Kindergarteners Learn the Colors of Autumn in LHS Spanish Classrooms

Photo courtesy of William Luzzi
Photo courtesy of William Luzzi

Kindergarten: a time of innocence, carefree joy, and above all, learning. Thus, with the leaves turning a myriad of colors this time of year, it was the perfect opportunity for LHS Spanish classes to educate the kindergarteners about the vivid changes of Autumn (in Spanish, of course!).

On Friday, Nov. 4, the kindergartens arrived from across the street and were introduced by Spanish teacher William Luzzi, who played a video and explained the colors of fall in Spanish. The kindergartners were then separated into groups: the first group took turns reading a book about the changes of Autumn in Spanish, the second group colored, and the third group played a game in the hallway, where the students identified the colors of leaves in Spanish and planted them on a tree the LHS students taped on the wall.

According to Luzzi, the activity was a renowned success. “There was a lot to gain out of this on both sides [for the LHS students and the kindergarteners],” he said. “Our high school students get to become role models, leaders, and contribute to giving back to their communities.  Also, the KC [Kindergarten Center] students really look up to the high school students.” Luzzi also emphasized how the activities gave his students a teaching experience, noting the different responses to the exposure. “Many of them seem to love it, while others feel less comfortable on the hot seat,” he explained. Luzzi also mentioned how the activity especially benefitted kindergarteners whose first language was Spanish. These students, who Luzzi observes as more reversed at the Kindergarten level, had the opportunity to shine and show of their language skills. “When the tables turn and Spanish is the primary language of instruction, we get to see them in a different light.  They will typically be more outgoing and confident,” he emphasized.

Junior Jasmine Ostroff, a student of Luzzi’s, said her favorite part of Friday’s activity was the kindergarteners’ excitement and eagerness to learn about Autumn in Spanish and simply visit LHS. She also noticed that the game in the hallway was the fan-favorite activity, an observation shared by fellow junior Alexis Raynor who enjoyed the game by “really interacting with the kindergarteners.” When asked if they would like this event to become a tradition at LHS, both Ostroff and Raynor agreed yes. Ostroff identified several beneficial outcomes from the activities, claiming it provided the kindergarteners with an “exciting experience by learning at the high school” and gave her and her classmates the chance to act as teachers. 

Luzzi expressed joy seeing this interaction unfold. “They [the LHS students] are most impressive and it´s fun to watch them become the teachers,” he said. “They did a great job! I can´t deny that just seeing the little kindergarteners in general is so much fun as well. “Furthermore, Luzzi touched on the learning experience many of the kindergartens gained from exposure to a foreign language. Citing exposure as of utmost importance, Luzzi views kindergarteners to be at the optimal age for language learning. “Their brains are like sponges and they absorb everything!  Part of this is that they lack the fear of getting something “wrong”, so they are happy to participate, call out an answer, and give anything a try,” he explained. “As a result, real language learning takes place.  I would love to someday see a bilingual program at the lower levels.  It is the true path to fluency and proficiency in learning a new language.”