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Collaborative Project Highlights Global Celebrations

A convergence of cultures and content areas came together in the Lower F Lobby on October 31 and continues still. Students in Ms. Baumgarten’s and Mr. Roncone’s Art classes, Ms. Elliott’s Spanish classes, and Ms. Haddon’s French classes created a collaboration that was timed with the American Holiday of Halloween, the Mexican Dia de Los Muerto or Day of the Dead, and the French La Toussaint or All Saints Day. The display is artistic, reflective, and realistic.

The project was initiated by Ms. Baumgarten and Ms. Elliot, and they began in early October by studying the Mexican holiday and recruiting other teachers and their classes to join them. Both Art classes created skulls and other design elements to decorate. “ You can decorate an altar for fun or to honor a relative or loved one that has passed away,” says Kenley Shaw.

Many of Ms. Baumgarten’s students documented their work and study on individual class websites as well. They learned an appreciation of the cultural differences and about the aesthetic elements of the Holiday. “Mexicans and Americans react differently to death. While many Americans mourn the death most Mexicans use it to celebrate the life that person lived. When Americans do remember the dead it’s only once at the funeral and they dress up in black, Mexicans dress in bright colors and costumes to remember their loved ones who have passed,” comments Ryan Johnson.

Ms. Haddon’s French classes added the touch of tombstones to honor famous French icons, and Ms. Elliott’s classes created both honor portraits and the Spanish-patterned color flags that waived over the top of the display.

While Halloween and All Saints Day tend to be a one day experience, Dia de Los Muerto can continue for days. The display will be in F-Hall for at least a few more. Be sure to check it out!

Written by: Lisa Justice
Posted: Nov 11, 2014 by Lisa Justice

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