Trion Middle School International Fair Fosters Students’ Learning

By GENE ESPY
Editor
Students in the Trion Middle School sixth and seventh-grade social studies class have been working all year gathering materials about the countries the classes study. They study the various countries culminated with an International Fair held in the school’s gymnasium recently.
This is the sixth year the school has worked on this interdisciplinary project.
The sixth and seventh-grade social studies teachers host the international fair, but it is truly a culminating activity with the grade level teachers and extension classes.
“Students choose their countries and group members in October and begin their research.  The final weeks following testing begins “crunch time” as students create their boards, finalize recipes, and fine tune last minute adjustments to their presentation,” teacher Rachel Edge said.
In each booth, students had food prepared for visitors to taste from the country each one picked. In some of the booths, the students dressed up in the dress of their country studied.
In sixth grade social studies, Mrs. Edge teaches the Western World, South Pacific, and Europe. In seventh grade social studies the Eastern World is taught.
The international fair had around 70 countries represented this year.
“We divided the gymnasium into regions: The Americas, Europe, Africa, The Middle East, Asia, and the South Pacific,” she said.
Countries presented this year include Cuba, Turks and Caicos, Dominica, Virgin Islands, St. Lucia, Granada, Saint Vincent, Costa Rica, Saint Kitts, Saint Barts, Jamaica, Aruba, Suriname, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Italy, San Marino, Northern Cyprus, Malta, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Slovenia, Macedonia, Georgia, Latvia, Monaco, Kosovo, Norway, Finland, Moldova, Denmark, Belgium, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, India, Nepal, China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Morocco, Mali, Liberia, Chad, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and South Africa.
Each year the International Fair grows.
In each booth, students had food prepared for visitors to taste, artifacts, music presentations, and fantastic displays.
“I love watching the children become experts on their country and I love watching them present to visitors excited about traveling to their region of the world.” Mrs. Edge added.  “We are culminating recipes used in the fair this year to create our first ever TMS International Fair Cookbook.  This was a suggestion last year from a parent and we will use this project as a fundraiser to help the students purchase materials for next year’s fair.”
Trion Middle School’s International Fair was a tremendous success this year, Mrs. Edge continued. Students wrote letters to their country’s Ambassador during the first term, researched their nation, and as mail began to trickle in one by one, the creation of the presentations began.
“These youngsters did an amazing job,” Mrs. Edge added. More than 80 countries were represented from across the globe and visitors were able to dive into authentic cultural experiences as they toured each booth.”