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The School Year Ends with New Beginnings

April-May 2023

Words Spring to Life!

With new leaves and blossoms popping out of the grey branches, we turned to the Poets to brighten our perception of nature outdoors and our own nature within. April is the national month for Poetry so we at Bishop Walker School honor that tradition in our own way every year. 4th graders focused on the works of Shel Silverstein, Nikki Grimes and Maya Angelou. By the end of the month, they were able to recite “Still I Rise” as a group and mostly memorized one of Mr. Harris’ favorite Angelou poems: “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me”.

Rhythm and Rhyme

Emerging readers in Kindergarten and 1st grade love the wordplay found in rhyming verse. Early Childhood storybooks are littered with couplets that give a singsong style to the sentences. Our birch forest on the West Wall turned into Poetrees. Rhythm and Rhyme leaves showed a collection of rhymes from books familiar and new. Style-Smile, Hop-Stop, Fly-Sky…

Next came the poems that didn’t rhyme but captured a moment or feeling. Haiku seems simple with its 7-9-7 syllable structure but a surprise ending brings an image to life. This gave us a chance to review Haiku poems written by staff and students to describe the Cicada Invasion of Spring 2021. The forest turned into Lyrics of all types of songs, from lullabies to jump rope chants to rap lyrics. Printed song sheets fell from the bare branches.

Kindergarten and 1st Grade then had plenty of time to read to themselves alone in a corner or sitting next to a buddy. “Leave me alone, I’m reading!” was a welcome phrase.

Readers Theater

In preparation of breaking out our BWS Theater, scholars reviewed literature in the 398 section of the Library. We had a special focus on fairy tales and fables from many cultures. We compared and contrasted different versions.

Classic stories then came alive in the hands of Second and Third graders. They read from scripts of familiar Aesop’s Fables and Anderson Fairy Tales. Readers Theater is often performed from desks in a row. But, at BWS, we wanted to put on a show. These scholars followed all the steps for developing a production.

Stagehand sets the stage while Actors Rehearse

Last year the students in third grade performed puppet shows and plays for the younger grades. We decided to give them another opportunity for Drama in the Library. They chose the plays and then Ms. Clark cast the plays. We split the class in two so that more boys got speaking parts. But every production needs the talent behind the scenes. That’s why we had stagehands to set up the scenery and master the props. The actors rehearsed for weeks during lunchtime and Library time. They learned to listen for a cue, project their voice and not step on another’s line. Imaginative play brings focus and fun!

Second Grade Performs Ugly Duckling

This was the first time that the second graders handled a script, accepted parts, rehearsed lines and wore costumes. The ducklings and Parent duck wore yellow boas, the geese who were really rude wore purple and blue and the swans wore grey until grown up in black and white. We also had a kind farmer and a Master of Ceremonies. You may wonder how this relates to the Library. Well, it’s fun to internalize the components of a story and feel the character’s voice. Kindergartners really got the Big Idea of the play: don’t bully and love your beautiful self!

Half of the Third Grade performs The Goose That Laid Golden Egg

The other half performs The Lion and the Mouse for First Grade

History Comes to Life

More than 3 centuries of history came to life for the 5th-grade class. They ended their last year at Bishop Walker School by giving us all a gift: a 20-foot mural revealing the historic contribution of African Americans to the story of America. The scholars attached summary notes to each posted book cover so that younger scholars can gain insight from their reviews. Mrs. Ochmanek organized a final game of completing individual timelines to reveal gained knowledge of Black History. A big project with big rewards for all of us to see!

The School Year Ends with New Beginnings

A new tradition at Bishop Walker School is welcoming graduating high school seniors who started their early education with us. Mr. Woody returns to greet these young men who are off to college, music school and the Marines. Senior Caesar recognized a favorite Lunch Buddy, Hollis McLaughlin, and they shared lots of memories and laughs. Georgia State is lucky to get Caesar this fall. Caesar’s mother even remembered hearing of Mr. McLaughlin’s special Pepperidge Farm cookies that accompanied his Sherlock Holmes stories. Although our Lunch Buddies visit once a month, they follow the class from Kindergarten to graduation. A real bond is formed.

Our Library space was is demand this spring. Tours and Visitors learned about us as we learned from them. Three men from New Orleans who attended the same high school at the same time took time to share their thoughts. One is a lead attorney for a Civil Rights Advocacy group, another has a history as a Development Director for non-profits and the third is finishing his term as Head of School and that is Michael Molina. Up to his final days, he still spent time talking to our KINGS, leading them to a bright future.

We wish you all the best, Mr. Molina! AND we heartily welcome Dr. Arrington to the BWS Library. We can’t wait to show you around!

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