A Fourth Grade Tribute to Cesar Chavez
At our most recent assembly, the Fourth Grade Sandpipers showed off their dramatic skills. They performed a play (written entirely by themselves) about farm workers who stand up for their rights by protesting the conditions they live under. The show was a tribute to legendary changemaker and activist Cesar Chavez, whom we honor with a special assembly every year around the time of his birthday (March 31).
Our Spanish teachers, Sonia Pinto-Scherstuhl and Gabriela Martinez del Campo, used the inquiry learning cycle to shape the Sandpipers’ work on this project: tuning in, finding out, sorting out, going further, making conclusions, and taking action. They started out by studying the different types of food they eat and how they are produced. Next, their learning extended to the people involved in that process. Focusing on the farm workers who harvest fruits and vegetables in California, the students learned both about the unjust conditions in which they live and the work of those like Cesar Chavez who seek to bring justice. This inspired the play which they created for the assembly.
Gabriela elaborated on some of the facts which the Sandpipers learned: “Many of these farm hands are children who work in the fields from the age of 12 and—illegally—even younger. They are under unjust conditions like working 12 hours a day, extreme heat, little pay, living in miserable housing, and irregular school attendance.” The students plan to do more work to raise awareness about this issue, an early step in their journey to speak up for what they see as right.