TribLIVE

| Neighborhoods


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

West View 6th-graders use chocolate as currency to learn about culture of civilization

Randy Jarosz | For the McKnight Journal - West View Elementary School sixth-grader Avery Imhof, 12, of West View buys an Aztec shield from sixth-grader Bailey Delcroix, 11, of West View during the Aztec market at the school.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Randy Jarosz | For the McKnight Journal</em></div>West View Elementary School sixth-grader Avery Imhof, 12, of West View buys an Aztec shield from sixth-grader Bailey Delcroix, 11, of West View during the Aztec market at the school.
Randy Jarosz | For the McKnight Journal - West View Elementary School sixth-grader Maddie Frazier, 12, of West View shows her cupcakes shaped like Aztec temples to a customer during the Aztec market at the school.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Randy Jarosz | For the McKnight Journal</em></div>West View Elementary School sixth-grader Maddie Frazier, 12, of West View shows her cupcakes shaped like Aztec temples to a customer during the Aztec market at the school.
Randy Jarosz | For the McKnight Journal - West View Elementary School pParaprofessional Jeannine Schreiner buys chocolate from sixth-grader Tyzgie Nolen, 11, of West View during during the Aztec market at the school on Friday, March 1, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Randy Jarosz | For the McKnight Journal   </em></div>West View Elementary School pParaprofessional Jeannine Schreiner buys chocolate from sixth-grader Tyzgie Nolen, 11, of West View during during the Aztec market at the school  on Friday, March 1, 2013.
Randy Jarosz | For the McKnight Journal - West View Elementary School sixth-graders used chocolate chips, representing cacao beans, as currency during their Aztec market on March 1, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Randy Jarosz | For the McKnight Journal</em></div>West View Elementary School sixth-graders used chocolate chips, representing cacao beans, as currency during their Aztec market on March 1, 2013.
Thursday, March 7, 2013, 10:03 a.m.
 

Chocolate was a main ingredient at the Aztec market in West View Elementary School last week.

Another was imagination.

For 76 sixth-graders, textbook lessons and other sources on Latin America's early civilizations transformed into a noisy, colorful Aztec marketplace where, instead of vendors selling wares for money, Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels served as currency. At some stops, trading was so hot, the money melted.

The event culminated a unit on Latin America in Megan Carey's classroom. A teacher in the district for 18 years, she created the project about a decade ago. Her goal was to bring learning to life.

“They get better and better. The kids take such ownership of the project,” said Carey of Ross, a North Hills alumnus.

For three weeks, students study Aztec culture and invent products that tie into it. They write compositions about their inventions, make paper ponchos decorated with Aztec symbols and create signage for their shops, which are set up on blankets in the school auditorium.

Then, with a little help from parents and siblings, they make or bake the items they will sell.

Because chocolate was such an Aztec delicacy, students peddled chocolate-covered strawberries and pretzels, chocolate-drizzled popcorn balls, brownies and cupcakes.

Kendra Richards, 11, offered chocolate-dipped fruit kabobs of strawberry, pineapple and banana. Her sister helped her skewer the fruit.

Maddie Frazier, 12, constructed edible chocolate temples, layered and hand decorated. She called her dessert stand CaCao Cupcake Heaven.

“The Aztecs had lots of temples,” she explained.

Green icing represented swamps on the edge of Aztec lands. Gold and green decorations called to mind the metal and jade that the culture offered to their gods.

Joey Veneziale, 12, crafted shields.

“It was really fun. It took me a while, but my parents helped,” he said.

Katlyn Imler, 11, marketed wooden plaques painted gold with Aztec symbols representing motion, a house, a knife and a deer, among others.

There were handmade maracas, baskets made of ice-pop sticks, dream-catchers, clay statues, fans, flutes, rain sticks, good-luck charms and lots of beaded bracelets and amulet necklaces.

Before market time was over, the temple cakes at Maddie's CaCao Cupcake Heaven sold out, and so did the 22 headdresses that Ethan Harkness, 11, created.

Each sold for 4 chocolate morsels.

“I'm surprised I sold out,” Ethan said of his construction-paper-and-feather design.

He was pleased, but said of the currency he collected in a plastic bag:

“I won't eat the money. It's been in tons of hands.”

Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6353 or ddreeland@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read North Hills

  1. Army Air Force veteran shares World War II stories with Shaler Rotary
  2. Bishop blesses new Aquinas Academy building
  3. Hampton hoops coach to be inducted into WPIAL Hall of Fame for Frazier High athletic accomplishments
  4. Shaler Area students turn single-use coffee containers into tiny planters
  5. 10-day U.S. tour brings Japanese students to Shaler
  6. Shaler Area students win Best Robotics Design in local competition
  7. Hampton Council approves off-road vehicle restrictions
  8. Photo Gallery: Egg-normous Easter Egg Hunt in Ross
  9. Project aims to draw timeless stories from Pine-Richland students
  10. Photo Gallery “Toddler and Preschool Fitness” at the Northland Public Library