Surviving the Camino de Santiago

Students immersed themselves in project-based learning experience which led them on a journey along the Camino de Santiago, known in English as the Way of Saint James. This is a network of pilgrimages leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great, in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain; tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried here.
As part of the Spanish 5 unit, “Survivors in Spain,” students in Mr. Aleixandre’s class were charged with responding to two essential questions: How did the pilgrims survive the Camino de Santiago in the Middle Ages in Spain? and How can I plan a route to walk the Camino?

Students imagined that they were pilgrims in 1492 and were given a portion of a route towards Santiago de Compostela. They researched, in Spanish only, different aspects of the culture, history, and geography of their route, and then shared their findings with oral presentations to the class.  

Shane ’20 and Eden ’20 were two students who got into full pilgrim-character, complete with garb they could have worn on their journey and accessories, like the symbolic scallop and gourd, that they’d have carried as pilgrims making the trek. Others brought traditional food to complete the experience. Mr. Aleixandre shared with the class his homemade Tarta de Santiago, an almond cake with a name that literally means “cake of St. James.” The presentations were just one of many activities the students participated in over the course of their unit study.