Having a whole school Spanish or Latin America Day is a great way to raise the profile of Spanish in your school and get the whole school community enthused about learning Spanish. There are many different ways to celebrate; here are just a few I have used in the past.
All students and staff come into school wearing either something red and yellow, or traditional Spanish dress. You could also include traditional Latin American clothing. I like the option of just wearing certain colours as it takes the pressure off some parents who can’t afford to go out and buy a new outfit. Lots of the girls came in wearing flamenco dresses that you can find quite easily and cheaply on line. They LOVED practising flamenco dancing, wearing their special outfits.
Food is bound to get everyone excited so always worth including. Try to focus on making a simple recipe with cheap ingredients. It can be a great job for the Year 6 (or the oldest children in the school) to organise. It is also worth speaking to the canteen staff and see if they can create a Spanish themed menu for the day. Here are some recipe ideas. You can find more on my blog post, ‘¡A Comer! - Great Spanish recipes to make with your class’
· Alcohol free sangria – great for a hot, summer afternoon. Only involves mixing up fruit juice with chopped up fruit and lemonade. ¡Deliciosa!
· Pan con tomate – this is a lovely, traditional Spanish dish. You can either blitz lots of tomatoes in a blender and spoon on top, or do it the Catalan way and ‘pintar’ (paint) the bread with the tomato. To paint the bread, use a nice juicy tomato and brush it on top of the bread. The bread should be crusty! Then add olive oil on top.
· Salsa – chop up tomatoes, onions, green peppers and coriander (cilantro) and mix together! Add salt to taste.
Set the tone for the day by playing Spanish music when the children arrive. Give them time to dance before settling down. We often celebrated the end of the day by taking all the children into the playground and dancing to Spanish music. Create excitement by teaching all the classes a song. Either the same song that they can perform together or each class can perform a song for the rest of the school.
Art is a great whole school activity. You can create beautiful displays to share with the parents and children enjoy spending an extended time developing their ideasIt is nice to use a range of different skills such as printing, collage and model making. You can find great ideas for teaching art at this website ‘Teach Kids Art’.
Each Spanish Day at my school had a theme, ensuring children don’t complete the same activity more than once. Here are some ideas:
Each class has a different famous building from a Spanish speaking country. Students can research the building and create a piece of work based on it. This can be in the form of an information booklet, reading
comprehension, PowerPoint presentation or class presentation. Students can go on to complete a piece of art work based on the building e.g. creating the Sagrada Familia out of straws and sticky tape; or making a pyramid out of junk modelling materials.
The whole school could focus on one Spanish speaking artist or each class has a different artist. Students learn about the life of the artist and then recreate their artwork using a range of media. Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Beatriz Milhazes, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali are all good examples
· Spanish/Latin American city or country
Each class chooses a Spanish speaking city to learn about. What is the population? What is the typical food? Are other languages spoken? How is it different to where the students live? How is it the same? Students can present what they have found out in the form of an information booklet, a PowerPoint presentation or a poster.
There are some really interesting festivals that students will have great fun researching. Some good examples include, La Tomatina in Spain, where tonnes of tomatoes are thrown in a giant food fight; La Feria de los Flores in Colombia or El Día de los Muertos in Mexico
I hope this gives you enough ideas to make Spanish Day a roaring success at your school. Please let me know if you have any more ideas or questions.