Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Bye Bye Grandparents' Day Art

Each year at The Westfield School in Perry, Georgia, our 4 year old-5th grade put on production known as Grandparents' Day.  Grandparents' Day is a huge undertaking for our small school.  We have 2 classes per grade level in grades Pre-K thru 5th Grade.  Approximately 25 teachers are responsible for producing this amazing program. 

What is Grandparents' Day (GPD)?
GPD is a musical that the students perform on the first Friday in March for their grandparents.  We send out a program and grandparents come from down the road to across the country.  The theme varies from year to year, but the underlying theme for all the programs promotes the message of LOVE for grandparents.  Each class performs a dance on stage.  Also, select 5th graders are chosen to be speakers to lead the program.  The senior class has a role as helpers and many times join in on the last song with the elementary students.  The hearts of many are warmed on this special day.

Why is GPD important?
GPD is important to our kids and teachers.  As a student, you progress through the grade levels and each year your song and dance becomes more and more advanced.  By the 5th grade, you are an expert with 7 years of experience performing on stage in front of a very large group of people.  The classroom teachers collaborate with the music and chorus teachers.  In their music enrichment class, the students practice singing the GPD songs.  Although the process of practicing for an entire month before the performance is difficult, the teachers know the end result will forever endure in the hearts and minds of these young people.  Surviving GPD is part of the initiation process at The Westfield School for new teachers.  Click Here for GPD practice video.  

How does GPD involve art?
The art department is responsible for decorating the stage for the GPD program.  The art department is Laura Harrison (high school art teacher) and myself.  Laura does have a class that attempts to produce some of the set, but for the most part, Laura cranks out the big pieces for the set.  As an elementary art teacher, I try to provide the teachers with works of art that goes along with the theme of their song.    

The Project for 3rd Grade?
3rd Grade students were dancing to "Doo Wah Diddy Diddy" by Manfred Mann.  I decided to have the kids riding in the 57 Chevy convertible.  
I found this 57 Chevy online on Google. Click Here 
The kids painted with tempera cakes.  There were no guidelines on painting the car.  We took pictures of the kids.  I cut the upper part of the kids' bodies out.  Then, we glued the kids in the car.
Maddox made his car fly in the air.  I guess he must have forgot to hit the breaks at the railroad track.  I have a feeling that this type of driving may be in Maddox's future.  At a young age, he rammed a golf cart into a mailbox. 
Oh Foster's art cracked me up.  He was one of the last kids painting the project.  I went over to check on Foster.  Usually, he finishes first.  Well, usually he does not have a broken arm.  The boy came in my classroom with a broken arm and painted without one complaint.  I did not even notice he had a broken arm.  I am so lacking in my ability to observe my surroundings.  I was so impressed with this little guy.  We cracked up when he waved with the cast.  

I end this long post with Manfred Mann singing "Doo Wah Diddy Diddy".


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