Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pumpkin Pie and Tamales

Sorry I haven't posted for a while.  I've been busier than a one-armed paper hanger, as my dear sweet Granny used to say!

Recently, I've been reading some Thanksgiving themed books from Reading A-Z.  The books, Maria's Thanksgiving and Carlos's First Thanksgiving are a great pair for building vocabulary and background knowledge about the American holiday of Thanksgiving.  Plus, they're perfect for practicing the skills of comparing and contrasting.

In one of the books (I believe it's the Maria book) they mention eating tamales as a part of the Thanksgiving feast.  One of my students is of Mexican heritage, so she was thrilled to describe to us  the delicious tamales her mother makes.  The other student arrived from Ghana about three months ago, so he had no idea about Thanksgiving nor tamales.  I found a You Tube video to use to describe how to make tamales.   (By the way, remember to ALWAYS preview any video clip before using it in class!  I found one video that did a great job describing how to make tamales when suddenly, in the middle of the clip, the hostess/chef picked up a piece of corn husk from a pot filled with hot water and clearly said, "SH*T!!"   Oops.  I'm not using THAT video!)

After our tamale discussions, we went on to pumpkin pie.  Moonwalk Boy, my Ghanaian student, couldn't imagine what a pumpkin pie would be like.  He didn't think it sounded good to eat at all!  So, I stopped at the grocery after school and purchased a small pumpkin pie and a can of whipped cream.  I brought them in to school on Friday.  When class started, I took out the pie, cut it into slices and I talked about how not every American likes pumpkin pie.  (I used my own husband as an example.  Mr. Gumby does NOT like pumpkin pie, but our sons do.  Therefore, we always have pumpkin pie and apple pie at our house for Thanksgiving. I always try to give kids an out if they don't like the taste of something. I tell them it won't hurt my feelings if they don't like a food.)  I placed small slices of pumpkin pie on paper plates and squirted some whipped cream on top of each piece. Whoosh!  Moonwalk Boy jerked back in his seat at the sound of the whipped cream coming out of the aerosol can!!  I guess I scared him? (Mrs. Gumby...scaring English Language Learners with aerosol whipped cream since 2012!!!)    After explaining how the cream comes out of the can, I distributed the plates and we began our taste test.  Happy Girl delightedly ate her pumpkin pie and whipped cream.  However, Moonwalk Boy gently poked his piece of pie and cautiously tried a teeny tiny bit of pumpkin filling.  He decided it wasn't something he liked, but he did enjoy the whipped cream.   I could just see the look in his eyes, though.

 "Those crazy Americans and their weird traditions!  Who wants to eat that nasty orange pie?"