The first grade class is off to a fantastic start in performing arts! In this class, students created a movement piece. They each added their own style and step to create a flowing piece showing each of their personalities.
During the first weeks of school, it is always thrilling for students to meet new friends. No wonder in First Graders’ Mandarin class, students are so excited making this new friend–熊猫 (xióng māo, panda) from China. With this excitement, it is just natural for each of the students to sing greeting songs with 熊猫 and describe to him their age and their grade. Most importantly, students happily did this in Mandarin. Good job, everyone!
With the drumbeat and chant from our kindergarteners, the excitement of performing to celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Dog began from the first moment. Students performed songs and chants using their own traditional crafts as props and introductions and background were given by our older students in… Mandarin and English!
Making these crafts gave students the opportunity to learn the Chinese traditions involving food, decorations and the history of this holiday. Very quickly each student knew the character – 福（fú, luck and happiness)and the traditional gesture for wishing a good Chinese New Year with the expression – 恭喜恭喜 ( gōng xǐ gōng xǐ). Students in third and fourth grade were very proud of themselves when they made their 福（fú）character crafts. As students learned in class, when福(fú）is upside down, it means “luck and happiness have arrived.” There are several upside down 福（fú）characters in the first grade students’ crafts, so luck and happiness have just arrived around us at Unquowa. Upper school students also made their own 春联 ( (chūn lián), adding happiness and best wishes to the celebration.
As you are watching this video full of our students’ enthusiasm and talent, we wish you and your family 狗年大吉大利 (gǒu nián dàjí dà lì)…luck and prosperity in the Chinese New Year of the Dog!
Kindergarten and First grade learned new vocabulary for Valentine’s Day. They then had fun using their new vocabulary to write Spanish letters to their Valentines. Holidays offer a great opportunity to talk about traditions and new phrases and vocabulary … and these young Spanish speakers really put their “hearts” into it!
Students in first grade have been learning about all of the instruments in the orchestra. A great piece of music to help students listen to and identify different instruments is Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and The Wolf”. This symphonic fairy tale for children is an excellent way to show students how music can tell wonderful stories! Today students were able to act out the different characters in the story with a listening game. I chose a character from the story and played their musical theme and the students had to act out which character they heard! What a fun way to assess the students’ ability to recognize different instruments and musical themes! Can you tell which animal these students heard?
To extend our learning of the solar system, the first grade scientists traveled to the Discovery Museum to view the planetarium show The Little Star That Could. The class felt as though they traveled into outer space as the stars and planets surrounded them in the planetarium. The class recharged with snack and blasted off to the museum galleries to explore all of the exciting things at the Discovery Museum. Our trip was out of this world!