Spanish classes chalk it up

Middle- and upper-division students learn about a Colombian tradition while making chalk drawings around campus.

Notre Dame students in a number of Spanish classes in the middle and upper divisions are learning all about a special tradition from the town of Pasto, Colombia, which is where NDPMA's current language intern, AnaMaria Paz Ceron, hails. She regaled the kids during the last couple of weeks with stories about "Rainbows in the Asphalt," a Colombian tradition of decorating the streets of her hometown with numerous, varied and colorful chalk drawings.

"The name of this particular activity actually is called Arco Iris En El Asfalto," said Marisol Aguilar, the Spanish teacher in the middle division. "For this activity, students draw a picture and write an encouraging message in Spanish. In the city of Pasto Nariño in Colombia, these drawings represent a traditional event called the Black and White Pasture Carnival where local artists and guests use different colors of chalk to illustrate traditions in the city."

According to Kimberly Anderson, who is assistant principal, IB Diploma Program coordinator and chair of the school's modern language department, Paz Ceron is working with Ms. Aguilar's middle-division Spanish classes this week and the upper-division AP/IB Spanish classes next week. 

"The drawings are very positive and inspirational and the kids are also including kind words," Anderson said. "And AnaMaria has been amazing! Since her arrival in August, she has jumped right in to teach Spanish lessons and share her culture. The kids absolutely adore her."

According to Anderson, the AP/IB Spanish classes in the upper division are working on a unit about healthy life styles.

"We've been talking about activities that keep our bodies and our brains healthy," she said. "Each drawing has a positive/inspirational saying included. Some of the groups also included words of welcome for our homecoming guests on October 12."

Comments or questions?
Follow Notre Dame on Twitter at @NDPMA.
About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at