Students see Chinese culture through storytelling

Neighbors

April 08, 1997|By Sherry Graham | Sherry Graham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

TO REALLY LEARN about a country and its people, I believe you must study the culture.

Thanks to a PTA-sponsored program, Freedom Elementary School third-graders were recently treated to a glimpse of Chinese culture through the ancient art of storytelling.

Storyteller Linda Fang used traditional costumes and props as she took students into China's distant past through three Chinese folk tales.

Fang's first story was of a man who convinced his neighbors that he possessed a lucky nose. Although the man wasn't totally honest, his actions eventually brought him an important job as a detective.

"The lucky nose story was so funny," said Jill Bankard, 8. "I liked how the lady played the parts of all the people in the stories."

A story about a Chinese wedding ceremony gave students an opportunity to learn about marriage customs in ancient China. A third story about a young boy whose money was stolen showed an entire village in action as people helped locate the criminal.

Fang had a little help from students Lauren Baird, Lauren Jones, Matthew Mason and Mark Miller, who took the parts of soldiers.

The third-graders will continue their study of China and plan to share their knowledge with parents at a Chinese Cultural Night at 7 p.m. April 23 at the school.

Artist lesson

History and culture were presented to fifth-grade students at Freedom Elementary School yesterday as Ted Brown gave a riveting performance as Vincent van Gogh.

Brown demonstrated the 19th-century Dutch painter's techniques as he "re-created" one of van Gogh's most famous works, "In the Field."

Students were in awe as Brown told them of the loss of van Gogh's ear by his own hand. Brown was dressed as van Gogh and even managed to be "missing" an ear.

The PTA sponsored Brown's performance. Brown travels to schools throughout Maryland performing visual and musical programs to stimulate students' interest in history and culture.

Geography bee

Culture is just one subject of interest to Brad Dyjak. He is also interested in geography, boundaries, customs and current events.

Brad was one of four Carroll County students who participated in the state finals of the National Geography Bee last Friday in Alumni Hall at the Naval Academy in Annapolis.

This was a second trip to the state finals for Brad, a sixth-grader at Oklahoma Road Middle School. He reached the event by scoring among the top 100 fourth- through eighth- graders on a 70-question written examination.

At the state level on Friday, Brad was flawless in his answers during the eight rounds of questioning in his preliminary group. He was one of three students out of 20 in his group to achieve a perfect score.

With only two students eligible to continue from each group, Brad faced a few tie-breaker questions. All three students answered correctly on the first question, incorrectly on the second but Brad faltered on the third question and was eliminated from the competition.

Although he was disappointed, Brad was pleased with his overall results.

"I did better than I did last year, so maybe I'll win next year," he said.

Sherry Graham's Southeast Carroll neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 4/08/97

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