Mardi Gras is actually a religious holiday, but it has melded into one big party for many people. The season begins on the Epiphany (January 6th-12th Night) each year and culminates on Fat Tuesday. The rich French heritage in Louisiana lends to the authenticity of having a Mardi Gras fete in a middle school classroom.
The lesson plan went like this: Each student completed a "Bellringer" exercise as the class assembled and settled into their desks. They were asked in writing and in French: What is the meaning of Mardi Gras?
What is the French phrase meaning King Cake? What is a doubloon? As an observer, I was impressed that the students could answer each of these inquiries. I learned that Mardi Gras means "fat Tuesday" before the beginning of Lent. Gateau de Roi is French for King Cake. A doubloon is a coin often thrown from a parade float to those standing on the streets as the parade rolls by. The doubloon is imprinted with the name of the Krewe hosting the parade. It was impressive that Gretchen doesn't have to write on the chalkboard in this classroom. The exercise was written on her computer and projected to a Promethean Board. Very fancy new technology, I think!
Thanks, Gretchen, for allowing me to be part of the Middle School Mardi Gras!