Parley’s Park second-graders share the buzz in ‘Goin’ Buggy’
May 22, 2009
Nearly 100 insects cleverly disguised as second-graders from Parley’s Park Elementary School marched on Washington, D.C., Wednesday to "lobby" Congress for a bug bill of rights.
Instructor Randee Kadziel, who donned iridescent wings and bouncy antenna, directed "Goin’ Buggy." The real stars of the show, though, were 13 spiders, 13 honey bees, nine ants, eight beetles, two grasshoppers and a cricket, not to mention the fireflies aglow with battery-powered lights. Ladybugs, caterpillars and butterflies joined along.
Earlier scheduled performances had to be put on hold when Park City School District closed because of the swine flu. But the bugs were back en masse Wednesday with songs, props and whimsical costumes. Kadziel used the play as a teaching tool for her students to learn about insects. They whetted speaking skills, reading comprehension, memorization and singing as well. "It really covers them all," Kadziel said.
Music teacher Aaron Webb said the show’s eight songs, played ad infinitum at home, taught students math, social studies (the bugs’ efforts mirrored the March on Washington of 1963, and their grievances echoed those of the Civil Rights Movement) and language. "I would contend that music is not an ‘extra’ in the world of academics, but actual curriculum," Webb said.
Fiona Volmrich, whose second grader was in "Goin’ Buggy," helped make 94 costumes for the show. "They just love it," she said, estimating that her child listened to music from "Goin’ Buggy" 24 hours a day.
Loaded with puns, the show puts new twists on the nursery rhyme cannon and winks at 1960s agitators with lines such as, "Now we’re going to prove to you/bugs deserve enumeration too." One bug requested renaming the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" the "Beetle Hymn of the Republic." Another noted that bugs, although considered pests, arrived not with the pilgrims at Plymouth Rock, but on them.
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Jolee Pointer watched with a smile as her son, Evan, a disco anteater clad in sunglasses, sung and danced. Pointer, who helped make the costumes, admired the ability of seven and eight year olds to recite from memory in from of a crowd. "I think it’s awesome they get this whole artistic side," she said.