The Schumacher Gallery is having an exhibit on Carnaval, the celebration that takes place in many nations and cultures just before Lent. The gallery's exhibit will feature artifacts from several types of Carnaval celebrations. This exhibit provides us with opportunities to explore the arts related to Carnaval--music, dance, and the visual arts in particular. We can also connect the idea of Carnaval to the curriculum: social studies, literacy, math, and science.

Web resources for Carnaval in general:

Cajun Mardi Gras song sung by the Balfa brothers

Below is one version of the song. Because this is folk music, there are many versions. This one is a lot longer than the one that the Balfa brothers sing and it uses the Capitaine verse as a refrain.

La Chanson des Mardi Gras

Les Mardi Gras se rassemblent une fois par an
Pour demander la charité.
Ils se rassemblent une fois par an
Tout à l’entour du grand moyeau.

Capitaine, capitaine, voyage ton flag,
Allson aller chez nos voisins.
Capitaine, capitaine, voyage ton flag,
Allons se mettre sur le chemin.

[Our version:Capitaine, capitaine voyage ton flag,Allons c'ez l'autre voisinDemander la charité pour vous-autres,Vous venez nous rejoindreVous autres vous venez nous rejoindreOui au gumbo ce soir

Les Mardi Gras demandent rentrée
A chaque maître et chaque maîtresse.
Ils demandent la rentrée
Avec toutes les politesses.


Donnez nous autres une petite poule grasse,
Oui ou bien un peu de riz,
On vous invite de venir ce soir
Manger du bon gombo.


Voulez vous recevoir ces Mardi Gras,
Cette grande bande de grands soulards.
Les Mardi Gras vous remercient bien
De votre bonne volonté.


Les Mardi Gras viennent de tout par tout
Pour demander la charité.
Ils se rassemblent de tout par tout
Mais principalement de Grand Mamou
Cajun Mardi Gras

Ed 214/314/316 Possibilities

Be docents for the gallery during students' visits--C. Ray Williams Pre-School and Scottswood elementary (possibly also Siebert elementary) and then lead related arts activities (mask making, percussion instrument making) and have a parade.

Take the main document and look for possible classroom connections, as below (Carnaval and the Plague). Look for web resources and create a lesson plan more or less like we did with "So You Think You Can Teach."

Carnavale Poetry

Carnaval and the Plague: Microbiology and Health
One of the costumes is that of a doctor who attended people during the plague. He has a beaked mask that is filled with perfume and herbs and a stick so he does not touch plague victims. The science connection here is the germ theory of disease, which only came about many years later. To the extent that this costume worked, it was not because of the herbs and perfume but rather because of the fact that the doctor avoided physical contact with people who had the disease.
This is a list of the history of germ theory. Apparently biological warfare was practiced in the middle ages--in 1347 an army tried to spread the plague.
Information about Louis Pasteur
Information on the Plague, including modern outbreaks and a gross picture.
More information about the plague.
What the Mayo Clinic has to say about the importance of washing hands.

Carnaval resources