View slideshow World Market showcases countries, cultures
Seventh grade project provides historical education, entertains youngsters
After selling their wares to elementary students all morning, seventh graders Madeline Carlson, far right, and Molly Coleman make friends with the visiting Chinese lion. The Fresno State Chinese Lion Club performed for the attendants, along with band members who played music as part of the World Market festivities on April 22.
A hallmark of the junior high experience is World Market, for which seventh grade students represent countries and cultures through a campus fair. This year the class recreated the Spice Route in the Ground Zero quad, April 22.
The seventh graders learned and personified the Spice Route and the Silk Road, two major trade routes that travel through Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Each student created booths portraying individual countries and sold goods to visitors.
Every year teacher Ellen King plans special activities at World Market to entertain the students. This event saw medieval crusaders, from the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., battle each other in the courtyard during the market. To provide interactivity, the crusaders let students use a sword to whack one of the performers.
Along with the crusaders, The Fresno State Chinese Lion Club came to the market and performed a Chinese Lion dance. The last time King had the Lion Club was in 2007, and she decided to bring them back as a crowd pleaser.
Despite the much-dreaded rain, King says the students managed to not let it ruin World Market.
"The market is just fabulous," King said." I'm so proud of these kids -- they did amazing. The wooden structures that multiple booths added look great, like India, who did the Taj Mahal, and London, who added pillars."
"I wish the market lasted longer because it is so much fun to see the little kids have a great time. It is so much fun to work together as a group to complete our country." --Andrew Hindes, '15
While many high school students have enjoyed the market before, sophomore Allison Camden had never attended until this year.
"The World Market is so cute," Camden said. "I think all of the different booths are so cute in their own way. I'm not sure which one was my favorite, but I loved the fortune cookies from China."
Although the event makes for a somewhat stressful second semester, several seventh graders vouched for its value.
While sipping their "potions," seventh graders look on as a Chinese dragon performs for them in the square of the "Spice Route." The performances included the lion, Chinese band and a pair of sparring crusaders.
"I think World Market is a great experience to learn all about the different cultures," Andrew Hindes, '15, said. "It is so much fun to work together as a group to complete our country. It was so stressful, though; I stayed up late last night to finish the last of the crossbows, and they are by far the best-selling item.
"I wish the market lasted longer because it is so much fun to see the little kids have a great time. However, I'm glad it is over, too, because this project was a lot of work."
Every year at the market there are items that dominate sales among the student body.
"The crossbows sold like hot cakes," King said. "The scarfs made by London were woven every day in my class by the girls from the booth. They spent a lot of time on them, and they looked great. I thank Mr. [Randy] Hurley, the woodshop teacher, who has really helped the students come up with workable items to create the swords, daggers, battle axes, crossbows and shields."
After finishing their morning sales, the seventh graders were treated to a feast and international games, capping off their multi-cultural experience.
For more information, e-mail King or read the April 21 article, World Market to recreate history. For photos of the event, check out Visiting China, Does it bite? or Selling their wares.