When schools were closed the first of April for the pandemic, our gifted students were only a few weeks away from our performance of "Matilda." The set was all ready (the Chokey is pictured above, built by a dad and is 7 feet tall AND on wheels), costumes were ready, props ready, and most importantly, the ACTORS WERE READY! Covid stopped that. Disappointment and reality were forced to look, not forward to the terrible disappointment of what didn't happen, but backward to what was learned about schedules and the hard work that is a vital part in any creative endeavor. The book, "Matilda" by Roald Dahl is about a young girl who meets many disappointment and yet, doesn't let that weaken her resolve. It hasn't weakened ours either. PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS ARE, INDEED, FOUND IN THE CHOKEY.
From crazy kids in dignified "Matilda" costumes worn only in a dressing room to remote learning balancing a Kleenex on our heads --we believe in keeping things FUN!
WOW! Look at the numbers for this Covid-AT HOME project!!! ...still climbing!
...about our program - each year students are immersed in an over-arching THEME. This entails high interest, focused learning and ends with a big presentation for a REAL audience, deeply embedding the learning in the student.
Our G.T. program focuses specifically on affective development and mastery of success skills (communication, teamwork, adaptability, creativity, work ethic, time management, etc.) within the context of BIG theater productions! Each production is selected for its potential thematic concepts. Each play's purpose is to grow children, but also to help educate elementary students from other schools. We do NOT charge admission. In a way, it is each student's first experience in community service... helping others. Immersion in a theater production DEEPLY embeds the learning in ways that connect, provide a "real" audience for sharing, and create good memories. Check out what we are working on NOW and the focus of recent productions below --as well as the links to more info!
READING & WRITING
"discovering who we are and who we want to be..."
FOCUS: Students will --
* Write an anthropomorphic novel (which will be published as hardcover)
* EXTEND their reading vocabulary & creative / critical thinking through --
Determining Meaning in Aesop's Fables and anthropomorphic. novel quotes
Practice ACTIVE, active reading
Challenge their thinking in mental puzzles
Develop creativity, organization skills, and perseverance in writing a novel
2019-2020 Roald Dahl's, "MATILDA!"
FOCUS: The POWER OF FICTION READING - a roadmap to better understanding how people of different ages, personalities, circumstances, and places think, and using that knowledge to create a great life!
Matilda is a gifted child. She is an avid reader and for some reason is able to move objects with her eyes. Unfortunately, Matilda's family aren't very nice to her. She has much to teach us about handling problems and finding the power of reading!
We are spending a year with Roald Dahl, focusing on reading, reading, reading. We will celebrate our year with a parody performance that combines Roald Dahl's book with the play, the movie, and our own fun ideas! Can you imagine Trunchbull, Miss Honey, and the Wormwoods played by elementary children? We have expanded on the magical powers of Matilda too... It will be fun.
"ANNIE" - 1920's - NEVER TAKE ANYONE OR ANYTHING FOR GRANTED. LEARN TO NOTICE, TO APPRECIATE - - IT IS OUR STRUGGLES THAT MAKE US STRONG --THAT MAKE US MORE HUMAN THAN WE WERE BEFORE.
"Inside Out!": SELF CONTROL --understanding our emotions and how to respond to them in effective, positive ways, sharing that learning in a manner that challenges our creativity and educates kids from other schools!!!
CINDERELLA!: PARADOX - Do good things always happen to good people? Is Cinderella rewarded because she is good or because she is beautiful? What is integrity? What does integrity look like when times are hard?
2013 - 2014. (IMMIGRATION)
The Hundred Dresses: FORESIGHT --it isn't always possible to right a wrong --developing empathy. Understanding what you do or don't do matters
Mrs. Dunn's Lovely Farm: PERSEVERANCE & VISION can bring joy --even in hard times
Alice in Wonderland - THE POWER & WISDOM OF IMAGINATION!!! What can be imagined, can be, taking us to places and meeting people we could not do otherwise! Finding joy in creativity!
Harvest Celebration - APPRECIATION! Living in a time that can only be imagined, finding a deeper understanding that can only come through experience
BRUNDIBAR! (the children of Terezin)- THE POWER OF THE ARTS in even the worst of times. "Brundibar" warns us that viewing those you "see" as different than you are, results in unwarranted prejudice and discrimination. Stepping into another person's life and "being" that person on stage can help you discover how alike we all truly are --even those we thought were different
"A Christmas Carol": THE POWER OF THE ARTS to influence people for good; seeing yourself in another person; the joy of giving and the dangers of self-centeredness
Story of Annie Moore: COURAGE can be found in unlikely places --even in children
Lights, Camera, Comedy!": FOCUS: CHANGE --understanding and appreciating the progression of technology, while recognizing that change is always continuous --even in our lives
A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare): ACCEPTING A CHALLENGE - There is a desire within us all to excel at something difficult, to reach for something great instead of good enough, finding the satisfaction we've longed for, discovering we can do that which we never thought possible