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Horizon studies countries for International Night

Wilson Nichols with his dad, at left, met some setbacks building a replica of the Eiffel Tower during International Night at Horizon Elementary School. CONTRIBUTED
Wilson Nichols with his dad, at left, met some setbacks building a replica of the Eiffel Tower during International Night at Horizon Elementary School. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – The focus shifted from everyday life in America to a focus on the people of other countries during International Night at Horizon Elementary School.

For International Night, each class at Horizon ‘adopts’ another country to learn about the people, their culture and customs and landmarks that are symbolic to the nation. All teachers assisted, along with room parents, PTA members and Madison residents.

“In preparation for our annual International Night here at Horizon, my class held a celebration of France, our country, for parents and visitors from Madison City Schools’ Central Office,” Amy Williams said. Williams teaches third-graders and works with Horizon students who have hearing impairments.

“The students each published a hardcover book about France that they shared. Also, the students themselves made and produced a class video,” Williams said.

In addition, Williams’ students rehearsed and sang two songs, including “Frere Jacques,” with help from music teacher Traci Stewart. Everyone enjoyed sampling food from France.

At the event, student Wilson Nichols and his father encountered some setbacks during the Eiffel Tower building contest. Their Eiffel Tower replica swayed to the west as they used Graham crackers, marshmallows, pretzel sticks and other foodstuffs for construction materials.

Horizon students Simon Adkins and Mackenzie Bradley served as masters of ceremonies and greeted the audience. Student Simon Adkins held his mother Tracey Adkins’ attention as he read a book to her about a foreign country.

Madison City Schools Assistant Superintendent Robby Parker was among the district officials who enjoyed the event.

In past years, Horizon kindergartners used iPads to communicate with their peers in Peru, while older students researched their countries. Huntsville Irish dancers taught kindergartners a jig.

Lynn Ray’s sixth grade class previously presented a French café with sparkling ‘wine,’ cheese and creme brulee — even ballerinas. With “Walk Like an Egyptian” playing, Cami Coker’s kindergarten class had a mummy greeter and displays about the Nile River and Egyptian sand.

Teachers and students wore authentic clothing from Kenya, Vietnam, Russia and other locales.

“International Night was a great learning experience for the students,” Williams said.

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