Eighth grade students inquire into the lives and works of authors whose contributions make up the Spanish-language literary canon - from Gabriel Garcia Marquez' works of Colombian magical realism to the writing of Mexico's most celebrated novelist Carlos Fuentes.
It is an enriching experience for students to explore this field. But it has been particularly wonderful this week to see student-led inquiry projects culminate in presentations where students not only impart autobiographical and literary information, but where they also embody the author through interactive presentations that combine performance art with more traditional classroom talks.
For example, Giordana P. acted as Amelia Denis de Icaza, a Panamanian poet. She reflected: "I dressed up as she would have in her times, the 1860s. I also brought typical works that she produced. In particular I looked at her work Al Cerro Ancon, one of her most important poems. I not only recited the first stanza of her poem but I also took questions as if I were Amelia."
Nicholas B. added regarding his presentation of Juan Rulfo, a Mexican author. "I had to act as if I was a completely different person from a different time who came back to ISP to present from the dead. I learned more acting it out in this way because I had to practice and practice in order to memorize both about the works and about the person."
Giordana added that it was a "fun experience to learn about the authors in an interactive way. There was going to be a test, but instead we learned even more by having a project." We look forward to the many additional enriching experiences that will come out of project-based learning in our middle school classrooms.