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Fox Lane Middle Schoolers Celebrate Carnevale

students work with hot glue and feathers to make masks

Each year, during mid-to-late February, Tania Abbrugiati’s Italian class at Fox Lane Middle School transforms into a magical, musical, sequin-filled celebration as students learn about Carnevale, the annual festival in Venice, Italy.

“I want them to enjoy and experience what Carnevale is like in Italy,” Abbrugiati said, as Italian music played in the background and students hot glued feathers, ribbon and sequins onto elaborately designed masks.

“Look at that mask! That’s professional-looking!” Abbrugiati called out, getting a grin in return from the student she was complimenting.

Students drew inspiration from their studies as well as from their peers. While some masks relied heavily on the colors of the Italian flag, others were done in moody blues or accented with vibrant gold.

“I saw someone else’s mask and was inspired by it,” said Serena Lin.

“Same,” said her classmate, Francesca Tanzi. “I saw one with ombre and really liked it, so I painted mine ombre too.”

Brendan Sullivan took a different approach.

“I just wanted to see what I could do,” he said. “So I started putting stuff together to see what looked good.”

When students were done working on their masks, Abbrugiati had one last task for them to complete.

“Put one word on the back in Italian to explain how Carnevale makes you feel,” she said.

Two words that came up again and again? Dulce and divertente, which mean sweet and fun.

“I really liked this activity,” Joe Mutino said. “It was different.”

student poses in completed Carnevale mask