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Spooky spirit building

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Nov 15/06) - Raising spirits was a matter of perspective at a Rankin Inlet school at Halloween.

In fact, the spectre of developing new skills was all but invisible to students at Leo Ussak elementary school as they took part in a fun-filled activity to raise school spirit.

NNSL Photo/graphic

Grade 2 students Melissa Ootoovak and Raymond Ningeocheak react to ghostly bats and spiders on the loose at Leo Ussak elementary school in Rankin Inlet this past month. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

Yet, the skill building hovered about nonetheless.

The students were put in groups and asked to come up with ideas to decorate classroom doors with a Halloween theme.

The project was aimed at increasing teamwork skills and creative abilities, while also raising school spirit and providing a Halloween activity for the students.

Student support teacher Angela Whalen said these types of activities can bring out the kids' artistic talents, as well as help them develop skills in co-operation, decision making and project development.

She said some of the colourful ideas were helped along by the teachers, while others were solely the result of student teamwork.

"They sat down and had a class discussion to do a bit of brainstorming and come up with a consensus of decorative ideas for each of the doors and other areas in the school hallways," said Whalen.

"As the week went on, they could do little things during free time to add to the doors and a number of them took that opportunity to improve the drawings."

Whalen said there were times when differences of opinion arose, and that's where the co-operation and problem-solving skills came in. She said some of the discussions on who had the best idea for a scarier door could get a little animated.

"They were able to work it all out amongst themselves, and almost every door featured the consensus pick of a particular group," Whalen said.

"The kids get the whole concept of Halloween just being about having fun.

"Even the ones who don't actually participate for religious reasons still seem to find a way to get involved.

"The whole idea for a spirit event is for everyone to be involved and, even if you don't help with the creation of a theme, you can still walk around and check out all the displays."