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Nations Festival 2017

Photos by Rodrigo Faria

On September 16, we celebrated our 37th Nations’ Festival, our most important event of the year. Our Nations’ Festival characterizes one of our most important School values, unity in diversity. It also shows an important part of our educational philosophy—cross-curricular and project-based learning.

Our theme this year is “The Power of the Words.” Words are keys to opening hearts and minds and can lead to deep change in people and society. They lead us to develop capacities to advance the sciences, arts and civilization. In preparation for Nations’ Festival, students researched powerful words from the countries they represented.

To prepare for Nations’ Festival, students not only study the geography and culture of their chosen countries but also do research to discover some of their given country’s more important artists, intellectual leaders, and philosophers. This year students in Grades 2 through 12 chose one or more of the United Nations’ Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals to guide them in their studies. They researched what each country was doing to meet one or more of the seventeen goals.

Over 2000 attended our Festival this year!

Celebrations began at our Early Childhood Campus at 8:00 a.m. with a beautiful parade of students representing five countries. Students in each grade then presented what they learned about the country they studied.

Nursery II represented Italy using a creative and interesting approach — Exploring Through Smells and Flavors. They studied Michelangelo and Vivaldi and other Italian icons. Students and parents made a parade and then students filled the stage with the colors of Italy.

Students in Nursery III learned about Brazil focusing on the Amazon, the Cerrado, and Caatinga. They learned about Brazilian culture as well as Brazilian icons, monuments, dances, animals, and vegetation. Students entered the stage dressed as Brazilian icons, such as the singer and actress, Carmen Miranda, and the Formula 1 race car driver, Ayrton Senna.

Pre-Kindergarten honored Norway. They dressed up as Vikings. In Art class, they recreated the famous painting by Munch known as ‘The Scream.” In Portuguese class, students made a portfolio of Norwegian culture. In English class, they studied paintings of the northern lights, sculptures of trolls, and Viking legends.

Kindergarten students studied Germany. They learned about the country through the lens of Art and Sensitivity. In Art class, they used the Reggio Emilia approach and the German artist, Paul Klee, as their inspiration. They explored landscapes with watercolor. On stage, they dressed up in traditional German clothes and smiled and waved to their families in the audience. The German embassy donated materials for students to learn from.

Students in Grade 1 represented Colombia studying its Nature. For our theme “The Power of Words,” students studied words in different languages that have similar meanings. In History, they studied cultural festivities, such as the Carnaval de Barranquilha. Students wore beautiful outfits, traditional hats, and flowers in their hair.

After their beautiful and colorful show, everyone listened to our lovely Early Childhood choir. They sang ‘Sing’ by The Carpenters and Palavras Mágicas by Diário de Mika. Everyone enjoyed a delicious breakfast and parents visited the five countries, receiving stamps on their passports and enjoying the splendid work students did as they researched the cultures and traditions of the countries they represented.

At the Main campus, celebrations began at 10:30 a.m. with the Big Band and our Elementary Student Choir made up of students in Grades 3 to 5.

As the emcees for the Festival at our Main campus, our Senior Class of 2018 welcomed the School community. To begin, students made a parade carrying the flags of the countries they represented. Their presentations followed.

Students in Grade 2 honored Mexico choosing habitats and living beings as their focus of study. In English class, they did research on Mexico and wrote a booklet about the country. In History and Geography, students learned general information about Mexico’s culture and its flag. In Portuguese, they discovered what childhood is like in Mexico. They walked onto the stage dressed in traditional, colorful Mexican attire wearing hats and shaking rattles. Their dancing was incredible.

Students in Grade 3 represented Panama and focused on deforestation, the environment, and land issues. In English, students learned about the impact of deforestation in Panama. In Science, they studied environmental issues and deforestation and the impact of each on the country. In Math, they studied Panama’s population and deforestation. Students dressed up in traditional Panamanian clothes and danced to the rhythm of their own drums.

Grade 4 studied Sri Lanka and learned about the flooding in the country. In English class, students’ goal was to convince people to visit Sri Lanka. In Math, they compared prices in Brazil to those in Sri Lanka. In Science, students researched the causes and effects of flooding. For their presentation, girls dressed up in beautiful pink dresses and boys wore traditional white Sri Lankan clothes. The choreography was awesome!

Grade 5 students studied Bermuda and searched for a solution to water sustainability. In History and Geography, they studied the country’s colonization and economy. In Math, they analyzed the country’s rainfall. In Science, students studied water shortages and ecosystems. They sang a song from Bermuda and wore suits as they held the flag of Bermuda.

Grade 6 represented Iceland and focused on sustainability. In English, they wrote about energy. They worked with two of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals: Affordable and Clean Energy & Decent Work and Economic Growth. In their Information Technology classes, students learned about some of the technology that Iceland has developed to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Their group dance was marvelous!

Students in Grade 7 honored Finland focusing on Zero Hunger and Education. In Portuguese classes, students researched Finnish fairy tales and the country’s history. In Junior Youth Program, students came up with ten convincing reasons to visit Finland. In Social Studies, History, and Geography, students studied important people in Finland, its cities, its education, and its flora and fauna. Students danced a beautiful Finnish dance.

Grade 8 students represented Thailand. They focused on sustainable citizens communities. In their Junior Youth Program, they researched spirituality and religion in Thailand. In Science, students studied food and nutrition. They presented a traditional Thai dance called Fon Leb, in which women wear long artificial fingernails and S.E. Sr. Surasak Suparat, the ambassador of Thailand in Brazil, enjoyed the tribute.

Ninth Graders honored Cuba focusing on Sustainable Cities and Communities. In History, students researched the country’s history, from its colonization to the revolution. In Math and Science, students dove into Cuban health data and statistics. In Spanish class, they wrote about Cuba’s Family Doctors. They danced to a Latino song in couples with some of our Latino teachers joining in.

Grade 10 represented Wales. Students studied all seventeen of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals! In Geography, students did research to produce a brochure explaining how Wales is meeting the United Nation’s Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals. In History, students studied walls, defensive walls, the cultural aspects of walls, and their importance in protection. For our annual theme, “The Power of Words,” students found famous Welsh quotations of celebrities and famous writers. Two groups performed.

Grade 11 students honored India focusing on Leadership & Well-Being. In Art class, they studied the Film Industry, Bollywood. In Geography, they researched the caste system and Indian religions. For our annual theme, “The Power of Words,” students studied mantras and mandalas. They performed a traditional dance from India with girls wearing Sari and boys wearing Kurta, the traditional clothes of India.

For their last Nations’ Festival, our Seniors honored China. They focused on Good Health and Well-Being. In History, they researched how a revolution banned an ancient mentality and traditions in China. For our theme, “The Power of Words,” students studied Chinese wisdom through its sayings and proverbs. In Math, they compared China to Brazil. They sang a beautiful song, Kung Fu Fighting, dressed in traditional Chinese clothes, and they even had a panda. Their presentation ended on an emotional note.

Congratulations to students and staff for their hard work and beautiful presentations. Nations’ Festival was a success in showing the importance and beauty of unity in diversity.

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