Category Archives: Class Activities

El Día de los Muertos


Last week, students completed a week long unit on El Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead). Each grade had their own twist, and students learned so much about this special holiday.

6th Grade Exploratory Spanish: Students were introduced to basic traditions of the holiday, and watched The Book of Life and answered discussion questions that went along with the movie.

7th Grade: Students watched the film, Coco. After, a discussion was facilitated where students provided their opinions on the movie, facts they learned about the holiday, and asked questions. They colored in their own ofrendas (altars) and wrote a reflection underneath.

8th Grade: Students discussed El Día de los Muertos in depth, including many new words in Spanish specific to the holiday. We compared and contrasted Mexican and American views on Death. After watching a video of an American tourist in Oaxaca, Mexico during the holiday being toured by a native Mexican, students discussed what they learned. Later in the week, Ms. Mirabella read the Legend of La Llorona. Students watched an episode of the NBC show, Grimm, which presented its own spin on the infamous Mexican legend. After the episode, students discussed similarities and differences from the legend Ms. Mirabella read and the TV show. Discussions were had on how legends can have different versions because they are passed down orally.

Here are some pictures of our week!




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7th Grade Tapas Tasting!

All of my 7th grade classes recently finished the food chapter, and were captivated by the various differences in lifestyle and cuisine in Spanish speaking countries. To further our lessons with authentic dishes from Spanish speaking countries, we had a Tapas Tasting on Monday, June 11th. I was blown away by how beautiful and delicious these dishes were! Students worked hard to find authentic recipes, cook/bake, and then present the history/background of each dish to their classmates while they sampled it. It was a day filled with culture, cuisine, and chatter!
¡Buen Trabajo!
-Ms. Mirabella


7A Mantecados & Sopapillas


7A Tortilla Española


7A Pico de Gallo & Chips


7A Quesada & Croquetas


7A Pastellitos


7A Torrijas, Tres Leches Cake, Churros con Chocolate, & Miguelitos


7C Tapas


7C Torrijas


7C Tortilla Española


7C Mango Empanadas


7C Croquetas & Tortilla Española


7C Paella


7C Alfajores, Turrón, & Churros


7C Bionico

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Artists from Oaxaca, Mexico visit MSMS!

We were lucky enough to have artists from Oaxaca, Mexico visit MSMS on Tuesday this week! Efraín Fuentes and his wife Silvia Gomez came to the media center at MSMS on Tuesday morning, as part of an educational partnership with Margaritas Restaurants.  Pat Picciano served as a translator and presenter on behalf of the artists, and gave multiple presentations to 7th and 8th grade Spanish classes.

Students were captivated by Efraín carving animals from blocks of wood in front of them in real time, while his wife Silvia meticulously painted his creations with bright colors and intricate designs.

Pat did a wonderful job of explaining the village the artists came from, as well as the family dynamic of their artistry. The entire family is involved in the carving/painting process one way or another, and their livelihood depends on it.

Students were able to view many of the animals and “alebrijes” that the artists had brought with them, and were fascinated with the entire process being done “old school” by hand without technology or machines.

Here are just a few photos that capture the educational and cultural experience had by all on Tuesday! Thank you so much to Mrs. Ellen Abrams and the BEF for organizing this priceless presentation that will be remembered for years to come!

The artists will be visiting Margaritas Restaurants in the coming months to sell and showcase their work. View the yellow flyers below in the photo gallery to learn more on how to meet them!

Pictures below taken by Mrs. Barkley and Ms. Mirabella (MSMS Spanish)

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Songs to Help Memorize Forms of SER

Fast SER Song

Jason Mraz I’m Yours Tune: SER Song

Other SER Song

SER: to be

Yo SOY                                       Nosotros SOMOS
ERES                                    Vosotros SOIS
Él/Ella/Usted ES                       Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes SON

I am                                           We are
You are                                      You all are (in Spain, 2 + people informal)
He/She/You is/are                    They/You all are 


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El Día de los Muertos y Las Leyendas

We have been preparing, discussing, and celebrating El Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) all week in B7! We have also been exploring some popular Mexican legends/ghost stories that are timely for October/November!

7th Graders watched the film, La Leyenda de la Nahuala. This movie depicts the infamous Mexican legend of La Nahuala, perfect for this spooky time of year! Following the film, students learned about El Día de los Muertos, and decorated both skeletons and skulls. These decorations are everywhere in Mexico for the holiday, and students got to make their own!

8th Graders discussed how Americans view death, and learned how Mexicans embrace death. This helped them understand why El Día de los Muertos is such a significant holiday to Mexicans. Following our discussions, students watched Derrick (a boy from Michigan) experience The Day of the Dead in Oaxaca, Mexico with a local named Itzli from October 31st to November 2nd. This visually descriptive movie showed students how Mexicans prepare and celebrate the holiday. Then, students were told The Legend of La Llorona (The Weeping Woman). This Mexican ghost story dates back to the 1500’s, and millions of Hispanics believe in this ghost story all around North America! To take a modern twist on La Llorona, students watched an episode of the TV Show ”Grimm.” In this episode, La Llorona seems to have appeared in the Southwest United States, as detectives try to track her down along the river.

It has been a culturally rich past week in Spanish class, and students have really enjoyed learning new information about this holiday and legends!

The Legend of La Llorona

8th Grade: Day of the Dead Film

7th Grade: La Leyenda de la Nahuala


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Crazy About Categorizing!

Please check out the Burlington Keys to Literacy blog, which showcases Ms. Mirabella, Mrs. Barkley, and Mr. Walsh this week. These Foreign Language teachers have been hard at work categorizing in their classes 🙂

Keys to Literacy Blog: Burlington

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7th Graders: Ser Songs

Song 1

Song 2

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