We want to thank Julia’s mom, Veronica, for coming to class to share information about Venezuela and the Johnston family heritage. Julia was born in the USA; however, both parents were born in Venezuela. Julia made flags showing her ties to both the USA and Venezuela. Mrs. Johnston told the students stories about growing up in Venezuela and highlighted things that students would see if they went to visit. For example: they would see colorful birds, fish, Angel Falls, tropical rainforest environments, beaches, desert, and flat-topped mountains. The children would also speak Spanish. Mrs. Johnston gave opportunities for the children to share what they already knew about the Spanish language and to learn new words.
The children located the country, learned the name of the capitol - Caracas, saw the national flag, traditional dress, musical instruments, and learned about colorful festivals. In regards to Venezuelan food, Julia shared her recipes. She wrote the recipes and created clay examples that showed how to make her favorite foods. Later, the children tried empanadas and mango. Her mom told a story about gathering mangos to eat and playing with the tiny mangos.
The sharing of experiences and stories personalized the culture of Venezuela for our entire class.