Cornelius school uses 'Amazing Race' to impart global lessons
Forest Hills Lutheran Christian School brings other cultures into the mix
Cornelius students painted the Sistine Chapel, built the Leaning Tower of Pisa, drummed in Kenya and danced in Russia last week without ever leaving the rural western Washington County town.
Thats because Forest Hills Lutheran Christian School Principal Mike Schiemann designed an Amazing Race day for students and staff to celebrate National Lutheran Schools Week.
I just love The Amazing Race television show, Schiemann said. The world is becoming so global, the kids really need to experience different cultures.
Schiemann created a plan to set up a few stations around the school for nine different countries Japan, Canada, Kenya, Brazil, Ireland, Russia, Greece, Italy and Australia to help students learn about other nations through fun activities. Kindergarteners through eighth-graders started out at one station and completed activities for clues that would lead them to their next destination.
The day attracted about 40 parent volunteers, as well as school alumni who wanted to help out.
The kids are having a great time and theyre really getting to learn stuff they wouldnt normally on a school day, said Stacey Buck, a member of Forest Hills school board. A lot of alumni have said, I wish we wouldve done this when I was here.
The students listened to sounds of animals native to Kenya, planned Greek menus, made igloos out of sugar cubes, crafted the Parthenon out of clay, painted their own Blarney Stones (the Irish flag painted onto stones) and sorted Lucky Charms, using the colors to make a rainbow.
I think its fun and a good team experience, said Macy Belusko, a seventh-grader who just finished learning the Canadian national anthem as part of the Amazing Race day.
Eighth-grader Oliver Rhodes said he enjoyed working with kids in different grades the most, talking and sharing ideas.
I like how you can learn something from it even if you dont do it perfectly, said Briana Millett, referring to crafting origami cranes in the classroom that featured Japanese culture, where students were also drawing the countrys flag.
The kids are really excited and engaged about their learning, said third-grade teacher Dr. Linda Hirsch, who lived in Japan at one time and led the Japanese-related activities.