Archive for Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Fourth-graders take audience on global tour

May 9, 2007

Fourth-grade students at the Tonganoxie Elementary School got a chance to perform songs, play instruments and dance in front of their parents for this year's fourth-grade vocal music and physical education program.

This year's theme was "Oh, the Places We Will Go."

"Music is in life," said Wanda Haney, TES music teacher who chose the music for the night's performance. "No matter where you live, you can learn something about a country."

Because there were so many fourth-graders this year, the performance had to be split into two nights. Beth Fritz, Kathy Powell and Kay Prelesnik's classes performed Thursday while Kerry Gorge, Karen Stephenson and Jerry Wilkens' classes performed Tuesday.

The fourth-graders sang and danced to songs from many different countries from around the world including, Russia, Brazil, Liberia and Jamaica.

"Everybody's favorite was the Russian Troika," said Ursula Kissinger, physical education teacher for TES.

Kissinger used her class period to teach the students the dances and let them practice before the big night.

Because the performances were split into two nights, students had more opportunities to sing, dance and play musical instruments.

This also was the first time the teachers used slideshow presentation as part of the act.

"We tried to have the PowerPoint up above to try to get a whole feel for the country we were in," Kissinger said.

Kissinger and Haney had been working with the classes for the past five weeks to get ready for the performance.

Haney first chose the music that the fourth-graders were going to perform. The music determined the countries the students would represent.

"I found things that I liked and I thought would work well with the age group," Haney said.

Each of the fourth-graders learned every part of the performance, but they were given special tasks in their final two weeks of rehearsals.

Some students learned special dances, others learned how to play certain instruments liked the recorder or the xylophone.

By the end of the second performance, the parents, the teachers and especially the students were happy with the show.

"Everyone had a good time. And the kids responded well to the crowd," Kissinger said.

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