St. Margaret’s grade 6 students explored their heritage in an interdisciplinary project, which culminated with student presentations and a large potluck featuring family recipes from around the world.
This is the third year for the project, a collaboration between grade 6 world history, taught by Rian Otto, and grade 6 writing, taught by Owen Beitner, with elements of visual arts and cultural competency included. Students were tasked with interviewing a relative and learning about their family heritage, then sharing their findings and including geographical elements in a presentation to their world history class.
The unit built public speaking, geography, reading, writing, research and cultural-competency skills, and also helps new Middle School students get to know one another on a deeper level.
Five students joined Director of Equity and Inclusion Victor Cota in sharing their heritage presentation in McGregor Family Theater to all grade 6 students and all grade 3 students, who are beginning their own unit exploring cuisine. The five students—Ryan Chin, Bela Block, Molly Hogan, Vicky Yang and Lucas Caggiano—dived into the background of their family roots in a multimedia presentation. Mr. Cota also shared his own family heritage and spoke of the importance of St. Margaret’s students celebrating their unique history with one another.
Later that day, the Performing Arts Center foyer hosted a bustling potluck. More than 70 students and their families prepared dishes significant to their heritage, with cuisines from Armenia, Brazil, China, Switzerland, Mexico, Italy, Spain and many more represented. Family members joined the students in trying different foods and connecting with other members of the Tartan community.
The recipes will be compiled into a grade 6 heritage cookbook during writing class. Students also spent time creating art pieces for the heritage cookbook, writing thank-you notes to their interview subject, and learning more about human diets from around the world.