Verano  2020
    Summer 2020
    Resources to support Distance Learning 
    A populular video series during the year was Recetas de Angie. If you feel like cooking over the summer, here are links to some recipes that are easy to make and follow in Spanish:
    Recetas de Angie:
    Receta 1: Un Caracol
    Receta 2: Rositas de verduras con queso
    Receta 3: Batido de fresas y plátanos
    Receta 4: Brochettes de frutas y queso feta.
    Receta 5: Canapés
    Receta 6: Torta en taza
    Latino Center (Smithsonian) (Click to learn more)
    There are many links and activities available through the National Gallery and other parts of the Smithsonian. The Molina Family National Gallery will be dedicated to celebrating the U.S. Latino experience. The history of the Molina family is fascinating and inspiring. 

    Latino Art and Artists (Click to explore)  Smithsonian collections reflect the rich diversity of Latino art and artists. While you explore the art, listen to a variety of Latino music, too!

    Juneteenth A Celebration of Resilience: Friday, June 19, 2020

    Juneteenth is a time to celebrate, to gather as a family, to reflect on the past and look to the future. We invite you to engage in your history, learn where you came from, and discover (or share) ways to celebrate this holiday. On this day we are bringing the Museum to you through presentations, stories, photographs, and recipes from the Sweet Home Café. From the Smithsonian Website.
    Invierno 2020
    Winter 2020
    Mercado Little Spain (click to take a virtual tour)
    Have you had a chance to visit Mercado Little Spain at 10 Hudson Yards under the Highline yet? There are three restaurants and many kiosks to try everything from chocolate y churros to tortilla española. As you enter the market, there is a map of Spain with a sampling of the most famous regional dishes marked to wet your appetite. 

    On September 15th, Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off and will be celebrated across the country. President Lyndon B. Johnson first established Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968, and 20 years later, President Reagan expanded it to a month-long celebration. Now each year, from September 15th to October 15th, our country recognizes the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the United States and celebrates Hispanic heritage and culture.

    These dates were chosen because eight Latin American countries actually celebrate their independence days during this month – Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Chile, and Belize.

    Resources and Activities:


    A favorite unit of mine centers around food, glorious food. Recipes, ingredients, restaurants and likes and dislikes are all topics of conversation. I love when students share their favorite recetas (recipes) and restaurants with me and their classmates.

    • Paco in Period 3 gave us the name of a favorite: Rico Pan Bakery in Morristown. I can't wait to try it!
    • Jack O in Period 8 proudly reported that he read the menu in Spanish at Spanish Sangría in Newark as he dined with his dad and some co-workers.
    • Isha in my third period class gleefully recommended Fito's in Chatham. We don't have to travel far for authentic Latin cuisine!
    • Paco has a favorite Mexican restaurant: Macho Nacho in Morristown. He urges us to check it out!
    • A group of 4th Period 7th graders remind us to run, not walk to Don José in East Hanover and Casa Maya in Gillette if Mexican cuisine is what we crave.

    Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers, New Brunswick: The Art of

    Turning Pages Illustrations by Lulu Delacre for Sonia

    Sotomayor's Life story. On Exhibit from September 15, 2018 -

    April 7, 2019. I saw this exhibit and I highly recommend it!

    Frida Kahlo's work at the Brooklyn Museum

    Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving

    February 8–May 12, 2019

    Robert E. Blum Gallery, 1st Floor
    Tickets for this exhibit go on sale on December 3, 2018 

    I haven't gotten here yet, but I need to go before it's gone!!


