HES kindergarten classes perform ‘A Trip To Oz’

Special to Civitas Media

July 2, 2014

Harlan Elementary School’s kindergarten classes performed the annual end-of-year production in the Harlan Elementary auditorium.

Entitled “A Trip To Oz,” this year’s show was an original production written by kindergarten faculty and based on the children’s classic movie version of “The Wizard of Oz.”

Musical selections were incorporated from both the original MGM musical and the movie version of “The Wiz.” Other song selections were chosen from contemporary music to fit with the theme of the production.

All kindergarten students took part in two performances of the production by assuming speaking roles as well as dancing during the show.

The kindergarten faculty, staff and students put in countless hours of preparation; from instruction in arts and humanities to costuming and set creation, they produced another hit, adding to the decade long school tradition.

In preparation for the production, teachers created arts and humanities lessons to provide students with a background in theatre and dance. Students explored dance by experimenting with different styles and learning about rhythm and movement. They learned to copy dance patterns and to incorporate these to music. As they embodied their character, students also explored ways to express feelings with dance, allowing each of them to show the characters point of view.

As students were assigned roles and given speaking parts, they learned through instruction about voice projection, phrasing and intonation. Teachers incorporated literature instruction as students made connections based on their knowledge about character and plot from books to stories that unfold through drama.

Throughout the year all Harlan elementary students are taught how to be respectful audience members and respond to performances appropriately. During this process students learned how to respond while on stage as they waited for their moment to perform.

Each grade level at the school responded to a chosen element of drama based on a rubric designed by classroom teachers and presented to students prior to the performance. The entire student body took part in the production as either a performer or observer, relating the experience to the arts and humanities curriculum at their level.

The performers celebrated their success on stage the following day with a trip to Harlan Cinema Four to see the movie “A Journey to Oz.”