North Middle celebrates the return of Culture Fair | Journal-news

MARTINSBURG – North Middle seventh grade social studies teachers Stacey Moreland and Lindsay Shade spoke proudly of their students who were seated in classrooms across the hallway from seventh grade ready to talk about their country to sixth and eighth graders during Culture Fair on Tuesday.

“While we were going through (the projects), my kids think it’s funny that there’s a country in Africa called Djibouti,” Moreland said. “They think it’s funny. Many children were really interested in money. We ask them to research how much a US dollar is worth in relation to the money and currency they are using.

As André McDowell shared his knowledge of the Comoros, he explained fact after fact, with money being a big part of what the student was interested in.

“Their money is very different from ours,” he said. “Their money is less than our money.”

He was also interested in religion – 98% of the country’s population being Muslim – and the foods people eat, including plantains, coconut, banana leaves, lobster, crab and fish. McDowell said he plans to try coconut and maybe banana leaves soon.

The Cultural Fair is an annual event in North Middle that made its return on Tuesday after the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way education was day-to-day. In normal years, seventh graders create presentations on bulletin boards after researching a country, and sixth and eighth graders come to visit, ask questions.

Shade said the format provides exposure to the curriculum at all three levels so sixth graders know what’s coming next year and eighth graders reinforce what was learned the previous year.

The students spent approximately two weeks working on the projects while learning ancient history using the GRAPES format: geography, religion, achievements, politics, economics, and social structure.

For Capria Caison, who researched Romania, all the different languages ​​spoken were an interesting fact to learn. The main language is Romanian, but Hungarian, Romani, Ukrainian, German, Greek, Russian, Turkish, Tatar, Serbian, Slovak, Bulgarian and Croatian are also spoken, as well than several different dialects.

“There are around 19.24 million people living in Romania,” Caison said.

Shade and Moreland shared their pride in the students for their work on the projects, it was the first time for many to return to a normal setting, with so much social interaction and talking in front of others.

“We have a lot of kids who are very, very excited, and they’ve been working a lot on their board,” Moreland said. “They’re really excited to have all these people come to see him. Then we have kids who are really anxious. I feel like there’s been more anxiety this year, because they’re not used to it.

Helen D. Jessen