One of the many responsibilities I have in teaching my students how to read, write, speak and understand English does not concern language at all. What many mistakenly perceive as a language problem with speakers of other languages here in the U.S. is really not that at all. Well, of course it is to some degree, but just as huge as the language barrier comes the culture barrier. Immigrants who have decided to settle here not only must learn our language, but our culture as well.
That being said, many of my lessons in class include facets of our American culture, whatever that is, and one of the aspects of culture I always try to teach them concern our holidays and how we celebrate them. I feel that if the school deems a holiday important enough to be closed, then my students should at least know why they get a day off. Oftentimes that leads to things such as how we celebrate those cultures, as well.
Easter is not an American holiday by any means. It is a day of celebration for Christians around the world, and many of my students are Christian and do celebrate “Pasqua,” but not in the American way. To this day, I still do not know how the Easter bunny came to be associated with this particular holiday, nor how the egg fits into the equation, but it does.
In preparation for a family event we’ll be holding in a month or so, the ESL teacher in the elementary school and myself decided to do a collaborative project together to show our students a part of how kids in America celebrate Easter…namely by coloring Easter eggs.
Religious associations aside, my fondest memories of Easter when I was growing up included going to my nana’s house the night before to color eggs. Most kids love to color, and dipping these hard-boiled eggs into dye and creating beautiful decorations for an Easter basket is especially fun.
Early this afternoon, I brought seven of my students over to the elementary school to meet up with their younger counterparts to take part in this American tradition. We partnered each one of the older students with one of the younger ones and gave them a sequencing activity using the directions to color the eggs. Once they had the order in place, it was time to put the directions into action.
For almost an hour I looked upon these little ones with a big smile on my face as they took part in all of the fun they had been missing. It was especially enjoyable to watch the interactions of the older and younger kids as they tried double-dipping eggs, doing halfsies with two colors, and then trading with the others for even more color combinations.
We finished off with a story about the Easter bunny and then we all headed back to class, colored eggs and a headful of memories and new experiences in hand. I love my job!
Image Source (1st Photo): Remax Prestige