Students from both of Ocean's Intro Spanish classes came together on Wednesday, April 25th to put on a giant Spanish-language Mercado. 6 weeks beforehand, each group of students received the profile of a family of four refugees (invented by Ocean but based on real families in the news).
Students learned about the sponsorship model, where groups of people in a country band together to pool resources, knowledge and power to support incoming refugee groups, a model that is particularly popular and successful in Canada but can also be done here in the United States.
Each student group also had many moving parts: a 'main' store, a 'side' store, a 'free service' — and on the day of the market, using only Spanish and many of the grammar skills they've been learning in class, they had to balance the tasks of selling their wares to the other groups while buying things to support their own refugee family. There were no winners or losers, but after the fact students engaged in a reflection activity about how well they were able to support their refugee families and how the mercado went.
While the mercado had academic value, the best part was watching 9th graders realize that they can indeed communicate using the skills they've learned this first year. Plus, it's fun when Spanish class switches things up! GRS looks forward to many more hands-on experiences from the Spanish department next year — Ocean says there will be a lot of this kind of learning next year in their classes.