Their imaginary trip began with a short jaunt down the hall to the library, where librarian and Fisher customs official Marilyn Behe stamped each student’s “passport.” Cleared for travel, they headed back to their classrooms where teachers and airline staff Molly Ciallelo, Martha Higgins, Terra McDermott, Gina Scaparo, and Diane Pabes (subbing for Mrs. Watson) checked “boarding passes.” Each student boarded, found a seat, and settled in for the seven-hour flight from New York to Ecuador. Several of the classrooms watched a short airline safety film followed by a video of a plane taking off, as seen from a passenger window. The flight attendants served a beverage and snack provided by the Fisher PTO. As they snacked, the kindergartners enjoyed an in-flight movie “The Magic School Bus in the Rainforest.”
Later in the day, they all gathered to see photos and souvenirs and listen to Mrs. Higgins’ presentation about her recent trip to Ecuador. She performed an experiment simulating a volcanic eruption. They sampled fruits native to Ecuador, also provided by the PTO
The imaginary trip wrapped up a week-long lesson on the nation, its people, language, culture, and animals. Among things they learned and did:
- Ecuador is the Spanish word for equator, an appropriate name for a country located on the equator.
- Ecuador is on the Pacific Coast of South America.
- The Andes Mountains line the west coast and to the east is the beautiful Amazon rainforest.
- The pan flute or pan pipe is a traditional Ecuadorian instrument.
- The students made their own clay volcanoes, rainforest animal masks and instruments.