Celebrating Chinese New Year at Hall-Woodward Elementary
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By Catherine Monton
Hall-Woodward Elementary School second-grade students presented “Chinese New Year” on April 10. They had two identical shows, one at 9:45-10:45 a.m. and another at 1:00-2:00 p.m., because each student is given a part for the play.
The inspiration for the play came from curriculum guidelines that have students compare and contrast the most important points presented by two texts on the same topic. And what better way to show culture diversity, showcase our students’ talents, and practice public speaking than presenting a play?
Catherine Monton, one of the teachers in second grade, is from Asia. The “Chinese New Year Presentation” features the Chinese customs and traditions in celebrating the New Year. Macaiah, one of our narrators, shared to our audiences that on Feb. 5, Chinese people celebrated the beginning of the Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival. This festival lasts not only for a day but about 23 days. Chinese people follows the lunar calendar; therefore, they do not celebrate New Year on January 1. The Chinese New Year celebration is different from how we celebrate New Year here in the United States. People from around the world can be so different and feel so much alike.
The presentation also featured “The Great Race” which tells the story of the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac. Rodrigo, one of the cast memebers, asked the audience “What is time? This part of the play teaches our audience a moral lesson on the importance of time through a poem. That time does not wait for anyone; when it is wasted it can never be regained.
This presentation has brought the Hall-Woodward community together. Our Principal, Mr. Kenneth Jordan and our Assistant Principal, Ms. Princess Pressley have been very supportive with our presentation. The school’s Specialist teachers extended their help and jumped on board. They have willingly helped with the technical/visual effects, managed students back stage and some became the curtain and screen operators. The Music teacher, Ms. Torrey Jackson, prepared breakfast for the Second-Grade Team and this event is the first event to use the wireless microphone that the Computer teacher, Mr. Michael Maxson, donated.
Second-teacher Catherine Garrity, said, “Looking at the faces of our students while they were performing was glorious. I was so proud of them. They were given an opportunity to be on stage overcoming their fear of speaking in front of an audience.”
According to second-grade teacher Kathleen Sewell, this experience leads her students in taking a step towards an extremely useful skill that they need to possess as an adult which is public speaking. As an adult, we go to job interviews or present proposal to a company and talk to people. Being on stage, presenting facts they learned is a kind of learning that will last long than simply reading a book.
Admittedly, said second-grade teacher Elizabeth Roach said, “It wasn’t easy while we were practicing. Finding time and making sure that we do not lose instruction time was a real challenge. That made me feel so proud that we were able to made it and I’ve seen how proud my students after the show.”
Second-grade teacher Ashton Prillaman said, “My students wouldn’t stop talking about their performance. They were so proud! Some of them found a talent that they didn’t know they have. I am so thankful we did the presentation because students were able to express themselves artistically and musically.”
One parent commented how happy she was to see her shy daughter on stage performing confidently.
“I am very proud of the Second-Grade Team and the second-grade students and thankful to all the staff and personnel who supported our show,” said Ms. Monton. “It is so enriching to have learning happen outside the four walls of our classroom.”