    Día de Acción de Gracias (Thanksgiving)
    Although Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated in the United States, there are beautiful songs and books written in Spanish that capture the essence of this, my favorite holiday.
    Vioteta Parra was a Chilean songwriter and singer who wrote this beautiful song. Mercedes Sosa made it popular in Latin America and folksinger Joan Baez brought it to the U.S.
    Joan Baez (an "electric" version of the song.)
    Mercedes Sosa (a "folk" version of the song.)
    A wonderful book for this time of the year is a billingual picture book by Pat Mora called Gracias. Don't let the fact that it is a picture book make you think it is juvenile. I am quite a bit older than you and each time I read it I laugh at some of the pages and cry over others.
    Take a walk down the Highline to 99 Gansevoort Street to see a wonderful exhibit of the work of seven emerging Latinx artists based in the United States and Puerto Rico. It is their goal to keep the indigenous cultures of South America and Mexico alive. The indigenous groups include the Quechua, Aymara, Maya, Aztec, and Taíno, among others. I recommend taking a guided tour to get the full picture of what this modern art represents. The Whitney is free for those 18 and under! Friday evenings are free for adults, too and there is a tour offered in Spanish.
    El Repertorio Español has some interesting shows that are available this summer and fall. They include drama, comedy, music, dance, and the classics with modern interpretations.
    What is Your Regional Accent?
    Just as there are 21 Spanish-speaking countries, each country with its own distinctive accent and in some cases its own idioms and vocabulary for certain words, American English has variations across the United States. Take this New York Times quiz and let me know if you have a regional accent and vocabulary. If you send me an email with your results, I'll respond with my regional result!
    American Museum of Natural History Exhibit:  
    ¡Cuba! on display from November 21, 2016 - August 13, 2017. Read all about the exhibit in this New York Times recent article, A Manhattan Museum Looks at Cuba's Exotic Fauna and Flora.
    Summer Spanish Immersion Camp
    A former 8th grade student spent an amazing two weeks at a Spanish Immersion Camp last summer in Minnesota. Please look at the online brochure for Concordia College's programs.
    Music Report:  
    "Despacito"  is the first Spanish language song to be Number 1 since the Macarena. Huffington Post interview with Luis Fonsi.
    Looking for something to do on an extra hot day or a rainy day?  Why not explore a museum with your family and friends?  We are so fortunate to be part of the generous Madison community where the "Friends of the Madison Public Library" sponsors FREE museum passes!  Please follow the link for more information.
    Past Exhibits and Events: 
    Mayo Performing Arts Center (Morristown, NJ)
    Please go to the Mayo Performing Arts Center Web Page to read about the New Jersey Ballet's production of Don Quixote. The show is Saturday, May 21 at 8pm.
    Zimmerli Art Museum (Art museum at Rutgers in New Brunswick)
    On Sunday, November 22 at 3pm,  there will be a concert, "Music of Spain." For more information, please go to the Zimmerli web page and look for the Salon Series. I plan to attend this event. I hope to see some of you there!
    MoMA: Picasso Sculptures opens Monday, September 14, 2015!
    Read all about it! This special exhibit runs through February 7, 2016 so mark your calendar.
    The New York Botanical Garden has a Frida Kahlo Exhibit - Art - Garden - Life - that runs throughout the summer of 2015 (and closes November 1, 2015 so plan your trip soon!) with various special celebrations that you won't want to miss.
    For more information go to the NYBG site.
    fk  Frida, Casa Azul, México 2014
    A gem of a museum that has a permanent collection that celebrates the art of el Caribe, Puerto Rico y Cuba, El Museo del Barrio never disappoints.
    El Museo del Barrio is FREE for PBS Thirteen members during the week of September 25 - October 2 to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!
    Spring 2015 
    One of the countries I've yet to visit but is high on my list of Spanish-speaking countries to visit is COLOMBIA. A recent article in the New York Times has reminded me of my desire to visit the homeland of Fernando Botero (artist), Gabriel García Marquéz (author), Sofía Vergara (actress), Shakira and Juanes (singers).
    Please follow this link to read "36 hours in Medellín, Colombia." 
    ARTE       March 10 - April 19
    CUBA NOW: Visit Cafe Beethoven in Chatham to see an intriguing photography exhibit by Patricia Galagan and Karen Novotny.
    To visit the photographers' websites go to:  http://www.karennovotny.com
    Visita de una Autora          April 15, 2015
    Mercedes Alvarez Rodman, author of My Blue Butterfly/Mi Mariposa Azul is coming to visit all eighth grade students of Spanish on April 15th. Mercedes will speak with Mrs. Tobia's, Ms. Centracchio's and Mrs. Lee's students during periods 1 and 7. To learn more about the author, visit Mercedes' website.
    Brian shared with us that he went to a Mexican restaurant last weekend and ordered the buñuelo that we've been singing about in our villancico Nochebuena. ¡Qué rico! 
    f Gary Nader is opening a Gallery in New York City with an exciting Fernando Botero exhibit on October 30th and running through January 10, 2015. Please click for more information.
    r El Museo del Barrio has a special day planned on December 20, 2014. Check out the link for more information. 
    Día de los Muertos or "Day of the Dead" is a Mexican holiday that celebrates the lives of our ancestors. I recently visited El Museo del Barrio in New York City and I put together a PowerPoint of an exhibit they had in honor of Día de los Muertos.
    Featured Recipe in September 22, 2014 NY Times Magazine:
    The Grounds for Sculpture
    As an American Museum there is never a Spanish exhibit at The Grounds for Sculpture, but Spanish and Latin influences can be found throughout the indoor and outdoor spaces. Currently there is a Seward Johnson retrospective. Please follow the link for more information:  http://www.groundsforsculpture.org
    The Madison Public Library has a Museum Pass for The Grounds for Sculpture that allows for admission for four people. It's the most popular pass at the library so call before you go to check with circulation that it is there.
    The Guggenheim Museum

    Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today includes fun, interactive and even some hands-on pieces of art. For more details about the exhibit, please see the museum's website at: 


    MONTCLAIR The Van Vleck House and Gardens Adelante! — Latin Jazz Salsa, traditional and contemporary Latin rhythms from the Caribbean and Africa with jazz arrangements and improvisation. June 26, 7 to 9 p.m. $10 suggested donation, children are free. The Van Vleck House and Gardens, 21 Van Vleck St. (973) 744-0837; vanvleck.org.
    We celebrated this Chicano (Mexican American) Heritage Day this year by:
    • Learning about Ritchie Valens' Mexican heritage, growing up in Southern California and writing/singing La Bamba...click here for the Ritchie Valens and Los Lobos youtube version with lyrics:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7-ybFqA5-g
    • Realizing the impact that Ritchie Valens had on the music industry even though he tragically lost his life in an airplane accident at the age of 17. La Bamba revolutionized music in the United States as North Americans accepted Spanish music as our own. The song started with farm workers in the fields of Mexico, later Ritchie Valens adapted it as a pop hit. In 2014 Jimmy Fallon sang the song with his band, The Roots, to celebrate his 3 million youtube subscribers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJpFuP4ju2w
    • Having a merienda (a social event with food).
    • Creating carteles or posters with símbolos/symbols in words and pictures of Cinco de Mayo.
    As part of our curriculum in 7th grade, students learn how to order food in a restaurant in Spanish. Sixth graders learn how to discuss food preferences and how to make healthy choices. In the course of these discussions, two students gave me some of their favorite authentic Colombian and El Salvadorian restaurants not far from Madison:
    In Morristown, we have:
    Café y Canela (Colombian)http://www.cafeycanela.net/cafecanela/108_about/
    Arepas Paisas (Colombian)
    In Dover, Michael suggested you have to try:
    Sabor Latino
    La Hoguera (Colombian)
    In Elizabeth:
    El Salvadoreno (El Salvador cuisine)
    Marc Anthony at the Prudential Center in Newark on Friday, February 14th at 8pm.
    Julio Iglesias at NJPAC in Newark on Sunday April 27, 2014 at 7pm.
    Melanie was lucky enough to have tickets to go to Z 100's Jingle Ball. She was excited to tell me that she recognized Enrique Iglesias singing Marc Anthony's hit "Vivir mi vida" from hearing it in Spanish class.
    I was thrilled when my 6th grade student Dylan recently told me that he and his mother spent a day at the Modern Museum (MoMa) and he saw works by Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Salvatore Dalí. The excitement in his eyes not only made me happy for the day, but it motivates me to encourage more students to take advantage of what we have available culturally in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington, DC and Boston.
    A money-saving way to include cultural events in your holiday week off from school is to stop at the Madison Public Library to check out a museum pass. The library has passes for the following museums:
    • Acorn Hall
    • American Museum of Natural History
    • Children’s Museum of Manhattan
    • Frick Collection
    • Grounds for Sculpture
    • Guggenheim Museum
    • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
    • Macculloch Hall
    • Montclair Art Museum
    • Morris Museum
    • Museum of Early Trades and Crafts
    • Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms
    Click here for information about museum passes.
