Friday, 29 March 2013

Dia de la Paz; Peace Day in Spain

In Spanish schools, 31 January is celebrated as Dia de la Paz, a national day of peace and non-violence.  As mentioned in an earlier post, Life in Spain, first impressions, I was able to watch, from my balcony, the festivities in the playground of the local elementary school below.  It was quite noisy, and I didn't really understand what was going on!  

Once I started volunteering at the school, I was able to find out more about it.  Last week, the children were learning the 'simple past' tense,  so I thought it was an excellent time to ask them about Dia de la Paz.  First they showed me the board they had made with all the pictures from that day.

Then, I asked them to remember how they had celebrated, and write some sentences using past tenses.  We talked about it for a while, and I asked them some questions.  

I'll let the children tell you about it in their own words:  

Child 1:  The teacher told us a story about the colors of the rainbow.  

Child 2:  We played a game with balloons.
Me:  What was the game?
Child 2:  We were fighting about the color of the balloons -- what was the best color?
Me:  How did the game end?
Child 2:  We decided that all the colors were the same.

Child 3:  We held up the balloons.

Child 4:  We made a rainbow with balloons.

Child 5:  We listened to music and danced.

Child 6:  We made paper birds in different colors.
Me:  How did you make them?
Child 6:  We folded paper.

Child 7:  The teachers gave us rice.  
Me:  What did you do with the rice?
Child 7:  We put it in the balloons and shook them.  
Me:  What did it sound like?
Child 7:  It sounded like rain.

Child 8:  We made bracelets in different colors.
Me:  How did you make them?
Child 9:  We cut string and we tied it.

Child 10:  We listened to a story.
Me:  What was the story about?
Child 10:  It was a sad story.  
Me:  Why was it sad?
Child 11:  A girl was in the hospital and she died.
Child 12:  Because she didn't have enough paper birds.
Child 11:  It was after a war.  The bomb.  In Japan.  
Me:  Was it a true story?
Child 12:  Yes.

Child 13:  We spoke about Peace.
Me:  What did you talk about?
Child 13:  Balloons.

At the end of the class, I asked the children what their favorite part of the Day of Peace had been.  Answers covered pretty much everything mentioned above:  The stories, the balloons, the game, the rainbow, the bracelets, the music and dancing, and the paper birds.  

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