Hershey mats revisited: A few final snippets

Photo courtesy of Bob Wood: Fisherman at Montgomery County Park, 1947.

Turin, Italy was not the only place for Olympic closing ceremonies. In fact, there was one right in Twin Valley thanks to students in the 6th grade at the Twin Valley Middle School.

Conceived as part of the geography curriculum, teachers Nancy Schneider and Shawnmarie Gardner hosted opening ceremonies in early February. Both teachers had been using the Winter Olympics to teach students about both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres of the globe.

Students "adopted" an athlete from the segment of the world they were studying, using those athletes to explore their homeland. They continued to follow the athletes throughout the games using a variety of media to check results. Students additionally maintained a personal reflection journal, written as though they were the actual athlete, about how the Olympics affected them.

Through video clips of the actual closing ceremonies, students discussed four ideals from the oath that all Olympic athletes take: respect, sportsmanship, honor, and glory. Each day during class, students participated in activities that emphasized these ideals.

During the Twin Valley closing ceremonies, each athlete introduced himself and read a sentence from his personal reflection on the Olympics.

"This has been a fabulous way for us to instill the ideals of respect, honor, sportsmanship and glory and incorporate these into our 'home community' of TVMS," said Gardner. "The students had a great time."

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