    Before planning a trip to the Frick  it is important to know that children under 10 are not allowed. As long as everyone in your family and/or group is over 10 years old everyone will be allowed into the museum. The Frick is a beautiful building in the heart of "museum mile" and it has an impressive collection of the Spanish Masters. You'll find Velázquez, Rubens, Goya, El Greco...is this El Museo del Prado? No, but this NYC collection boasts the best sampling of the Spanish Masters from the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries that I've seen since the semester I spent at the University of Madrid and took an art course taught at El Museo del Prado. Please click the link to learn more about the Frick Collection.
    The museum may be extra popular during this holiday season because it has on display Vermeer's The Girl with the Pearl Earring. If you decide to go, don't forget to visit the Madison Public Library first to see if the Museum Passes are available. The Frick is a participating museum. The Grounds for Sculpture also participates and they have a wonderful kid-friendly sculpture (please touch) of The Girl with the Pearl Earring. With the money you save on your admission to the Sculpture Garden, you can splurge on lunch at the wonderful on-site restaurant, Rats.
    Click here for information about The Grounds for Sculpture:
    Smithsonian Special Exhibit
    Washington DC
    Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art
    Through March 2, 2014
    Jordan shared the name of a favorite Mexican restaurant:
    Casa Maya in nearby Gillette.  Check out their menu!
    Between October 5, 2012 and January 23, 2013, the Guggenheim Museum in New York City had a Pablo Picasso exhibit called "Black and White."  We have studied the "rose period" and the "blue period," but this exhibit displayed and studied the artist's interest in painting without color.  The exhibit shows that the absence of color can be more expressive by emphasizing the form and structure of the work.  I hope you had the opportunity to go to the Guggenheim to see this wonderful exhibit.  If you would like to read about it, please see the Guggenheim site:  http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/exhibitions/on-view/picasso-black-and-white
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Modern Museum of Art, and The Frick have Spanish art as part of their permanent collections. Check back soon and I'll highlight some works from each museum.
    Please let me know if you hear about any Spanish art in local museums.  Exhibits come and go so let's let each other know!
    New York City hosts some wonderful programs in music.  They are often held in September and October to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
    From November 8th - December 11th Carnegie hall hosted musicians from various parts of Latin America.  Visit the web site to learn more about the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela and Gustavo Dudamel, Music Director and Conductor:  http://www.carnegiehall.org/Calendar/2012/12/10/0800/PM/Simon-Bolivar-Symphony-Orchestra-of-Venezuela/
    For the more advanced student or heritage speaker, I encourage you to consider a trip to 27rd Street in Manhattan to see a show at El Repertorio Español.  They even have an adaptation of Don Quixote de la Mancha!


    It is "el Año Internacional de la Quinua" (the international year of quinua).  Quinua (Quinoa on the package here) is a great food from Perú that is gluten free and high in protein.  You can use it in place of pasta in many salads....yummy!
    Come back to this site often and please tell me about your favorite discoveries (restaurants, museums, shows) as we explore...