Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Art and Nature

Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil
This week has been yet another fun week with my teen class at the Two Brother's foundation. On Sunday afternoon, for those who wanted, I offered to take them to the Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil (CCBB). The CCBB is currently holding a fantastic free exhibit called "Elles" which they are borrowing from the Centre Pompidou in Paris. "Elles" celebrates women in art and highlights various incredible artists, from Frida Kahlo to Marina Abramovic.... there is no way you could get to see an exhibit like this for free in Canada so I was extremely excited to go. Luckily, a few keen kids joined me and we had a wonderful afternoon together. The guides at the CCBB were very interactive and helpful and brought way more insight, information and interest to each piece of art. I was particularly excited about the Frida Kahlo painting, however there were some other great works of art by Suzanne Valadon, ValĂ©rie Belin and Barbara Kruger (to name a few) with mediums of expression ranging from sculptures to modern art to video art...some of the work was quite challenging and I was SO impressed by how receptive the kids were. They asked a lot of questions and were completely mature... I had no idea how a bunch of 13 to 14 year olds were going to react to an art exhibit and once again, I was totally blown away by these guys. At the end of the exhibit, we were given a little booklet with free prints- "Yes" one of the 14 year old boys exclaimed, " A Frida print! I am totally putting this up on my wall when I get home"... Basically I think my work here is done. 
Nathan & Dan, enjoying some Macdonald's after a cultural day at CCBB. The Macdonald's would not let us stay there and eat so we had to have a make shift street picnic :) While I was buying them Macdonald's the boy's informed me I was the best English teacher they have ever had...lesson learned-fast food get's you very far with kids!

  It is currently Wednesday evening on July 3rd and I just finished up another great class with the kids that was led by two of our American Voluntourists, Kaye and Wilson! I have been working with Kaye and Wilson and their NGO "Favela Mais Verde", for the past few weeks and I suggested that they come to my class today to give the kids a little Environmental awareness class (mixed with new English vocab such as "soil", "seeds", "environment" and "plant")
Wilson and Kaye teaching the kids some vocab
Unfortunately, there wasn't a great turn out in class today (a lot of them are in the middle of big tests before they go on winter break) but fortunately, those who did show up were super involved and keen! First Wilson and Kaye discussed the community garden we are building at the top of Rocinha in a neighbourhood called "Laborio". Then they asked the kids what they thought it meant to be "green" and to live "green". The kids were totally on it... the next generation seems promising! 
I am working really hard to make sure that my classes are not simply about English grammar but also about current issues-globally and locally. This class worked VERY well because Kaye and Wilson did a great job of leading a discussion about sustainable living and how to make Rocinha more "green" whilst incorporating new English vocab into it all. One of the main issues in Rocinha is the massive amount of garbage and the fact that people throw their trash anywhere. We had a debate about what would be the best way to get people to stop throwing their trash onto the streets and we decided that if the police start fining people, eventually citizens (the grown-ups) will clue into the fact that their lack of respect for the environment is unacceptable.

 At the end of the class, Kaye and Wilson made the kids pledge to respect the environment by protecting it, saving water, reducing trash, recycling plastic and so on. 
 After each student made their environmental pledge, they got little green candies! 
 Some of the 2Bros teen class students and myself :) 
 Kaye and Wilson and the kids! 

I have promised to take the kids up to the garden at some point in the next few weeks so they can see some of the work that is being done within Rocinha to help make this place cleaner, more sustainable and a better community to live in, in general. They are all really looking forward to it :) Thank you so much Kaye and Wilson for teaching a great class and for all of your help and support within the classroom these last few weeks! 

Until next time,


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