First of all, I have to compliment and thank everyone who had a part in making the Fall production of Boo: Thirteen Scenes From Halloween a huge success. From the cast and crew to the teachers, and parents, the play was wonderful because of the help of this amazing learning community. Especially the set design elective class that worked incredibly hard to finish up all of the last minute details for the play. To the left you can see a student finishing a portrait of a character that was used onstage. We were able to find ALL of the props we needed for the show! Which reminds me, if you donated props and would like them back, just shoot me an email through the contact form and I'll be sure to find a way to get them to you.
Along with the play, the rest of the first quarter has been phenomenal as well! So how have the students been learning about and through drama? I'm glad you asked! One the first things we started off doing this year was increasing our awareness of the five senses. The goal with this is to come to a deeper understanding of how our senses work together to observe the world around us. This increases our Aesthetic Perception which will lead us into more meaningful portrayals of characters, stories, and designs.
Fourth and fifth grade went on a sensory walk in which they closed their eyes, or were blindfolded, and were guided around the room with a partner and experienced different senses. Some students were able to quickly guess what they were experiencing, and some came pretty close. The interesting point here is that all of the students were able to relate certain senses with emotions and memories!
Creating those sensory experiences really helped the students with the next steps from this quarter. We moved on to spatial awareness and movement with kindergarten through second grade and character development and pantomime with third through fifth. One lesson that sticks out in my mind at the moment involved one of the classes that created short scenes based on the theme of a poem. In order to do this, the students needed to 1) Understand what theme means, 2) Analyze and dissect a poem to discover the theme, 3) Synthesize that theme into a story, 4) Collaborate with their peers in small groups, 5) Rehearse, 6) Perform their scene. Have I mentioned how brilliant these kids are? I was too enthralled in watching them process this to take any pictures, unfortunately, but trust me- it was AWESOME!
Third grade has been diligently creating plays based the Native American tribes they have been studying in their social studies class. It is really interesting to see how their drama skills have progressed over the years. If you remember, or have read previous blogs, these third graders learned how to write and perform their own short plays last year. I was very pleased to hear from their classroom teacher that those skills have translated into some impressively sophisticated drama pieces this year. You should have seen my face when one of the groups KILLED OFF A CHARACTER due to starvation! What floored me was that the students didn't do it jokingly, but rather addressed the issue with as much gravity as the characters would have in the story.
There is so much more to tell about this last quarter, I don't think I would be able to blog about all of it one sitting. I would, however, like to leave you with a video of a second grade project. This will be blog in and of itself, but the teaser is this:
Science + Drama + Shadow Puppetry + A Projector =