Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
L/snow
31°
L/snow
Hi 34° | Lo 26°

Autumn antics

  • Speech teacher Amy Pilger, right, gets R.K.Finn Ryan Road School students ready for an outdoor presentation celebrating the autumn equinox Friday in Northampton.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS

    Speech teacher Amy Pilger, right, gets R.K.Finn Ryan Road School students ready for an outdoor presentation celebrating the autumn equinox Friday in Northampton.
    JOSH KUCKENS Purchase photo reprints »

  • R.K. Finn Ryan Road third graders Sunshyne Renner, right, and Katelyn Stankowski, center, at a presentation celebrating the fall equinox  Friday in Northampton.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS

    R.K. Finn Ryan Road third graders Sunshyne Renner, right, and Katelyn Stankowski, center, at a presentation celebrating the fall equinox Friday in Northampton.
    JOSH KUCKENS Purchase photo reprints »

  • JOSH KUCKENS<br/>Ryan Road Elementary student Toby L'Esperance-Kerchoff darts across the blacktop during an outdoor presentation celebrating the Autumn Equinox on Friday in Northampton.

    JOSH KUCKENS
    Ryan Road Elementary student Toby L'Esperance-Kerchoff darts across the blacktop during an outdoor presentation celebrating the Autumn Equinox on Friday in Northampton. Purchase photo reprints »

  • JOSH KUCKENS<br/>Ryan Road Elementary student Alex Martinez, a 1st grader, bites into a fresh apple after an outdoor presentation celebrating the Autumn Equinox on Friday in Northampton.

    JOSH KUCKENS
    Ryan Road Elementary student Alex Martinez, a 1st grader, bites into a fresh apple after an outdoor presentation celebrating the Autumn Equinox on Friday in Northampton. Purchase photo reprints »

  • Speech teacher Amy Pilger, right, gets R.K.Finn Ryan Road School students ready for an outdoor presentation celebrating the autumn equinox Friday in Northampton.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS
  • R.K. Finn Ryan Road third graders Sunshyne Renner, right, and Katelyn Stankowski, center, at a presentation celebrating the fall equinox  Friday in Northampton.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS
  • JOSH KUCKENS<br/>Ryan Road Elementary student Toby L'Esperance-Kerchoff darts across the blacktop during an outdoor presentation celebrating the Autumn Equinox on Friday in Northampton.
  • JOSH KUCKENS<br/>Ryan Road Elementary student Alex Martinez, a 1st grader, bites into a fresh apple after an outdoor presentation celebrating the Autumn Equinox on Friday in Northampton.

“We started with the winter solstice, and we thought that was so much fun, how about we do that for all the seasons,” said Principal Margaret Riddle. Now the school also marks summer solstice and the spring equinox.

Academically speaking, Riddle said, the seasonal celebrations fit in well with state requirements about science instruction.

In the days leading up to the all-student outdoor gathering, Riddle said, each class prepares a simple presentation related to the season at hand and the seasonal change being recognized.

In this case, each class worked on a presentation on the concept of equality to illustrate the idea that on the autumnal equinox, the hours of day and night are completely equal.

After each class presentation, the entire school chanted, “Equal darkness/ Equal day/ Autumnal equinox/ Hello, fall.”

Riddle said the fact that the seasonal celebrations are part of the school ritual makes them more effective learning moments for students.

“When you do something like that, kids tend to remember it,” Riddle said.

And while the event is structured as a fun hour outside on a regular school day, there is learning embedded in the fun.

“The older they get, the more they come to understand why the seasons change.”

— LAURIE LOISEL

Legacy Comments0
There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.