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Spanish Brought to Life at Hilton Head Island Middle School

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

Students in Irma Rameizl’s Spanish classes at Hilton Head Island Middle School had the opportunity to enhance their Spanish skills through the “Voices Not Forgotten/Voces No Elvidadas” project funded by a grant from the Foundation.

Students Reading "The Diary of Anne Frank"
Hilton Head Island Middle School Students Reading "The Diary of Anne Frank"

Through the purchase of a collection of “The Diary of Anne Frank/El Diario de Anne Frank” to read in Spanish class, students were able to understand the voice of a young person as they faced tragic events and develop interpersonal communication skills through class discussions while also strengthening their Spanish skills.


Rameizl felt that reading the text in Spanish was both challenging and intriguing for her students. She loved that this project gave the students an opportunity to work together and engage in great discussions. They also wrote, created projects, and reflected on the experiences of Anne Frank and other Jews during the Holocaust. In addition to learning about the horrific events of Anne’s life, the students were also exposed to her everyday experiences of life as a teenager, despite being under such dreadful conditions and being persecuted, degraded, and hunted by the Nazis. In the face of all of this, the voice of Anne Frank echoed in the minds of the students as they read her diary and learned more about her life.


Group of students presenting a summary of "The Diary of Anne Frank" to the class
Hilton Head Island Middle School Students Presenting Their Group's Summary of "The Diary of Anne Frank"

Students worked together in groups to summarize parts of the text, discussed the events of the book and reflected on what they learned. Then they presented their findings to the class in the form of a poster. Collaboration is an important part of being an IB student. Afterall, it is by working together, that greatness takes place!


The students took several quizzes throughout the study to assess their reading skills, and also to help them to develop their reading skills in Spanish. Rameizl reported that her students challenged themselves to read critically which led to very good scores on these quizzes.


In addition, students read about Anne’s classmates in the book, and then created a chart of personality characteristics based on the text. The students were then asked to create a similar chart for their own classmates (names were disguised.). Just like Anne wrote candidly in her diary, some of the students were quite honest with their descriptions!


“It was wonderful that the students were simultaneously learning about WWI and WWII in Social Studies class,” said Rameizl.


HHIMS Social Studies teacher, Mrs. English, was also thrilled at the interdisciplinary unit that went hand-hand with the Social Studies content.

Middle School Students on Laptops at School

Vocabulary lists were created and practiced daily helping to increase the students’ knowledge of Spanish vocabulary words. Based on what they read in the text, students used Canva to create a timeline of Anne Frank’s life which helped to develop their graphic design skills as well.


The value of reading such revered literature as “The Diary of Anne Frank” is immense. To combine that with the opportunity to read the book in another language and think critically about the text was challenging yet invaluable to these middle school Spanish students. Through this project, they put to practice the words of Anne Frank herself, “Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction.”


 

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