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Scots Afternoon Celebrations At Sandy Ridge

Sandy Ridge 4th Grade

For Auld Lang Syne ….and it sure was today in Mrs Macniven`s fourth grade class. A very important Scottish celebration, the birthday of Robert Burns or Rabbie as he known in Scotland.

Robert Burns (1759 to 1796) wrote poetry and lyrics in the Scots language as well as in Scots dialect and English, and is now known worldwide as Scotland's national poet. Probably his most famous work is "Auld Lang Syne" which is sung at the beginning of each New Year all around the world! Burns died at only 37 years old but his poems are still enjoyed today. Every year he is remembered on Burns Night.

Five years after Robert Burns died, a group of his friends got together to remember him and his poetry. The tradition became established and now, every year on his birthday, 25th January, Scots all round the world celebrate Burns Night with a Burns Supper which follows a format similar to the original dinner.

The students chose a famous Scot from history to learn more about as part of their historical fiction focus, and they then brought them to life through role play and drama in their presentations today. Famous Scots represented included …Robert Burns, William Wallace and other freedom fighters, Mary Queen of Scots, John Muir, a variety of Scottish Inventors including Alexander Graham Bell and Greyfriars Bobby. (famous Scottish terrier). The children had to literally become their character in order to successfully teach their audience.

Every student also learned a Scottish poem or part of one, off by heart. They sang Dark Island and were also joined but their parents and families singing Auld Lang Syne.

The performances were followed by a traditional procession and address to the haggis read by Mr Macniven, who was of course dressed in his full Scottish finery. The Selkirk Grace was read by Mrs Macniven before everyone got a chance to taste fine Scottish Fayre – haggis, neeps (mashed turnips) and tatties (mashed potatoes). This was the first time many of the children and guests had tasted traditional Scottish food and it was surprisingly popular!

An added Scottish element to the celebrations was provided by students from Mrs Macniven`s school in Scotland who also sang the song Dark Island to mark this very special occasion.

Everyone learned something about the history and traditions of Scotland today and much fun was had by all!

Written by: Sandra Macniven
Posted: Jan 29, 2013 by Jeff Aten

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