Macksville Grade School students were ‘Off to see the Wizard’ this past Tuesday, December 13th. Local Oz enthusiasts Larry and Lynda Beck Fenwick gave three presentations to grades K through 5th. Organized by the Macksville City Library, the programs were held at the grade school library.
To set the scene, students received an emerald hand stamp marking their admittance to Oz. The room was decorated with Oz books, memorabilia, and a Christmas tree decked out with Oz ornaments.
Each grade was treated to a unique presentation. The talk for grades 4th & 5th centered around an Oz chess set handmade by Lyn. Grades 2nd & 3rd ‘oohed and ahhed’ over the amazing ways illustrators have depicted The Wonderful Wizard of Oz through the years (especially cheering for the pop-up version by renowned paper engineer, Robert Sabuda). And, lastly, Kindergarteners & 1st graders were treated to a simpler retelling of the story using large, one-of-a-kind dolls that Lyn had made, true to author L. Frank Baum’s descriptions.
Each class was given a quiz of sorts, & when every student ‘passed the test’ it was declared that they each had a brain, and they were given their “Doctor of Thinkology” diplomas! The Fenwicks also prepared bookmarks and cookies cut out in Oz shapes for the children and their teachers.
Students learned many facts about Baum’s Wizard of Oz that are not found in the movie version. Did you know Dorothy’s slippers are actually silver? And, the Wicked Witch of the West carries an umbrella- not a broom. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is still one of the top selling children’s books in the world. It’s one of very few famous books about Kansas, & it’s not just for kids! Larry and Lyn encouraged kids AND adults to check out the Oz books at their local libraries.
We would like to thank the Fenwicks for sharing part of their special Oz collection with us. Their enthusiasm is contagious & we truly appreciate the time and care they put into this presentation for the children. Be sure to visit Lyn’s blog to find out more about Oz and to learn about her current work in progress, a book about Isaac Beckley Werner, a local homesteader from the mid 1800’s. (see Local Links at right)