Spanish and Art collaborated for a Social-Emotional Learning activity to start the new year. Students learned about some of the interesting customs of various South American countries to bring in the New Year. Customs such as eating twelve grapes to symbolize good luck, throwing a bucket of water out of the window, cleaning as a symbol of starting new, and burning effigies to rid themselves of any bad memories of the past year. Symbols were discussed in these traditions.
In the same manner, students attached symbols to unpleasant experiences and memories in 2019. They drew these symbols on dissolving paper. Together, they watched these papers with symbols dissolve in a plastic pool generously donated for use by teacher Mrs. Krsczykowski. The hope is that the activity would foster unity with students realizing that they are not alone in any emotional struggle and that they can be open to bad experience “dissolving” into the past. Students who had an awesome 2019 said their good-byes to 2019 and also showed empathy for any healing their peers may need to experience.