Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District

Spanish Pen Pals from the Canary Islands Share Culture

 Several members of Ms. Adeymon's Spanish 2 Honors Spanish class who are part of the Pen Pals project: Nevaeh Miller, Shannon Kilbride, Ms. Adeymon, Arianna Gonzales-Lowe and Asia'Lee Fair, (front row, L-R). Madalen Norton, Grant Gober and Arden Lindberg, (back row, L-R).
March 12, 2018 -- Imagine making friends with students on a tropical island and never leaving your classroom. Students in Abi Adeyemon’s Heights High Spanish classes are doing the old-school Pen Pal activity with students from the Colegio Domincal Vista School in the Canary Islands. 

The Heights High students write their letters in Spanish and the Spanish speaking students write in English.

In the letters from the Spanish speaking students, they describe their families, favorite classes in school and favorite activities outside of school. Many of the students like to hang out with their friends, and listed their favorite musicians and TV shows. Popular out-of-school activities include surfing, football (soccer), horseback riding and spending time at the beach.

“This has been a great way for out students to practice their Spanish and connect with Spanish speaking teenagers from a totally different part of the world,” said Ms. Adeymon. “Although we are using traditional mail service to communicate, several of the Spanish students sent their instagram address.”

The digital media source has provided the Heights High students with even more exposure to the Spanish language and culture in the Canary Islands.

“It’s fun for our students to see the differences in our lives but also the many similarities,” continued Ms. Adeymon.

The CH-UH Canary Island connection began two years ago at Canterbury Elementary School when a third grade teacher and students communicated with the younger students in the school. Melissa Garcar, International Baccalaureate Program Specialist, connected Ms. Adeymon to the Spanish speaking high school last year for a Skype visit and now the connection has expanded.

The Canary Islands are off the west coast of Morocco in northern Africa and are part of Spain. The main language in the seven island grouping is Spanish and, combined, the islands are about twice the size of Rhode Island. The average annual temperature is 65 F and many of the days are sunny. Tourism is the main industry.

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