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Fox Lane Middle School Italian Students Get a Taste of Carnevale

 FLMS students and teacher Tania Abbrugiati celebrate Carnevale with homemade Venetian masks

In the hallway of Fox Lane Middle School’s South House, passersby could hear Tania Abbrugiati’s Italian students singing “Carnevale!” with gusto. The atmosphere inside her classroom was one of pure celebration. Students buzzed with excitement and the room exploded with color and sequins — much like the annual festival in Venice, Italy, that the students were studying.

“I want them to enjoy and experience what Carnevale is like in Italy,” Abbrugiati said as students painted and glued sequins to create their own Venetian masks. She gave her sixth through eighth-grade classes an overview of the three carnevali that take place in Italy every year before focusing their studies on Carnevale di Venezia.

To bring the celebration to life in her classroom for a few days, Abbrugiati played videos about a Venetian mask maker she took a workshop with, showed webcam footage of the streets of Italy and played upbeat Italian music.

Students were thrilled and paid careful attention to the details of the Venetian masks they created as part of their celebration.

Jordyn Forlenza, Dalia Schonfeld and Alexa DeMartino’s mask-making was inspired by what they saw in the videos the class watched.

“I was inspired by the masks that have expressions on them,” Alexa said.

Olivia Feola took her inspiration from nighttime and royalty.

“I painted it a dark color because I was thinking about the night,” she said. “And because it’s shaped like a crown at the top, I thought of a prince and painted it a golden color.”

When Abbrugiati held up a particularly intricate mask made by a student in another class, students gasped with appreciation.

“I want you to look at this for inspiration,” Abbrugiati told them. “You can get there, too.”

FLMS student works on her Venetian mask