Read Across America: Lenape Edition

On Friday, May 23, Lenape World Language students collaborated to write and perform plays for elementary school children as part of a Read Across America initiative.  To sum it up, the performances were full of bona fide humor and, to a high school observer at least, magnifique.

At Kirby Mills Elementary School in Medford, four groups brought their skits to first and second graders who, though wary at first, soon became overcome with infectious giggles and smiles.

First up was the AP Spanish group who performed The Wizard of Oz.  After teaching some necessary vocab, the students revealed a masterful set complete with yellow brick road, prairie-style house, and Toto, Dorothy’s perro.

When the curtain closed on the melting bruja, one group of Latin III students prepared Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.  Fortunately, I had the pleasure of watching the skit from back stage.  Simply put, it was great.  Although one of the dwarves was absent, there was no problem finding a willing replacement, and the show went on as planned without a flaw.

Next up was the second Latin group, in which I played the role of narrator. We re-enacted Tres Porcelli, or, for those not familiar with Latin, The Three Little Pigs. I had the awesome opportunity to observe both the play and the audience’s reactions.  Basically, whenever the hungry lupus came around and started blowing down a little pig’s house (or trying to), a wave of laughter arose from the crowd.  I am not sure if I understood this correctly, but whenever a pig was eaten and the wolf emerged from behind the bush with an extra pillow underneath his shirt, the innocent little kids seemed to laugh even harder.  In the interest of fair reporting, I’ll just say that that was due to the growing lump of pillows, and not the fact that the pig was just eaten.

The final group to go on stage was the AP German group.  With the most ornate set by far, Cinderella swept everyone away with its advanced vocabulary and the apparent fluency of the cast members.  In the end, when der Prinz finally found Cinderella, a dance party ensued and all of the languages came out to get the kids up and moving around.

And with that, we left! The Read Across America presentations of the World Language classes were definitely entertaining, and brilliantly showcased the skills of students in each group.  This is definitely a tradition worth continuing, and, hopefully, some of those little kids in the audience will be inspired to take our places some day!

Of course, they would have to choose Latin, because it’s the best.  But that’s just my opinion.


(Photos by David Kim)