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School Stories

Kindergarten: Ride On

As anyone at Graland will tell you, the Kindergarten Rodeo is a favorite tradition among students, faculty, and staff. What some might not know is that there are many weeks of preparation and project based learning activities that take place before the big event.
For example, in a new activity, the young learners were asked to identify problems that ranchers or animals might experience. The students were then given the challenge during Tinker Time to work together to invent something to help solve the problem.

However, the innovation and creativity did not end here. The kindergarteners spent the next few weeks learning about Colorado's Western history and culture, discovering how to identify the Old West on a map, practicing rodeo songs and dances, reading stories, and completing many art projects. 

Fun activities such as the writing workshop challenged students to craft a fictional story about an adventure with their horse. Other projects, such as the creation of a stick horse, brought the spirit and adventure of the Wild West to life. 

Kindergarten Teacher Liza Baker shared that the stick horse project is a favorite among many Graland students - young and old. 

"When older students walk by while the kindergartners are outside riding their stick horses, they often stop to ask the kindergartners their horses' names and share memories from when they participated in the rodeo. This is part of the joy and excitement that comes with keeping the rodeo tradition alive," Mrs. Baker said. 

While there had to be some slight modifications to this year’s event, the rodeo tradition at Graland went on without a hitch! 

Throughout the day (dressed in their best western gear), the kindergarteners shared their chosen rodeo names and introduced their trusty horses, performed songs and dances, told rodeo jokes, showcased projects, and participated in steer roping and other fun western activities. Ride on Kindergarteners! 

To view the virtual May 28 Kindergarten Rodeo event, click here

Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.