Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Telling Stories Through Dance

Grade Two has been busy telling stories in different ways.

In preparation for Carol Night students used ballet movements to tell the story of the Viennese Musical Clock.  They worked in small groups to create clocklike movements.

Students wanted to tell an entire story, so we started to think about how people tell stories through dance.  We read the story "A House For Hermit Crab" by Eric Carle.

Students explored creative dance elements. These included locomotor movements that go from one to place to another, and axiel movements that are performed in one spot.  They explored "energy" elements that express the feeling of the movement, such as delicate/ powerful, unhurried/ quick, and tight/smooth.  As they learned about the characters in the story, students used these dance elements to improvise dance movements.
Students formed "character groups" to decide how they might dance together.  They used what they knew from ballet and other forms of dance to create their dance.  Then we mapped out the stage, learning about the different parts of the stage.  
We connected the dance to the rondo by Jean Philippe Rameau called Contre-danse from "Les Indes Galantes/ Air Pour Bouree Et La Rose."  A rondo is a musical form with a recurring theme and various sections (ABACADAEAFA).
Students have been connecting ideas. Now students are at the stage where they added "color" and "sound" with scarves and instruments.  Our next steps will be to add the remaining parts of the story.

Check out the videos we've made so far.

Now we'll be going further with our ideas to continue telling our story.  Stay tuned for the rest of the story.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Stories that Communicate Meaning and Express Values

Fractured Storytelling

As a part of their inquiry into how humans express themselves, Grade Two has been learning how to engage their audience through stories that communicate meaning and express values.

With the goal of refining their narrative skills, Grade Two has
 been focusing on writing fractured folk and fairy tales. Basing their stories off of well-known tales, the girls are learning to infuse their own meaning into these tales by developing slightly fractured interpretations. Their wide range of stories incorporate different problems and resolutions, distinct characters, and unique dialogue. 

"I am doing well because I put dialog in my story... My next step is to put more adjectives in my story because I didn't put adjectives well."
- 2A student, reflecting on her fairy tale

"Heroes: 'Jasmin, Quinn, Jifar'
Villains: 'Aladdin'
Setting: 'At the castle'
Problem: 'Trying to steal Jasmin's crown'"
-2B student, planning her tale

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Field Trip to the Earthquake & Fire Safety Center

Grade Two re-emphasized out last Unit of Inquiry by visiting the Earthquake and Fire Safety Center in Ikebukuro.

The firemen and women taught us how to quickly and safely respond to fires and earthquakes. We learned about a few natural disasters that have happened in the past. The girls then had a chance to practice safety maneuvers by crawling through a smoke room and experiencing an earthquake simulator.

Connecting Ideas

Perhaps the Grade Two girls can recall what we learned at the center. 
  • What should we do if there is a fire and smoke is filling the room? 
  • What if we are underground?
  • What should we do as soon as we feel an earthquake?
  • What should we do if there is no table to get under?

Going Further

We encourage parents to sit down with their daughter, and in their mother tongue supplement their child's understanding of sudden earth changes. This would be a good opportunity to develop a family action plan in the event of an emergency.

For further information on fire and earthquake preparedness, please visit the Tokyo Fire Department website (multilingual).
日本語, 한국어中文ภาษาไทย, Pilipino

Friday, January 15, 2016

Storytelling through Kamishibai

Kuniaki Sakai, Niigata teacher, shared his original kamishibai story called "Max and Space" with Grades Two and Three on Friday, January 15th.   Linking with their units of inquiry on How We Express Ourselves, students got a first-hand look at how they can use Japanese storytelling for their written stories or performances.  Sakai's kamishibai stories are written and illustrated by him.  All of his stories revolve around the mischievous character Max The Cat.  The students were fully engaged in his presentations.  We hope that he can come again in the future.

                                                                                               -- Ms. Kampa
Kuniaki Sakai with his book "Max and Space" 
Grade 2 poses with Mr. Sakai.

Students giving imaginative suggestions for what the picture resembles.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Interactive Storytelling with Mr. Lewis

Can only the author of a book decide a character's fate?

Grade Two visited Mr. Lewis' classroom and experienced how stories can be told through technology. They explored two "Create Your Own Adventure" (CYOA) series on Youtube and learned about the different ways stories can develop. At the end of each interactive video, the audience (Grade Two students) could choose the fate of character. Depending on which path was chosen, the characters encountered entirely different story endings. The girls noticed that not all stories had a happy ending!

Thank you, Mr. Lewis, for teaching us a fun activity!

Try it at Home!

Do you remember all the story endings? 
Click on the links below to see if you were able to catch all the endings.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Kicking off 2016 with Reading Buddies from 5A

Last Wednesday, January 13, 2B jumped into the new year with a reading buddy program. The girls had a wonderful opportunity to develop their social and communication skills by pairing up with a partner from 5A. They each took turns listening and reading to each other. They hope to continue meeting each other throughout the rest of the school year.