It was Christmas time - a perfect time to have a Snow School!
The challenge: teaching about snow in a place where it never snows (except maybe on El Pital, but that is a story yet to happen).
On a warm December day, the teachers in our sister community graciously invited us to come into the school to teach the kids all about snow and winter in the northern United States. Our teaching group consisted of moms, dads and kids from our congregation, most of whom did not speak Spanish.
Easy to organize and lots of fun, Snow School was a great way for us to interact with one another, especially for our kids.
We started with a little teaching to the whole group of about 80 students, explaining that snow falls from the sky, it is cold - the basics. Then we divided the kids up into small groups which rotated every 20 minutes or so, to different activities:
1) Snowflakes - this was an easy one for the kids because they know all about making papel picado. We brought scissors and white paper and the kids decorated their classroom with winter snow flakes. To make the snowflakes extra special, we brought glitter. Since it was about 110 degrees in the school, the glitter stuck onto the kids as much as it did onto the snowflakes. The kids went home laughing and sparkly.
2) Ice - we had large laminated photos of our kids ice skating and snowmobiling and sledding on a frozen lake. The Salvadoran children could not believe that we could walk right across the lake! This was a fun discussion center led by one of our group who could speak Spanish and ask and answer kids' questions.
3) Snowman Building - we brought 3 large styrofoam discs and big wooden buttons, carrot, coal etc. decorations (on dowels to stick through the styrofoam) to demonstrate how to build a snowman. Then the kids had a chance to build their own snowmen from marshmallows with pretzel stick arms and raisin eyes. Fun to make and yummy to eat!
4) Mittens on a String - the kids traced around their hands to make mitten shapes, cut them out, taped them to a string and had a lot of fun decorating them with crayons. All the kids went home with a pair of mittens hanging around their necks.
Looking back, it might have been fun to show the movie, Frosty the Snowman, and do a parade while singing the song, or to treat the kids to an icy treat from the couple in the community who have a small business selling frozen goodies. Hmmm....maybe it's time to do Snow School again with a new crop of kids!