Orchard’s Goal: Build School Community, Explore Cultures through World Cup Fandom
The Orchard Parents’ Association, the Development Team, and the DEI team came together to create a community event centered around FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. There were three goals for this project: have students learn about the cultures of other assigned countries, understand the impact of soccer in the world, and build school community, which is one of Orchard’s pillar priorities in the new strategic plan—A Community of Belonging.
Early Childhood and Elementary School represented one participating country per classroom and Middle School advisories paired together received one country each. Teachers picked their countries from a random drawing and room parents (and sometimes students) started decorating their doors for a friendly door decorating competition that would be judged by alumni, trustees, and DEI Coordinator Mr. Hatcher. Throughout this process, students learned about their country’s flag, culture, language, and impact on the world.
The students quickly fell in love with and took ownership of the countries they were representing. Here are some quick student captures from the past month at Orchard:
“My dad is from Senegal, so maybe I can learn some of his language now!”
“Costa Rica is known for coffee, so I might move there one day.”
“The flag on our door that is our country is hanging in the center, too!”
“Instead of walking the short way to the gym, we always take the long way now to check the bracket.”
“Did you know the Smurfs were created by a Belgium cartoonist?”
“In England, they have double-decker buses and more people can get on them.”
“I hope our class gets the same country when I’m in eighth grade…we will know so much more about them.”
Congratulations to the winner of our door decoration contest, the Grillo/Lauria advisory representing Costa Rica. Students in the Grillo/Lauria advisory will receive extra recess time with DEI Coordinator Mr. Hatcher.
All of this work culminated with a World Cup Watch party in the Steve Thompson Gym. Families brought camping chairs, PA members served pizza, and students played indoor soccer while the final game of the World Cup played in the background. The Hart/Klein fifth-grade advisory represented Argentina and the Business Office represented France. Congratulations to the Hart/Klein fifth-grade advisory who represented Argentina. Time for a donut party!
Fun fact: students used the same bracket from when our eighth graders constructed their own custom cornhole boards for a grade-level tournament (here's the link ICYMI).
Special thanks to our teachers for incorporating this global event into the curriculum whenever it was possible. And thanks to Vanessa Bertoni-McElroy, Tiffany Turner, and Marcus Hatcher for bringing such an awesome concept to the table.
Progressive education tenet: Develop the capacity to recognize and respect differences through curriculum, open inquiry, and learning from multiple perspectives. Engage in the natural curiosity of students in an active, child-centered, and experiential learning environment.