This year, Grade Two students held their annual International Fair based on their unit on culture. This unit was designed to introduce students to a plethora of cultures and customs around the world, helping them to appreciate diversity. We studied the culinary arts, languages, songs, history, geography, and more. Through hands-on activities, students had the opportunity to experience a glimpse of each culture first hand, even when they were tuning in to school from home. Throughout the unit, students were encouraged to open their minds to the diversity of the world. They were led to welcome cultural differences, approaching them with curiosity and respect.
In previous years, students chose to become experts on a country of their choice to teach about it in a variety of ways at the fair held in the Black Box Theatre. Visitors to the fair would enjoy fun dance performances, eat delicious food, and learn from persuasive posters that were made by our student experts.
This year’s International Fair however looked a little different. Students still chose a country to become experts on, only this time they were tour guides. As students returned to school after a gruelling 14 weeks of full-time online learning, they had just two weeks to prepare for the fair including putting together a tour guide video about the country of their choice and building a scaled down model of a famous landmark from that country. After much hard work brainstorming ideas, developing scripts and memorising lines, their videos premiered in the Black Box Theatre on June 2 where parents and siblings were invited to attend.
We were all amazed by the work our students accomplished in such little time. Countries represented this year were Italy, Mexico, India, Peru, New Zealand and Tanzania. Students worked in small groups of three to four students based on their country of choice in each Grade Two classroom. Each country video started off with a welcome and an introduction to the country. The tour guides then took their viewers to a famous landmark where they gave a wide breadth of information about the landmark, its history and why it was famous. Other interesting facts about the culture of each country including songs, legends and myths, traditional dance and more were performed. Grade Two teachers were especially proud of our students as they brainstormed and wrote their own scripts based on information that they had learned throughout the unit, most of which was through VC@T. They enjoyed performing the script which was first recorded in front of a green screen and backgrounds were later added. The students put in backgrounds that included a magnified picture of their landmark model as well as photos of the landscape from the actual country to give the effect that they were actually there. After the recording was finished, teachers went to work, editing and compiling video clips ready for the grand premiere.
Each country studied in this year’s unit received representation from two groups of students from different Grade Two classes. Highlights from each country include the following:
One group built a model of the Colosseum, a famous ancient landmark in Rome. They decided to recreate a Roman Gladiator battle to give viewers a glimpse of the fierce fighting that went on at the Colosseum in ancient Rome. The second group representing Italy showed creativity and humor with a little skit of al fresco dining at a cafe on the streets of Italy. Much to the delight of viewers and other Grade 2 students, the actors ordered food in Italian as they took in the view of the Leaning Tower of Pisa to the accompaniment of Pavarotti singing at the table side
One group re-enacted the famous Battle of Puebla, and its role in Cinco De Mayo. One student put on his best French accent to represent the French Conquistador battling Mexico over the land and ultimately being defeated by the Mexican army also played by students. The other group put on an energetic and colourful show of dancing to a Mariachi band.
India was represented by a Grade Two group who entertained the audience with a lovely Bollywood dance performance and they looked resplendent in traditional Indian clothing. We were even lucky enough to have one of our students who had moved to Scotland contribute with a video recording from there.
This amazing South American country was represented by two groups this year. One group decided to teach their viewers all about the history and geography of the Andes Mountains and the people that live in small villages in high altitudes. They capped it off by performing a traditional Incan dance. The second group performed a re-enactment of when the Spanish Conquistador, Franscisco Pizaro, arrived to claim the land from the Incas.
Two groups represented this country bestowed with extraordinary natural beauty and wildlife this year. One group made a model of a rugby pitch and the New Zealand All Blacks team. Both groups dazzled us with a performance of the Haka and re-telling the legend of Maui and how the North and South islands of New Zealand were created.
The two groups representing Tanzania showed great creativity and artistry with the beautiful landscapes of the Serengeti National Park that they made. One group showed us famous jumping dance of the Maasai warriors. The other group taught the audience how to speak some basic phrases in Swahili.
If you have time, please enjoy these tour guide videos in this folder. We hope that they interest you enough to visit those countries some day!