Family members of Conger Elementary School students got a lesson about the holidays last week as kindergarten students performed music from or about Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Los Posadas.
The performance was organized by kindergarten teacher Lauren Bossick-Skillen, who is new to the district this year and brought the performance with her from her previous job.
“I’ve been teaching for 20 years and have been doing this performance for about 18 years at different grade levels,” Bossick-Skillen said. “I was excited that Conger embraced my tradition.”
The performance is framed around a student wondering about holidays in December, and all the other students sing songs related to Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Los Posadas. Bossick-Skillen said the performance is a good chance for students to learn about other cultures and have a fun activity for the holiday season.
“I came from a diverse school, so we talked a lot about all the holidays that my student population had celebrated,” Bossick-Skillen said. “So, we turned it into a performance that meets a lot of education standards like speaking in front of an audience. It’s a fun way to incorporate the holidays with the student’s energy level. Pulling family participation is a good thing, too.
Bossick-Skillen added students have been working on the performance since Thanksgiving, and she is proud of them for doing the hard work needed to learn their lines.
“I love seeing them all grow with it,” Bossick-Skillen said. “At the beginning, they’re all very nervous, and they can’t say their lines. They are certain they aren’t going to remember all the songs, but after a few weeks of practice, they do fantastic with it.”
She added the nice thing about a kindergarten performance is that it doesn’t have to be perfect.
“It went fantastic,” Bossick-Skillen said. “Even the little hiccups are cute, because they are five and six-year-olds. We’re the only ones who know what it’s supposed to look like. The smiles on the face of the kiddos and their families make it all worthwhile.”
Fellow kindergarten teacher Jessica Bowser said she’s glad Bossick-Skillen asked the other kindergarten classes to participate.
“I knew parents would enjoy it, and I knew with them being five and six I knew anything that went wrong would still be precious,” she said.
Bowser added she built lessons around each of the holidays mentioned and said it was a good learning opportunity for her students.
“We did a lot of things in class to extend on it,” Bowser said. “We did a little trip around the world. I hope they had a lot of fun but also learned about those holidays.”
One of Bowser’s students, Joseph Thomas, played a dreidel and spun continuously during one song in the show.
“I was a little nervous,” Thomas said. “My favorite part was singing every song and being awesome.”
Bossick-Skillen said she hopes to continue the show again next and make it even bigger.
“I’d love to make some changes and help it grow. I held back the first year. I didn’t want them to think I was a crazy lady,” she joked.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.