Foreign language clubs celebrate holiday diversity in tree decorating contest


Photo by Alaina Beekman

The world language clubs held their annual tree decorating contest in the library on Thursday, Nov. 29. Students from the Spanish, German and French clubs competed to see who could create the tree with the best representation of all of the cultures.

This year the event was hosted by Spanish Club officers, with the help of German teacher Kelly Jessup and Spanish teacher Sonia Sink.

“I think it’s one of the biggest club meeting of the year . It teaches people how to collaborate with each other, it teaches culture, it teaches cooperation and it’s a good time to be free, open and creative,” Vice President of Spanish Club and senior Sarah Curia said.

At the start of the event, students formed groups including at least one student from each culture. Once assigned a theme, the options of which include food, monuments, symbols and music and dance, the groups were given a 10 minute research period.

During this time, groups could brainstorm what elements to include from each language and assign roles to each other. After time was up, they began decorating.

Although the students were allowed to choose their own groups this year, the meeting was still an opportunity to work with new people from different grades and languages.

“It’s a lot of fun and you get to meet a lot of new people there. A lot of them are different people that aren’t in your classes that take different languages,” junior and French Club member Cianna Petrae said.

Materials ranged from popsicle sticks to cotton balls to glitter glue. Some groups, such as the food group, opted to make star shaped tree toppers out of construction paper, while the monument group made a cathedral out of pipe cleaners because cathedrals are common in Spanish-speaking countries.

At the end of the decorating period, after the students had cleaned up every last shred of construction paper, a representative from each group explained the contents of the tree to the rest of the groups. There were six groups in total, each with a different pitch to try to convince the judges why their tree was the best.

Some groups, like the music and dance group, chose to explain what was on the tree and which cultures they belonged to. The free choice group, which decided to decorate their tree with cultural food, exceeded expectations by delivering a heartwarming speech about food’s unique power to bring people together.

After the presentations, the judging began. Sink and Jessup decided which tree won based on how well the tree represented the languages, how well crafted the tree’s decorations were and how strong the speech was. In the end, the music and dance tree won the right to keep the tree in the library, due to both the quantity and quality of their representations of the languages.

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