Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Preformers and the Preformance

Today was our monthly Geo-Club meeting. We met at the Library to present our first project. Kori and Rai had to present their learnings about the culture of Egypt.

Kori spoke about the people of Egypt and their style of dress. She talked a little about the children in Egypt and their haphazard as it frequently is. She drew cartoon pictures depicting the different peoples of Egypt: the Egyptian Arabs, the Bedouin nomads, the Fellahin (peasant farmers). The pictures were included in a handout for all the children.

Raiden spoke about Islam being the predominant religion and some of the festivals and celebrations families in Egypt celebrate. He listed some of the things that Egyptian children enjoy. Like soccer, tv, KFC, McDonald's and Pizza Hutt. He created a word search using words pertaining to the Islamic way of life.

The project was a culmination of a couple of weeks of reading and poking around the internet. When it came time to put something together to present at our meeting, there was a little discourse in our happy home. Both kids thought it was ridiculous to have to produce any sort of concrete material or to have to actually speak to others about what they've learned. I told them otherwise. Then I sent them to bed ('cause it was late, certainly not because I was out of patience) and I typed them each a page to present at the club meeting. Now, this all came together last night. I had gently tried to persuade, had made suggestive comments about coming up with their own ideas, made them aware of timelines. Yeah. That didn't work.

The time for the presentation itself rolled around this morning. They practiced reading their little reports in the car as I extolled the virtues of preparedness and practice. They pulled it off without a hitch.

We spoke over lunch on a picnic table in a park. We talked about what the other kids did to prepare for their presentations. We discovered they recalled more of the other kids' presentations if there was a visual aid and if the spoken portion was clear, easily heard and not being read for what was obviously the first time straight from the book. After the fact, they saw how reading over their presentation helped to prepare them and in hindsight, they agreed that doing so wasn't as 'stupid' as they had assured me the exercise was. They were both glad they had done so.

If that's what they learned from this Geo-Club project...that's good enough for me.

Onward to our afternoon. We caught a play at the local theatre. It was a travelling company called Touring Players Theatre of Canada. We caught 'Charlotte's Web'. The play is why the kids go. I go for an exercise in social behaviour.

I find it utterly fascinating to watch 750 school children cram into the theatre with their teachers. I am amazed at the constant drone of noise. Multitudes of children are rocking in their seats, whispering and trading seats. Teachers are constantly escorting children to the bathroom in twos and threes. For the entire hour long performance. Obviously the theatre troupe expects such a diversion...and turns the sounds system up. It was garishly loud. But necessarily so. I've been to a few of these shows and it gets me every time.

So, we made it through the performance of Charlotte's Web. We visited with a few friends afterward. Raiden ended up cutting his arm while swinging around a light standard so we made our way home. It was a long day for us and we all enjoyed a little quiet recharge time after we'd arrived home.

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