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Highland Elementary School Students Go Wild at Traditional Rumpus Event
Highland Elementary School (HES) Kindergarten students became real-life storytellers on October 27, as they continued a 20-year tradition of acting out the classic children’s book, Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are.
Where the Wild Things Are tells the story of young Max, a child who dresses up as a wolf and wrecks havoc around his house. After being sent to his room for being naughty, he begins to imagine that he is in a jungle with the “Wild Things.” Soon, he is crowned King of the Wild Things.
As the story goes, Max and his new subjects partake in a wild rumpus, which includes a lot of clawing, stomping, and teeth gnashing.
The theme of the book, and one of the main components of the entire Wild Rumpus event, is the utilization of imagination. To bring the rumpus to life, the Kindergarten students, wearing colorful handmade masks, joined together into a giant circle outside of the school. A student from each classroom played Max, while his or her classmates boisterously took on the roles of the Wild Things.
In addition to the monstrous performance, students also showcased some of the color songs they have learned since starting school. Kindergarten teacher Laura Finch says learning and performing the songs supported efforts of their Readers Workshop program by activating students’ reading skills in a fun way.
Finch also says an important aspect of the event is to help students connect what they learn to the outside world. “As cliché as it sounds,” says Finch, “I want the students to know that learning can be fun.”
Principal Joel Freer says that the event is a popular one with parents and students. “Every year, families love to get involved and watch the event, while students love seeing their parents around. It’s truly a great way to kick of the school year,” he says.