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Santa Claus set for online adventure'

By Staff
CHRISTMAS PLAY n Sixth-grader Patrick May mans the computer in preparation for St. Patrick School's Christmas play, "Santa's Online Adventure," as 3-year-old Kali Brooks watches. The students in the background will play children from Denmark, Germany, Mexico, Italy, England, Israel and China in the play, which will be presented Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the St. Patrick Family Life Center. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
Dec. 14, 2001
Terry Jordan may know more about Christmas in Mexico than most American first-graders.
A student at St. Patrick School, Jordan helped decorate a Mexican-style Christmas tree with "God's eyes" and poinsettias. He will play a Mexican child Tuesday night in the school's Christmas play.
Students at St. Patrick School are rehearsing "Santa's Online Adventure," written by Denise Gagne. The play is about sixth-grade students who surf the Web to research winter celebrations around the world. Students in preschool through fifth grade portray people of different countries. Smaller children are playing the part of Christmas presents, except for Terry's little brother, Garrett, who will be a Christmas tree.
Integrated learning
School officials say the Christmas play is a good example of what St. Patrick School does on a daily basis. Teachers at St. Patrick incorporate as much art as possible in their regular curriculum.
Fifth-grade students recently presented book reports through puppet shows, simulated television broadcasts and storytelling.
The students are using art skills to build the sets and decorations from various countries. They are also learning traditional dances and songs from different nations and exercising public speaking skills.
The play has also taught the students about social studies, geography and different cultures and religions.
Making the most of it
Vickey Timmons, development director of the school, has two children who attend St. Patrick. She said they have gotten a lot out of the experience, both at school and at home.
Timmons' daughter, Kate, is a second-grader who will portray an Italian peasant girl in the play.
Timmons' son, Kyle, is a fourth-grader who will be doing a Jewish folk dance in the play. Now he knows how to spell yarmulke, Hanukkah and Menorah and he has learned their significance.
Reed said that being a small school has its advantages in that more students have an opportunity to be involved in projects such as the play.
Steve Gillespie is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3233, or e-mail him at sgillespie@themeridianstar.com.

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