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Finishing Up the Fall

By Kayla Paxson

December 19, 2017


The Sixth Graders have been busy this fall semester. With a new building and new opportunities to try out, the students have taken advantage of all the new, exciting things to participate in and learn, including sports and other activities.

In September, the class dove into the book, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, about a boy with facial deformities that goes to school for the first time. In science, we also talk about genetics and mutations, so it was easy to make the connection between what was in the book and real life. We also focused on the motto - “When you have the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”

October provided us with a whole different experience during the Global Read Aloud. Our class, along with hundreds of classes around the world, focused on the novel, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. It was a moving and emotional story about the real-life experience of Salva Dut and thousands of other Sudanese boys escaping the horrors of the war in Sudan. Beth Schafers, an Argonia alum, also visited the classroom as a guest speaker to talk about her experience in Uganda, the country just south of Sudan. Many of the things she mentioned about her trip were also a part of the book we read. The importance of the Nile River was also a great connection into our Ancient Egypt unit in Social Studies. We also had the opportunity during the Global Read Aloud to do a video conference Skype with classrooms from Canada and North Carolina to guess where each classroom was located and to discuss the book. We ended the unit with a documentary entitled, God Grew Tired of Us, which explores the experiences of several different “Lost Boys” as they traveled from war-torn Sudan and Kenya to the United States. The students were astonished to find out that life in the United States was not all fun and games. They couldn’t believe that life in the United States was so hard that the boys actually wanted to return to Africa.

To finish up the semester, the students made paper mache' baskets, painted them for the holidays, and stuffed them with goodies and cards. Then, we delivered them to the Manor for the Senior Citizens of Argonia to enjoy to spread a little cheer. We also had the chance to take a field trip to Wichita on the last day of semester before finals. In the morning, students got the chance to explore ancient civilizations, mummies, art, pottery, and so much more at the Museum of World Treasures. Then, we traveled to the Warren West Theater to catch a showing of the new movie adaptation of the book Wonder that we read back in September. After the movie, the students asked me how many times I cried. I held it together until the end, but the students were so moved during the movie that many of them said they cried many times throughout. So, it must have been good! We highly recommend both the novel and the movie.

We’re very excited to start the new year with a fresh start and the chance to learn more new things in the second semester. We hope that you and your family have a wonderful winter break and we can’t wait to share with you what we do in the spring semester. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you!


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