Square Up for an Education Just a Dance? Oh, No. Square Dancing Unit Teaches Kids about Music, Drama, Dance, Spanish, Social Studies and More

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), November 15, 2001 | Go to article overview

Square Up for an Education Just a Dance? Oh, No. Square Dancing Unit Teaches Kids about Music, Drama, Dance, Spanish, Social Studies and More


Byline: Sammi King

Hee haw, the children at Hoover-Wood Elementary School had fun Monday.

It was the first annual Hoover-Wood Hoe-Down, an integrated unit of education involving music, drama, dance, Spanish and social studies.

Through the efforts of Specials' teachers Renea Breen, Andrea Tyszkiewicz, Greg Fink and Laura Gilson, the students learned about the cultural background of square dancing.

They learned about the rhythm of music and how to listen. They learned about how to follow directions and how to teach one another new concepts. Most importantly, they had fun doing it.

Many of the classes helped decorate the hallways of the school with drawings of farm animals. They lined the halls with cornstalks and turned the gymnasium stage into a barnyard. Parent helpers led by Sharon Bahr assisted in the decorating.

"Wanted" posters lined the school's walls featuring cowgirls and cowboys of great renown, the teachers: "Lefty Von Hoff Wanted for Telling Corny Jokes" and "Mrs. Murphy Wanted For Being a Runaway Spanish Teacher."

For the last week the classes at Hoover-Wood have been practicing their square dancing techniques, from the simple bow of "honor your partner" in kindergarten, to the more complicated "allemande left" in fifth grade. Even the teachers came in early to practice their special presentation to the music of "Tie a Yellow Ribbon."

The real stars were the kids at Hoover-Wood. They were able to learn about a number of different disciplines and have a whole lot of knee-slapping, foot-stomping fun.

I spoke with kindergartner Michelle Jones, who told me that square dancing wasn't hard if you follow the steps. …

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