Sunday, December 22, 2013

Feliz Navidad

On Friday we celebrated the beginning of Christmas break with an all day pageant that included performances from every grade, even the pre-schoolers, and some of the teachers.

The three year-olds danced to "Que lloverรก" "May it Rain" in rain boots and coats. The four year-olds sang and danced to a Spanish Christmas carol. The five year-olds sang a song about the vowels of the alphabet.

Our first graders sang "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" while wearing antlers and red paint on their noses.

"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and another Spanish carol were performed by the second graders, in mumbling, shy voices, and enthusiastic dancing.

The third graders danced to a rendition of "All I want for Christmas is You." They danced some and shouted out "baby" each time the end of the chorus came around. They also told a short story, with me reading in English and them translating to Spanish, about an elephant of different colors who showed the other elephants how to have fun.

Both fourth grade classes told short stories about friendship, sharing, and tolerance.
 In one group, they told a story about Aquarius the fish, who was a beautiful golden fish that all the others adored. When another fish asked for some of her golden scales, she told them no. Because she did not share, the other fish ignored her and did not adore her anymore. A wise crab told her that if she wanted to make friends, she should share her fortune with the others. She then gave away almost all of her golden scales to other fish. Once she was done, every fish, including Aquarius, had two golden scales. They were all happy and let her swim with them.
The second group told the story of Susan, a young girl confined to a wheel chair (yes, that is an office chair with hoola-hoops.) Each child had a piece of paper that read a difference activity, such as: play basketball, rap, beatbox, draw, and read. As each child's turn to speak came up, they and two others stood in the middle of the stage and the child would say "Susan likes to rap" or "she likes to play basketball," and then they would act out the hobby, either through miming or, in the case of the rapper and beatboxer, they gave us short performances. At the end, they introduced the girl in the wheel chair as Susan and explained that while she was different in some ways, she still liked to do the same things as any other child.

These two stories were my favorite of the day, as they had great morals for the kids, and the children did marvelous jobs telling them.

The fifth graders put on a short play, which one half of the children performed in English, and the other half performed in Spanish, that told the story of how Santa Clause is unhappy at Christmas because he has to work. In the end, the children invite him to have Christmas dinner with them, and give him a present.

The sixth graders performed "I'm going to be a mighty king" from "the Lion King" with marvelous costumes and flashy dance moves.

Their version of Zazu was quite beautiful, and performed elegantly by two of the girls. Each of the main characters was represented by two children, making a curious mirrored effect as they danced.

During the songs, some of the teachers waved pompoms to the beat. Everyone had a good time, but no one more so than the kids.

It was a wonderful experience, and I was happy to be a part of it in the small way that I was.