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WDES's Global Field Day

On Thursday April 5th Weddington Elementary School hosted a school wide sporting event with a truly international flavor. Each class throughout the school has “adopted” a country outside the U.S.A and children have been learning aspects of geography, culture and interesting facts from that country.  This global project culminates in Field Day where children march into the sporting arena behind the national flag of their adopted country to the tune of its national anthem.  Classes often dress or accessorize their sporting costume with items that represent their adopted country.  

Classes were split into a Junior and Senior competition, with the Juniors (Kindergarten through to Year 2) starting their events in the morning at 9.30am.  The Senior competition, Years 3 through 5, followed at 11.30am.   As well as the traditional 50-yard dash and tug-of-war, there were events such as relay races, Frisbee toss, egg and spoon races, tire roll and sack races, 

A particular highlight this year was the cultural performance at the start of the Senior competition of a New Zealand poi (a choreographed routine that includes storytelling and singing in conjunction with swinging weighted balls on string) and haka (ceremonial war dance/challenge) from Mrs. Hollis’ 4th Grade class.  Mrs. Hollis, who has come to Weddington, through the Visiting International Faculty (VIF) program from New Zealand, provided an authentic learning experience for her students as they prepared for their ceremonial challenge to the other classes. 

Children viewed video footage of both poi and haka, used Skype to learn the movements from another New Zealand teacher-led class in North Carolina and practiced both the movements and Maori words diligently in preparation for their big day.   

Written by: Cassie Sloop
Posted: May 04, 2012 by Cassie Sloop

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