H.B. Whitehorne’s sixth grade French students recently spent time studying the French-speaking Caribbean island of Haiti. First, the students read a story with the school’s media specialist, Jennifer Kleinknecht, about a young Haitian girl and her daily life experiences. Then, the students learned about life in Haiti and compared it to their own lives. Finally, students read Haitian poetry and then created their own Haitian-inspired poems and artwork.
To conclude their lesson, students visited the Haitian restaurant Saveur Creole in Montclair. Students ate a plantain salad with a beef empanada, had a choice of Haitian-style lemon chicken or Griot du porc, both served with a rice dish, Riz DjonDjon. Dessert consisted of a sweet potato pudding and the beverage was a mango-passion fruit punch.
While dining, students listened to Haitian kompa music and ended their meal with a stem of fresh sugar cane. Students were able to discuss with the owner and servers about life in Haiti and shared some of their original poetry and art. According to HBW French teacher Emily Podolak, the owner was so impressed that he asked if he could keep some of the artwork to display in his restaurant.