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Explorations Class: Cooking in Español

Kindergarten teacher Chloe Gilmore teaches an introductory Spanish class for kindergartners and first graders in our Explorations after-school program. The current session, which began last week, is all about food. Each week her Cooking in Español! classes enjoy a different dish from a Spanish-speaking country. This week they’re having quesadillas. (Last week they had guacamole.)

“The class focuses on using words and numbers in Spanish to make recipes from around the world,” says Chloe. “The children learn new songs, build their vocabulary, and, at the end of the course, take home a Spanish recipe book. “Most of the instruction is Spanish, with gestures to help the children understand. I ask them to repeat important words and phrases as we cook.”

Each class meeting starts with a song about cooking. This week they sang “Soy una Taza” (“I Am a Cup”), which teaches kitchen-related terms like tenedor (fork), cuchillo (knife), and plato hondo (bowl). (Next week they’ll sing “Soy Una Pizza.”)

The word quesadilla, Chloe notes, is derived from the Spanish word queso, meaning cheese. Literally translated, quesadilla means “little cheesy thing.”

To make her students’ “little cheesy things,” Chloe heats corn (maize) or flour (harina) tortillas on a small estufa (stove), fills them with regular or vegan cheese, then adds tomates (tomatoes), aguacate (avocado), cilantro, and crema (cream), according to the children’s preferences.

Chloe teaches two Cooking in Español! classes, one on Tuesdays, one on Thursdays, each with 12 students. The classes meet once a week for 45 minutes.

Though her classes are introductory classes, each new series has a different focus, so they’re appropriate both for children who have taken one before and those who haven’t.

Chloe, a Meher School graduate, has been studying Spanish since she was in middle school. This is her fifth cycle of Explorations Spanish classes.


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