Remembrance Day in our Spanish lessons.

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In Spanish lessons in Y5 and 6 this week we have marked Remembrance Day by  briefly looking at some Spanish history and then considering peace.

Spain was not involved in WW1 or WW2 and does not celebrate Remembrance Day as a national event.  We began by discussing what Remembrance Day is about, and I asked what they thought Spain’s role was in the World Wars. It was a good opportunity to clear up some misconceptions about who was and wasn’t involved! I then went on to talk a little about the Spanish Civil War in the most basic terms. We talked about the difference between a monarchy and a republic, discussed what an economic depression is and about why the Nationalists might have revolted. We looked at the painting Guernica by Picasso (as they are familiar with him) and learned about that particular episode. It was supposed to be a quick resume of what happened as one of the reasons why Spain weren’t involved (one of the pupils suggested ‘They had no one to send to fight; they’d all killed each other!’) but the pupils were really interested and wouldn’t stop asking questions.

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The second part of the lesson was about peace; poppies help us remember those who died in conflicts, but also remind us of man’s folly, how we should learn from the past and seek a peaceful future. Y5 had slightly longer lessons than Y6 so we were able to do an extra activity. Señora Stevens read the poem above about peace then everyone joined in. Y5 talked with their partners what they thought the poem might be about and why, using all clues like the illustrations and cognates to help them. We discussed together what it meant then read it once more in groups. Y5 stuck the poem in their books and wrote a couple of sentences about what they had learned before moving on the final activity. 

We looked at the word PEACE in as many languages as we could find; we were amused to see that the word for peace in Norwegian, Danish and Swedish is fred!  Pupils were given a poppy outline and they decorated the poppies with the word peace in languages of their choice as a demonstration of their wish for peace in our world; whilst our country is not at war currently, there are many in the world that are in a state of conflict. We discussed the meaning of different coloured poppies – the most well known red, purple for animals and white for peace and to recall all victims of war (Señora Stevens has since found out about black poppies from this video)  We also learned that in France people wear bleuets for Remembrance Day, cornflowers which also grew in the fields of France. Pupils kept these colours in mind as they decorated.

Here are some of the poppies they designed (top and below). Beautiful, aren't they?

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