In learning how to read, children are often taught that “reading” is a skill that one develops to decode words, but it is not always offered related to context. One of the fundamentals of The Cottage School is to educate the children to become “life-long readers,” with an appreciation for the literature that they are being read or reading by themselves. In play acting, children not only develop literary skills and a love for literature, but they also develop confidence in expressing themselves through the creative process.
With this in mind, the children have been hard at work preparing for our annual school play. Based on our Natural Science curriculum for this school year (Ecosystems), the elementary students wrote The Cottage School version of Mr. Popper’s Penguins that we will perform on June 7 at 9:45 am. The narrative of the play takes the characters to various ecosystems around the world: The Amazon Rainforest, The Sahara Desert, The Arctic Tundra, where they encounter many different creatures: coral Reef, fish, parrots, penguins, etc. As their adventure continues, they discover so much about the natural world!
Our elementary school students initiate their research at the beginning of the school year. Then, they start the creative writing process. They learn the editing process and how to revise. The group works together during many classes to create a cohesive story that includes all members of the school through dialogue, singing, and dancing. All students take part in the production; they are involved in the entire process – from painting scenery and helping with costumes to acting without the script.
The end of the school year play nurtures creativity linked to what they are studying. In addition, the experience of being part of a story, teaches children to appreciate literature by creating an environment in which the literature makes sense to them. By play acting the story, they “re-create it”; they comprehend it, and thereby, unite the learning experience.
Check out some photos below of the children creating the scenery for this year’s play.
To learn more about The Cottage School visit www.thecottageschool.net