The Phoenix Fire

May Barr Classroom Article

Elaina Malczewski, News Reporter

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As this year finally begins to wrap up, things are bittersweet for Mrs. Barr and her students. Before anyone can say farewell, though, there are a few more important assignments facing the seventh grade Phoenix students.

First, as a result of seeing Macbeth at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the seventh graders are going to be introduced to another one of Shakespeare’s plays– A Midsummer Night’s Dream. They will walk through the play and Mrs. Barr will help them understand it. Additionally, students will be assigned with creating their History of Theater presentations. Each group will choose a certain style of theater, research it, and present their findings to the class. These presentations are typically followed by a quiz on all the styles of theater.

Around the same time, students will be doing another project based on the presentational speaking unit. The infamous monologue assignment is just starting to be prefaced in the LA classes. Students will each choose a Shakespearean or modern monologue to memorize and perform in front of the class. They haven’t chosen their scripts yet, though, and Mrs. Barr states that the students are not so sure about the whole assignment yet. Some are excited, while others are fearful. Overall, though, this assignment helps take the fear out of Shakespeare and with a little bit of practice, the majority of students do well in their presentations.

There isn’t anything else very intriguing to be expected for the rest of the school year, besides the promise of a possible get together with the seventh and eighth graders for some literary analysis editing. However, straying away from academics, there is one thing for the seventh graders to be especially looking forward to. That would be the Phoenix Fiesta.

Previously known as the Panther Party, this event is an informal end of the year party for the Phoenix team. The seventh and eighth graders will come together and celebrate their year with some fun. Included in this is the well-known tradition called legacies. Usually, an eighth grader picks a seventh grader to be their legacy, and they pass on a small gift for the seventh grader to remember them by. However, because the grades aren’t mixed for social studies classes this year, students don’t have quite as close bonds as last year. Mrs. Barr informed that this year, legacies will be more about passing something on from one’s experience to any seventh grader, rather than specifically someone they’re friends with.

The happening of the Phoenix Fiesta, though, truly marks the ending of the school year. Reflecting on the overall year, Mrs. Barr feels that her students have grown tremendously. They exemplify more perseverance, stamina, and maturity than they had at the beginning of the school year. It was a struggle for Mrs. Barr to see a portion of the students for a limited time each day, but the seventh graders overcame this and managed to take part in various fun activities that made this year worth experiencing.

Regardless of the obstacles they faced and the conflicts they endured, Mrs. Barr and the rest of the seventh grade Phoenix team certainly made this year one to look back on when the seventh grade Phoenixes move on to eighth grade.

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May Barr Classroom Article