Civil War Ball teaches students

March 20, 2009 3:33:48 PM PDT
Students at one Burlington County school were having a ball today. Fifth graders at Lumberton's Bobby's Run School don't just learn about the Civil War era, they live it.

Integrating the subject into history, language, and physical education classes, the students learned their lessons and went a step further by learning authentic period dances from the 1800s. They showed off their fancy footwork at a special Civil War Ball.

Phys ed teacher Jerry Gigger says there's a lesson to be learned from that time in history.

"Let all things be done decently and in order and with our children we share that message throughout," Gigger said.

The kids say they notice manners back then were more formal than they are today. Put a ball gown or tails on and everyone seems better behaved!

"[We] try to teach children respect, honor for each other, as well as, other people and other cultures," retired teacher Patrick Dunigan said.

This stuff is a long way from break dancing!

"I think it's a very interactive and experiential thing. It's wonderful because it comes to life. I'm looking at all the little Scarlett O'Hara's out there in beautiful dresses. I love it," grandmother Eileen Buerster said.

At the end, the kids invited parents and guests onto the floor. And when the over 30 crowd, including myself, got out there, it wasn't nearly as civilized.

We may not have danced well, but the students did and learned a wonderful lesson about bringing what you learn in school to life.

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