School News

5th Grade Bilingual Plays

On Friday, March 15, the 5th graders’ study of drama and language culminated in the presentation of two bilingual plays: A Gift for Pachacuti Inca by Brian and Cordenia's class and El Molinero Honesto by April and Justin’s class. Fifth grade bilingual plays require students to apply their Spanish-speaking skills while learning the inner workings of putting on a show.

For these performances, 5th graders stretched their multi-tasking abilities, delivering lines in two languages, and cultivated mindfulness, as they learned proper stage movement and direction. To ready the students and calm their anxieties before the performances, Music and Drama Teacher Charmain Hamann offered tips such as using alliteration patterns, learning cues, and memorizing lines in reverse, from the end to the beginning. These tricks of the trade help actors develop a sequence in their minds, so they know what to expect next.

"Project-based learning and cooperative collaboration are embedded throughout these theatrical productions," says Music and Drama Teacher Charmaine Hamann. In addition to acting on stage, students explored the complexities of stage management, costuming and makeup, scenery design, sound, and lighting. Some 5th graders assumed supporting roles such as stagehands, sound and lighting technicians.

As much as each 5th grader needs to learn and contribute, the play’s success is ultimately a team effort. Many life lessons emerge as students build productive, working relationships and learn to trust and depend on one another both onstage and behind the scenes.