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“Letter N is for Nutrition” Week is Next!

Hello all,

Letter M is for Multicultural Music Week was Marvelous, Miraculous, Magnificent, and More!  Read on below to learn about all the fun and learning that was had!

The students arrived at school this week with what seemed like a Million letter M shares!  Everything from mice, multicultural music CDs and instruments, mops, masks, moose, and monkeys were added to the sharebox and shared during morning meeting!

The students spent Monday and Tuesday morning working on their letter M activities throughout their stations.  During the afternoon, the younger students brainstormed a list of letter M words while the older students created silly letter M sentences!  Here is the list that the younger students came up with.

Here are the silly letter M sentences from Monday.

Here are the silly letter M sentences from Tuesday.  Be sure to check out the last one!  It is a great one!

Wednesday marked the Chinese New Year.  Seeing that school was closed on Wednesday due to inclement weather, the teachers decided to celebrate when the students returned to school on Thursday!  The day began with a reading of the great story, Lion Dancer – Ernie Wan’s Chinese New Year, by Kate Waters.

The story follows a young boy named Ernie as he prepares to celebrate the new year with his family in Chinatown in New York City.  The books takes readers on a picture tour throughout Ernie’s life in the days prior to the new year and helps explain all of the customs associated with the Chinese New Year including firecrackers, outfits, music, food, and dancing.    Of particular focus was the Lion Dance, a ceremonial dance done by two people hidden and draped ina costume that helps ward off evil spirits for the new year.  The lion dance is commonly mistaken with the Dragon Dance which is much larger and can be done with up to fifty people holding up poles!

Seeing the photographs in the story, the students could hardly wait to find out what they would be making for their morning work.  The teachers informed them that they would be making their own Lion Dancing masks!  With the help of a pair of scissors, the teachers turned a paper plate into the perfect template for a mask!  The students selected which color to paint their mask by choosing one of the colors considered lucky in Chinese culture – red, yellow, gold, and green.  Once the mask was painted, the students added shimmery gems to give their mask some extra special design!

The masks were set aside to dry and the students returned to their morning stations.  Later in the afternoon, the students were called to select fancy ribbons to adorn their mask.  These ribbons were very long and hung down their backs when the students placed the masks to their faces, just like the body a real lion dancer’s costume!

Here is what all of the students’ masks looked like together – colorful and beautiful just a like a real lion dancer costume!

Speaking of real lion dancers, the students participated in a technology presentation where they observed a real lion dance performance!  The two Lion Dancers in the video clip below are phenomenal!  Be sure to take a look – they look just like a real lion when they move!

Friday’s activity had to do with a very different type of cultural music – Latin Music!  In previous “Letter M is for Multicultural Music” Weeks, the PPA students have studied Latin, Hawaiian, African, Island, Irish, Indian, and American (Country/Jazz/HipHop/Dance) music.  Seeing that Latin music encompasses SO many different countries, the teachers decided to focus on a European instrument known as the castanets.

The Castanets are a percussion instrument most commonly used in Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian music.  In order to recreate the castanets, the students began by coloring in their card-stock circles.

Once the circles were colored, they were cut out and attached to little hair rubber bands.  These rubber bands would later become finger loops!  In order to make noise, the students’ castanets would need something hard inside!  Two little buttons were glued in and the colorful castanets were set aside to dry.

By the time the students woke up from rest time, the castanets had dried and were ready to be played!  First the students learned a little about where castanets come from and how they are played.  The students could hardly believe that such a small instrument could make so much beautiful noise!  Listen below to hear a sensational castanet player.

Watch below to see one student performing on his school-made castanets!

Photo SharingVideo SharingPhoto Printing

Right after shooting the video above, a certain familiar sound filled the room.  The video below shows what was overheard happening at the shape table!

Photo SharingVideo SharingPhoto Printing

What a great way to make some multicultural music!  🙂

Well, that is all for “Letter M is for Multicultural Music Week”.  As always, thank you for reading and have a fun and safe weekend!  See you next week!



2011-2011 Re-enrollment Contracts are due back before or by Wednesday, February 16th.

Next School Closing: Monday, February 21st – Observation of Presidents’ Day

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