Friday, April 28, 2000
Olympic winner visits Carlisle School sixth graders
The sixth-graders at the Carlisle Middle School participated in an Olympic ceremony on Friday, March 31 to close a three-week interdisciplinary Olympic project. At the closing event, Ms. Rosazza, a swimmer at the 1956 Melbourne, Australia Summer Olympics, was the guest speaker. Ms.Joan Rosazza earned a silver medal in the 400-meter relay event. "The Olympics were very different when I competed," she explained. "Politics greatly influenced the games."
During the 1956 Olympics, Ms. Rosazza had conversations with people from around the world. She met the Hungarian competitors and learned about their struggles against the invading Russians. The Hungarians had cut the Russian star out of their badges which meant they could never return to their homes. Several had escaped from Hungary during the night and stowed away on ships to reach the Olympics. The battles in Hungary spiked new battles at the Olympic Games. The water polo match between Hungary and Russia ended with a pool red with blood!
Ms. Rosazza was not only with us to tell about the hardships but about the glories of winning and the hard work that got her there.
The ceremony at the middle school was held to finish the Olympic unit that the whole sixth grade worked on in every subject. The sixth grade was divided into groups of four people, and each group was assigned a suitable site for the Olympics. The groups researched their sites in the library/media center and in class. They then wrote speeches to convince a panel of judges that it was the perfect site to hold the summer or winter Olympics. In social studies, each group studied the geography, history and tourist attractions of their site. In science, the Internet was used, to investigate the climate, temperature and precipitation to establish the best weeks for the Olympics to be held. In language arts, students read folklore from their site's country and created souvenirs, a mascot, logo, restaurants and menus, street and building namesall based on the folk tales. In math, students designed the architecture for stadiums and lodging that would be used in the Olympics.
Teachers and friends from the community judged the presentations and chose the first, second and third best sites for the summer and winter events. Ms. Rosazza presented gold, silver and bronze medals to the winning teams at the closing ceremony. The unit came to a denouement when the whole class enjoyed cupcakes baked by parents and displayed in the shape of the Olympic rings.
Ben Brewer and Ron Sadan are sixth-grade students in the Carlisle School.
© 2000 The Carlisle Mosquito