On the Journey
news reel: stories of People, places, and learning AT Aspen Country Day School
Acróbatas, magos, entrenadores de animales, and malabaristas are on stage for the big Spanish Circus on campus every other fall. And while this festive event is fun for all, it's also a serious part of the curriculum in World Languages.
"The circus is a way to get students using their Spanish in a fun way," says teacher Maria Carbonetti. "It's a way to play with the language rather than simply to recite." All activities are conducted in Spanish.
At 9 am, at a "midway" in the Lower School Commons, circus-goers (children in PreK through Fifth Grade) get tattoos or face painting and play carnival games led by Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Graders, who speak with their "customers" all in Spanish. Then at 10:15 am, it's off to the Big Top in Edlis-Neeson Hall by the ponds for a live performance featuring Spanish-speaking circus animals, jugglers, a ringmaster, and more.
"Middle School students know that their speaking experience in the Spanish Circus counts as 20 points of their oral grade for the semester. But just as importantly, it gives these older students a chance to show the younger counterparts what the language program holds for them as they grow into it," says Maria.
Who knows, today's Kindergartener may someday become the Spanish Circus ringmaster, tightrope walker, or even perhaps "El Hombre Mas Fuerte del Mundo," played this year by Seventh Grader Stewart C.