Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Easter Island {Cultural Craft for Spanish Students}

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I am gearing up for another summer of Spanish camps and so looking forward to it. My camps are composed of language practice, cultural crafts, games, geography, and stories. It is a great introduction for kids in the language. You can find all my posts about summer camp if you click here.

Last year we made personal piñatas, molas, Chilean rainsticks, and a few other cultural crafts. For the kids that will be returning this year, I needed to have some new material to teach them and some new crafts. One of the days we will focus on body parts and the country of Chile so I thought it would be a great opportunity to make Moai, the famous Easter Island statues. 

I wanted an easy, quick way for students to make the statues without us taking too much time. I happened to find this ice cube mold and thought it would be perfect! (You can find it here.) Next I wanted a no-mess, easy clean-up clay that would air dry. This air dry clay is perfect, and I bought several packages in gray to make the heads with. To add to the educational value of the craft we are going to model the actual island (which is triangular) and  add a little bit of the ocean around it. I am thinking that I will make the clay for the island and the water to save on money. You can find a recipe here.

Along with making the islands, we will be spending sometime learning/reviewing body parts. I have made some extra statues in order to play a game that I saw online a few months back. Here's how it is done: You create two lines of students and have them face each other so that each kid has a partner. They need to be seated on the floor/ground. Place between each set of kids a Moai statue. Then begin to call out body parts in Spanish. Whatever body part is called the students have to place their hands on that part of themselves. So for example, if I say "cabeza" they will put their hands on their head. Call out several body parts. Then at some point say "Vayan" (or even "estatua") which means the pairs have to grab the little statue that is between them. Whoever grabs it first between the two kids wins and gets to stay in the game. Have the remaining that are still playing pair up with a new partner and do another round. Continue until you have only one student remaining. You can modify this game to make it a little less competitive for younger kids who sometimes struggle with winning and losing. Don't have anyone exit the game. Let everyone continue playing no matter who got the statue first.

I am also planning on doing a scavenger hunt with the statues by hiding them in an outdoor area and having the students search for them. I will probably do directions in the target language for older kids.

Here are some other resources to use in conjunction with this craft...

For my summer camps I limit the number of students so that kids get to practice in the language. So I will probably be buying several sets of these excavation kits for kids to work on in pairs. They get to dig up some Moai! (You can find them here.)

Also, have you been to Mundo de Pepita? It is an awesome blog with tons of resources and ideas for teaching Spanish to children. She also has a Teachers pay Teachers store which you can find HERE. She recently came out with a bulletin board set for the country of Chile! I will be using it during my camps as I like to have visual representations of the different countries we study. The set includes Moai, guanacos, the Chilean flag, some of the flora of the country, and a few other items.

Finally, here is a game to use, especially if you are breaking your students into groups to do center work. They can call out the numbers in Spanish as they play. The game is called Sneaky Statues and can be ordered HERE.

If you have any other ideas to go along with the Moai I would love to hear them!!