By: Susan Gum // April 19th, 2016 // Stories
Delmarva Christian Milton Campus hosted their third-annual Country Festival on Wednesday, April 13. Mrs. Jessica Hague, middle school English and sixth-grade History and Bible teacher, and Latin/Spanish teacher Mrs. Jhoana Pazmino were the key organizers of this year’s French-themed festivities. We caught up with Mrs. Hague to learn about how the Country Festival came to be and the activities that were planned for this year’s event.
“During the winter of 2014, a former music teacher, Mrs. Pazmino, and I organized a Celtic Festival,” said Mrs. Hague. “Our vision was a fun, educational event with activities that were imagined, created and presented by our fifth through eighth grade students for their lower classmen. This first festival was such a great success that we decided to make a ‘country’ festival an annual tradition. This year, we held a Festival of France. This is the largest festival we had ever put together, and Mrs. Pazmino and I are very excited!”
Mrs. Hague and Mrs. Pazmino used their own experiences abroad to help craft this year’s festival.
“My favorite part was the ‘Paris at Night’ station,” said Mrs. Hague. “Both Mrs. Pazmino and I have been to Paris, and we wanted to recreate the feeling of wonder and splendor we experienced while touring the city at night. It was important to us that the students not just read about—but ‘experience’—the beauty of Paris’ landmarks firsthand, so we created a ‘visual’ station that would evoke the feeling one gets while touring Paris at night on a bateaux mouche (open excursion boat) while floating down the River Seine.”
To open the afternoon’s festivities, select students recited French poems, the second- and fourth-grade classes sung songs (including the classic, “Frère Jacques”), and the middle schoolers performed traditional dances.
After the opening performances, students in kindergarten through fourth-grade rotated through a variety of stations, facilitated by the upperclassmen. As they moved through the festival, the students filled out worksheets, answering important questions about France’s history, people, regions, food, artists, scientists, and language.
At the Mardi Gras station, the fifth graders discussed Lent, Carnaval, and Mardi Gras, and helped the students craft their own Mardi Gras hats and masks.
At the French Sports station, the sixth-grade students taught the lowerclassmen how to play two popular French sports: handball and pentaque/boule.
Les scientifiques français / Musée du Louvre
At the French scientists and Louvre Museum station, students enjoyed sixth-grade poster-board presentations about French scientists’ work and discoveries. They also experienced a mini-Louvre museum with poster-board presentations on French artists and their most famous works, as well as artwork (paintings, drawings, and sculptures) created by the seventh-grade class.
Paris la nuit / Personnalités françaises
At the Paris at Night and Famous French People station, students took a walking tour through “Paris at Night,” as the eighth-grade tour guides led students through a fully-decorated hallway with famous Parisian landmarks, silhouetted by a nighttime skyline. Then, they learned about famous French men and women and enjoyed the sixth-grade poster board presentations that highlighted France’s most celebrated authors, performers, athletes, and historical figures. One of the sixth-grade students also performed mime.
At the French Café station, students enjoyed playing French games and learning the history (and tasting!) French foods: crepes, creme puffs and punch, all created by the middle-school culinary class and served in an outdoor French cafe setting. There, they also learned about the regions of France, the history of the French flag, the French language, a timeline of French history, a reproduction of the Arc de Triomphe and a large, free-standing Eiffel Tower.
“It was a lot of fun to put together, and we’re already talking about next year’s festival!” – Mrs. Hague