Sneak peek: a step by step guide for planning the perfect Three Kings Day party for Spanish class.
Three Kings Day is a great time to showcase culture while having some fun with your students. We all know returning to school after Christmas break can be tough, but this party makes that week exciting! For the past three years, I have helped organize a Three Kings Day Party for Spanish classes at our high school. Here’s how to plan your own!
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Reserve a Party Space
At my school, we plan the Three Kings Day party as a combined event for all high school Spanish students. We use a large room at the community center, which is located across the street from our school. You’ll want to make sure to reserve the space before you begin planning the party. I find that the party is more exciting for students if it is held in a different location outside the normal classroom. In addition, joining with students from other Spanish classes in the school makes this party feel more exciting for them as it seems like a special occasion and a bit less like a normal school day. If you are the only Spanish Teacher at your school you could certainly throw this party for your class alone. In that case, you would simply use your classroom space!
Get Some Funds Together
This party isn’t crazy expensive, but it still ends up costing us around $0.25-$0.50 per student. We are able to save a lot of money by having students make Rosca de Reyes for extra credit. We use the money that we earn from our Food Truck Day to pay for the remainder of the supplies. While students bring the Rosca de Reyes to take care of the food portion, we cover the cost of the hot chocolate, paper products, and bread toppings.
Note: I know there are mixed beliefs on extra credit. Also, I have struggled with the equity piece on this because some students can’t afford to make the Rosca de Reyes, but I haven’t come up with a better solution. This is one of the reasons I allow students to work with a partner. If they make bread with a partner they just need to show me a selfie of them making the bread together to earn their extra credit. If your school has enough funds for you to purchase the Rosca de Reyes then you can avoid this issue altogether and just purchase the bread!
If you are planning a joint party with the other Spanish Teachers in your building, you will want to meet together to coordinate your class schedules. Essentially, each Spanish Teacher will bring their classes to the party room every hour they have students the day of the party. Some hours may have fewer students at the party if one of the teachers has prep that hour. It’s important to verify the maximum capacity of the party space. Since multiple classes will converge on the party space, check your rosters to make sure the venue is big enough for the number of students that may be there at one time. You should discuss each Teacher’s responsibility for the party supply list and how you plan to get the hot water containers. We reserve two or three large hot water containers from the school cafeteria. All Teachers involved will need to stay after school to clean up.
Set the Date & Inform Students
Once you have the space reserved and the money ready to go you can start spreading the word about your Three Kings Day party! I prefer to let students know before Christmas break so they can make the Rosca de Reyes while they have more time over the holidays. If they make it ahead of time they simply freeze it until the day of our party. I send a parent letter and recipe home with students – get a free copy of it here!
Students will be bringing the Rosca de Reyes (for extra credit) but you will need to supply everything else.
Here’s the supply list:
several cutting boards
several bread knives
several butter knives
dulce de leche cans
styrofoam cups (for hot chocolate)
plastic spoons (for stirring)
baby Jesus figurines (optional)
bluetooth speaker (optional)
clorox wipes/cleaning supplies
*If I had enough money I think it would be fun to purchase these crowns for students.
Tips for the Day of the Party
Make sure your hot water containers are in the party room to start the day off. You’ll want to plug them in a full hour before your first class, so they can heat up. During the party, it’s a good idea to have one hot water container you aren’t currently using, refilled and heating up for the next hour.
Students should bring their Rosca de Reyes to your classroom the morning of the party. Before you walk your students over to the venue, document which students brought Rosca de Reyes in order to keep track of their extra credit.
The first time we threw this party I tried to teach students about Three Kings Day during the party. I now have students complete a Three Kings Day WebQuest in the days before the party. During the party, I use a Bluetooth speaker to play music and I let students enjoy time with their friends. This made our party more enjoyable – for everyone involved. After all, it is a party!
If you purchase baby Jesus figurines you can insert one into each Rosca de Reyes so that a student will find the celebratory baby Jesus. This is a good opportunity to explain the tradition and the meaning behind it.
When we first get over to the party room, I turn on the music and start slicing up the bread as students sit and chat with their friends. I open cans of dulce de leche and make sure everything is good to go. While I’m doing that, we’ll have another teacher filling paper cups with the hot chocolate mix. When our food prep is done, we split the students into two groups. One group will get their Rosca de Reyes first and the other group will get hot chocolate first. To minimize the mess, have one of the teachers responsible for the event pouring the hot water and stirring the hot chocolate mix for students as they go through the line.
A nice little touch for our Three Kings Day party is having students take their shoes off as they enter the room, leaving them outside the door. While students are enjoying the fiesta, one of the teachers puts candy in their shoes. This is our way of simulating the Three Kings leaving gifts for the children. Some student will prefer to leave their shoes on, of course. It’s not a big deal, they don’t have to take off their shoes if they don’t want to. We just tell them that if they take off their shoes there will be a surprise when the party is over.
Have you ever thrown a Three Kings Day party for your class? What was yours like? Comment below!