Storytelling + Spiders + the Human Body Museum = Fun! - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Storytelling + Spiders + the Human Body Museum = Fun!

Posted on October 18, 2007

by Dr. Edna Hussey on October 18, 2007

The art of storytelling was brought to life for our students, preschool through fifth grade, this past Tuesday by master storyteller Lyn Ford. A participant in the Honolulu Talk Story Festival and many storytelling festivals across the U.S., Ms. Ford enchanted us with personal stories growing up as a youngster and stories she learned from her great-grandfather and grandfather. Ms. Ford is a fourth-generation storyteller and Ohio’s most celebrated storyteller. She captivated the imagination of the elementary students with her call-and-echo tales about why the turtle’s shell looks the way it does and another tale about how a community of animals survives in a land devoid of food and water.  She took the preschoolers on a journey into the zoo. Ms. Ford accompanied some of her stories with rhythmic beats on an African drum and invited us to participate in the re-telling by repeating key words or phrases and hand motions.  She was one of the featured storytellers at the Talk Story Festival this past weekend at the McCoy Pavilion. Ask your child to re-tell one of the stories!
The flu shot clinic offered to MPI students, faculty, and staff  — about 450 — went quite well! Many brave little ones (and big ones, including the adults) and little or no tears! There were no “melt-downs,” and everyone walking through the exit door sported a smile and cartoon band-aid over the shot like a badge of courage.  

One of the Kindergarten classrooms was transformed into a “human body” museum with the students serving as docents. The first “grand opening” today featured the children in Mrs. Brooks’ and Mrs. Abe’s class, to be followed by another “grand opening” next Wednesday morning in Ms. Hitomi’s and Ms. Vitarelli’s class.  Students guided their parents to different areas of the classroom highlighting a part or system in the human body (e.g., digestive system, circulatory system, skeletal system), talked about what they had learned, or engaged their parents in a short activity such as trying to hold your breath as long as you can (related to the lungs) or following a pathway marked on the floor demonstrating the passage of food through an intestine. Check the classroom weblog for more details.  The human body museum illustrates authentic learning and assessment at its best! We know that students have learned about the human body through the detailed writing displayed on classroom walls, the cut-outs of their own body with all the systems rendered artistically (e.g., inflated balloons for lungs, a straw for the windpipe) and internal organs placed accurately on the cut-out, the list of questions guiding their class inquiry, and just the confidence and enthusiasm the students display speaking about their learning.  Many thanks to parents who were invited as experts in the medical field to respond to students’ questions as they conducted their research.  

“Walk into my dining room, “ said the huge black spider hanging from the ceiling! Students entering the dining room today were surprised by the visual impact of this creature made by one of the multiage 1-2 classes. Frightful yet delightful. Special thanks to a team of very creative parents — Tracy McConnell, Monique Todebush, Kako Silvestre, Sheila Washio, Linda Hasegawa, Karen Kawamura — who’ve been assisting all the multiage 1-2 students in designing festive Halloween artwork, which adorn the dining room. The parents have also decorated the school office. Many thanks to our students and parents for their time and talent.

And what a celebration it was at Moon Over Manoa this past Saturday evening! Information is forthcoming on the net proceeds of this annual fundraiser for capital projects on campus. The MPI Choir and high school halau combined performance was delightful. Many beautiful, quality items were available for the silent auction. Congratulations to co-chairs Holly Gorence and Paul Czubryt and the planning committee (many of them preschool and elementary parents) for a successful and fun event.

I’m passing on information about Kids Fest, a fun family event at the Bishop Museum (free!) this Sunday, October 21, 10:00am to 3:00pm.  The Kids Fest promotes a healthy and active lifestyle, exercise and proper nutrition, and prevention of sports-related injuries. Some workshop and exhibits will include fire education/fire truck, a Keiki Asthma Fair tent to educate children and their parents about asthma and allergies, meeting Bryan Clay (2004 Olympic Silver Medalist and 2005 Gold Medalist in the Decathlon, and many other fun activities. There’s also free admission to the Bishop Museum and free food, while tickets and supplies last.  Register by calling 522-3469.

Next Thursday letter: all the details about Spooktivity!

For our children,  

Edna L. Hussey