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The Adventures of an English teacher in the Colegio Colombo Hebreo of Bogota!
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Cooking Skills

So let’s see.  We have singing, grammar, games, literature, but no English program would be complete without some cooking.  After all, what is a Jewish school without good Jewish cooking.

Now, shortening bread can’t be better than corn muffins.  So when we were working with a series of Readers in Primary, and saw that level four was called “Corn Muffins”, there was nothing to do except have a cooking class in English to prepare and bake Corn Muffins!   Kosher Corn Muffins in a Kosher Kitchen (as far as I know).  So, with students properly attired in chef’s hats and aprons, we made, and then ate, corn muffins!   Judith Saye, Nathan Nissimblatt and Eliana Lerner (that’s the Class of ’91) were in on the talent, and the pictures.  Of course, it was with Kosher ingredients and we did the baking in Etty’s kitchen, at the Rancho.

Then there were Recipe Days.   This was the class of '92, with the very best bakers of Tammy Mugrabi, Perla Hanfling, and many more. Write a recipe in English.  But that’s not too interesting if you don’t actually make the recipe.   So, let’s write and read the recipe in English, along with an actual taste of what was made.  That was fine until one day we had about five or six recipes all with chocolate.  I don’t think anyone got sick, but…. It was tough!

Don't worry ladies, I am still cleaning out my closet and will find those recipes sooner or later. Coming soon!

Also, Martha Kling and the Comite de Damas del Colegio put together a Cookbook with recipes from the entire Jewish community.  She included my recipes for Whole Wheat Apple Yogurt Pancakes, and Bran muffins. 

Of course some of the recipes took their form during poetry sessions, and there is nothing better for the middle school students than… Shel Silverstein Poems!

For example…


A hippo sandwich is easy to make.
All you do is simply take
One slice of bread,
One slice of cake,
Some mayonnaise,
One onion ring,
One hippopotamus,
One piece of string,
A dash of pepper--
That ought to do it.
And now comes the problem...
Biting into it!

* Shel Silverstein, "Where the Sidewalk Ends," Harper & Row Publishers, 1974.

And now comes the homework:  Write and draw your own sandwich.  And with the class of ’91, when they were in Primero Bachillerato, we had some amazing sandwiches, together with artwork:

A Tiger Sandwich

A Cloud Sandwich

A Lion Sandwich

A Man Sandwich (by Denise Birman)

Classmates, can you please identify which sandwich was yours?

And then another special poem:


"And here we see the invisible boy, In his lovely invisible house.

"Feeding a piece of invisible cheese, To a little invisible mouse.

"Oh what a beautiful picture to see, Will you draw an invisible picture for me?"

** Shel Silverstein, "Where the Sidewalk Ends," Harper & Row Publishers, 1974.

The perfect poems for homework!  Draw your own invisible picture, show it and explain it to the class, and then have others ask questions about it.   We had some amazing invisible pictures!  (At least the picture frames were beautiful artwork).

Other poems were just for fun.  Like this one about a little brother.  Can you say it fast?

I had a little brother, and I took him to my mother, and I said I want another little brother for a change. But she said “Don't be a bother.”  So I took him to my father, and I said “This little bother of a brother's very strange.”

He said “One little brother is exactly like another, and every little brother misbehaves a bit he said.” So I took my little brother from my mother and my father, and I put my little bother of a brother back to bed!