Fairland West Elementary becomes #8216;Where the Wild Things Are#039;

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 3, 2005

PROCTORVILLE - The &#8220wild things” were at Fairland West Elementary on Friday.

Students enjoyed dressing up as a character from their favorite book as the school's literary project ended.

Students in each grade level earlier received a recommended reading list consisting of Caldecott Medal Winners and other assorted books for third grade, biographies of famous Ohioans for fourth grade and The Newbury Medal Winners for Literature for the fifth grade. As an incentive for students to participate in the literary project, they were allowed to dress up in a costume related to a character from a book.

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Fourth grader Philip Beaty was dressed as Major General Philip Sheridan - complete with a mustache - for giving his report to the class.

&#8220I chose him because I saw him in the library and he had my first name and I thought it would be interesting,” he said.

After reading the books, the fourth graders had to make a poster board and do a report - some even made concentration games out of the facts from their books. Many of the students were very knowledgeable about their subjects and appeared to have put a great deal of time and effort into their reports.

Did you know that Babe Ruth's first name was George? Thayer Flynn did. His report listed &#8220ten facts about Babe Ruth”, complete with pictures and stats.

&#8220We're both left handed,” he said. &#8220He's my favorite number, number three, and baseball is one of my favorite sports.”

Their classmates Morgan Elliott and Carly Nichols were dressed as Indians from their book, &#8220Indians on the Move.” Both students said they liked reading the book and learned from it, and they both had fun reading and doing their reports.

Down the hall, student Hope Meadows was dressed as Leaf Sweetwater from the book &#8220Cherokee Sister.” She read the book and did her report with her partner and close friend Chandler Fulks.

&#8220I had a partner that I did it with,” she said. &#8220She's one of my closest friends and we wanted a book we could both be characters from.”

Fulks was dressed as Ally McAllister,

who was Leaf Sweetwater's best friend in the book.

&#8220My favorite thing was when we were doing our reports,” Meadows said.

Martha Wilks, school counselor and Evelyn Capper, library media specialist, planned activities for the entire week for students to enjoy that focused on reading and healthful living habits. Wilks sponsors Red Ribbon Week, which educates the students about the dangers of illegal drug use.

Students participated in both celebrations all last week and daily prizes were awarded to the students.

They wore caps one day to show they were drug free; students wore their shirts backwards to &#8220turn their backs on drugs,” brought canned food to be donated to a local food bank to show we can be drug free, and brought a stuffed animal to school one day to celebrate &#8220Hugs not Drugs.”

Friday was &#8220Where the Wild Things Are” day that ended both weeklong celebrations.

&#8220I have gotten a really good response from my students, they took a lot of time and put a lot of effort in their projects and they've really been looking forward to our ‘Where the Wild Things Are' day,” third grade teacher Amanda Preston said.

According to an article written by Margaret Spellings, the Secretary of the Department of Education, reading scores for 9-year-olds increased more nationally over the last five years than in all the years between 1971 and 1999 combined.

Spellings sited that both 9 and 13-year-olds are reading more than they used to, more than 20 pages a day. Results were from the Nation's Long Term Report Card.

Students at Fairland West are reading - and enjoying it too.

&#8220I think it was a really good idea to incorporate dressing up as your favorite literary character. It got the children really excited about reading their book and doing their literary project, and that's what this is about,” Preston said.