitement and "wows" throughout the day, these students were enthusiastic learners and clearly fascinated by ecosystems!

Posted by Darla Rourk with

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