Pupils to explore world through geography event


January 11, 2002|By Lesa Jansen | Lesa Jansen,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

PUPILS AT WINFIELD Elementary School will be exploring the world this month.

The school's Geography Club - known as the "Geo Bees" - is sponsoring monthlong activities that will include trivia contests, an explorers' hall of fame, a schoolwide time line and even a daily radio play showcasing fascinating people and places in the world around them.

"Geography is the glue that holds all the other subjects together. That's the premise our club was founded on; that geography can be the stepping stone to the world," said Connie Davis, a parent who runs the after-school club.

The pupils in the club prepared and researched all the materials for the contests and activities.

They are: Laura Bartock, Lauren Bresnock, Ted Cessna, Thomas Cullop, Tommy Davis, Ryan Elza, Jessica Erickson, Jessica Hanzsche, Jennifer Lewis, Greg Milto, Evan Moffitt, Justin Moody, Marisa Muldoon, Ryan Scarfile, Emma Schlauch, John Reitz, Lindsay Ulsch, Nick Vidi and Shae Wilkinson.

They will participate as actors in a radio play, The Oregon Trail, written by Davis and based on the popular computer game that follows one family's journey along the Oregon Trail in the 1850s.

"It's going to be presented to the school over a four-day period during morning announcements," said Davis. "The kids have put a lot of time and effort into its production. ... In Act II, we have a buffalo stampede, and later the family crosses a raging river, all with sound effects provided by the kids."

The club was started seven years ago when parents and administrators saw a need to supplement pupils' exposure to geography. The club is open to fourth- and fifth-graders. This is the first "geography month" sponsored by the club as an effort to extend their learning and activities to the entire school.

"We're going to have an import map. Each student in the school will be assigned to bring in data about either food, toys or clothing in their home. They find out where these items in their homes are imported from around the world. We'll take this data and make an import map so the Winfield kids can see that their toys, for instance, mostly come from China," said Davis.

The club will also display a giant time line with information on famous people, inventions or events from 1850 to the present day. Each Winfield pupil will be assigned a specific item to research.

"We feel that exposing kids to activities like these will get them looking at themselves with a historical perspective," said Davis. "Geography isn't just maps, it is also people and their relationships with their environment."

Renaissance dinner

Step back in time to a grander age at the second annual Renaissance Dinner sponsored by the South Carroll High School Choral Department at 7 p.m. tomorrow.

More than 70 choral students will transform the school's cafeteria into a medieval dining hall. Madrigal singers will entertain while the king and queen hold court. Lords, ladies and even a juggler, all in period costumes, will mingle with participants and perform skits.

"This is the biggest fund-raiser we have for the choral department," said Judith Parks, chorus director. "But it's not like normal fund-raisers because students are able to raise money by doing what they're learning, which is to perform. We re-create a historical period through their music and their dress, and it's a great learning experience."

Dinner includes a whole roast pig that will be ceremonially presented to the audience, complete with madrigal singing as was the custom in medieval times. The dinner also includes a chicken entree, side dishes, dessert, soda, coffee and hot wassail. Tickets for the event are $12 a person and are available in advance or at the door.

The choral department will use the proceeds toward the cost of a group trip to Virginia Beach, Va., in May to compete in the North American Music Festival.

Information or tickets: Judith Parks, 410-549-3470.

Lesa Jansen's Southwest neighborhood column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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