Halloween is a spooky, entertaining holiday celebrated in the United States and other countries that actually originated with the Celts in Europe. What began as a religious day to honor deceased loved ones (known as All Saints’ Day and recognized by the Catholic Church) turned into a commercial holiday full of candy, costumes, and scary movies. Interested in learning more about Halloween’s history? Check out this National Geographic video!
In the U.S., Halloween is often important because it characterizes a special time in childhood and may carry different traditions within a family. Many kids, even through the pre-teen years, dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating in their neighborhoods with their friends or family members. Growing up in a big family of five kids, I have fond memories of hanging the Halloween decorations inside and outside our house.
We also loved carving pumpkins. We’d start by cutting off the top of the pumpkin. Then, we’d clear out the inside parts but save the pumpkin seeds. Next, we’d carve a face or design on the side of the pumpkin. The pumpkin seeds would be washed and roasted in the oven with a little bit of salt, as a savory snack. The final step was placing a little candle inside and putting the lit jack-o-lantern on the steps to the front door.
Many neighborhoods in my town participated in a game called “booing.” In order to “boo” someone, you had to prepare a bag of treats or Halloween-themed surprises. You’d then wait until nighttime and sneakily drop the bag on the doorstep of a neighbor’s house. After knocking or ringing the doorbell, you’d run and hide! It sounds a little silly, but as a child, the adrenaline rush of surprising another family while trying not to get caught was a lot of fun.
In the south and many parts of the U.S., fall is the season for adventuring through corn mazes, drinking apple cider, and picking out small or big pumpkins at a local pumpkin patch. The leaves change colors, and the weather getting colder signifies that winter is coming.
Here in Spain, as I’ve spoken with Spanish teachers and students, I’ve learned that Halloween was not always celebrated. It is a much more recently recognized holiday, and while some kids do dress up and go trick-or-treating, it is not universally part of the culture. I really enjoy hearing about Spanish traditions as well and being able to share this cultural exchange at our high school.
At Las Lagunas, we engaged with Halloween by decorating the main entrance to the school. On October 31st, during the break, some of the students made fake scars with paint for their peers in the auditorium. During 6th period, the younger students were able to go to a concert that the Music Department prepared and take pictures with a big Halloween frame during a photocall.
"I am among those who think that science has great beauty."--Marie Curie
On Tuesday, February 13, 2018, the English Department at Las Lagunas hosted a fun and interactive event for students in first through fourth grade ESO called, "Visionaries and Inventions that changed mankind." The event consisted of various rotating performances put on by actors in The Improving Co. that referenced important contributions to science and technology that continue to impact us today.
Among the five different acts were: Louis Pasteur & Alexandre Fleming, Galileo Galilei, Einstein's Dances from the Galaxy, Marie Curie and Bill Gates & Steve Jobs. Through dramatic acting and silly puppets, guitar playing and planet dancing, students had the opportunity to engage with the performers artistically while also expanding their knowledge of scientists and innovators. Each performance called for audience participation and volunteers to assist in what was being shared.
One example of the acts was the celebration of Marie Curie’s work. The performer began by describing who she was, her research in radioactivity and her incredible achievement as a female winning a Nobel Prize twice. He proceeded to sing and play “Radioactive” on the guitar and later “The Scientist” by Coldplay. Students joined in on the “ohs” of the chorus and parts of the songs they knew. And of course, the singer threw in Ed Sheeran’s popular hit “Perfect” to keep it relevant!
Thanks to The Improving Co. for their great portrayals and informative show! With this experience, we also keep in mind the words of Bill Gates: "Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important."
El pasado 27 de noviembre Las Lagunas celebró el Día de Acción de Gracias con un concierto protagonizado por algunos de sus alumnos. Aquí tenéis una pequeña muestra del resultado. Muchas gracias a todos los participantes, y especialmente a los profesores de música Nacho Corral y Mónica Gómez, responsables de este bonito proyecto.
Good, I would like to tell a little you about my trip to London. For me, it was the most important experience I could have. I met the most incredible places that I thought I would never know. I ate food that I thought I was never going to eat, speak the English I know from class. It was a very enjoyable experience talking to people who sometimes did not understand me.
I would love to return one day.
Beatriz Vellisca, 4ºC.