“If you would create something, you must be something.”
“Every artist was first an amateur.”
“Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great.”
“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
This past Friday, Rachel and I had our last outreach at Cedar Drive Middle School. We had Wordstock, an event where the students can do any type of performance they like, in front of their peers. They were sooo good, so cute, and so talented. Rachel and I were so proud of their accomplishments. Here’s a list of what the performances were:
1. A poem read by a girl
2. A dance choreographed and performed by two girls
3. A poem written, read, and acted out by a girl
4. A poem read by four boys
5. A poem read by four girls
6. A boy drank a water bottle in under 30 seconds (that wasn’t part of the set list, but he did it anyway. It was strange to witness)
7. Another dance by two girls
8. The cup song from Pitch Perfect performed by 6 girls (they didn’t have any music except for the beat of the cups, and they sang, too)
9. Goldilocks and the 3 Bears acted out by 5 girls
and 10. A music video that the girls created – it was their voices, their camera work, and their editing, and it was amazing!
The best two were definitely the first dance and the music video, but the rest were really good, too. Rachel and I loved their performances, and wish that we had more time with these kids – it was a lot of fun coming in and interacting with them. Being their “teachers” and doing these activities was the highlight of our project, and we are so proud. We also can’t wait for the Wordstock that we’re hosting at our school, now. We wish our 7th graders good luck, and thank the teacher that we’ve been working with over at Cedar for a wonderful year!
Today Maribeth and I went into Cedar Drive to meet with both groups of kids – first and second semester. We explained what Wordstock is to the first group, since we didn’t get a chance to talk to them about it when they still had the class. Then we gave them time to rehearse – several kids from the second group had already decided what they were going to do, and with who. We watched a couple, and we’re very excited about having them perform in front of their peers as well as their principal! Those who had an idea already were well-rehearsed, with just a few kinks, and those who didn’t have anything done before that class had a group and an idea by the time the class was over. Maribeth and I can’t wait to see the final products, and are looking forward to describing their performances to you!
Also, we have spoken to our sophomore English teacher, who is our advisor for the high school Wordstock, who gave us a to-do list for it! Can’t wait to update you guys on that next week!
Our year is almost over! And I know that Rachel and I have both loved our project. However, we are being graded on it, and we are running out of filler ideas to do in the next weeks between the events we have planned. If you guys have any ideas, let us know – we are open to everything! We’re going to go back to our original goals in the beginning, too, probably, in order to possibly fulfill some of that. Wish us luck, but PLEASE let us know if you come up with something that could benefit the community through our project! Thanks!!
Rachel and I went into the ELL class again, probably for the last time, this past Friday. We shared Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech with them, having them read an excerpt of it, us reading it, and then listening to and watching it. We discussed the meaning of the speech, the historical significance, and then the speaking techniques he used. I think it was rather successful, except for the lack of conversation. There were the usual volunteers, but they were the same people talking.
After we eeked out as much discussion as we could, our teacher suggested that they each go around and read a short paragraph of the speech, trying to mimic some of the techniques, like speed, volume, and emotion. We had a few more people willing to do this, which made us happy – it’s usually really difficult to get the boys to talk, but we had some of them actually participate. And even though we still didn’t have the entire class get into it, there was a lot of enthusiasm from the ones who did, and we managaed to reach three people that I don’t recall ever hearing talk while we were there, so that was great to see and hear. I’m so glad that we got that far with them – we said in the very beginning that if our project reached only one person, we would feel as though our time would have been well spent. We would have been successful. In this case, I believe that we have definitely acheived our goal, and I am so proud of us for working this hard, but especially for the students that we’ve been working with and who have made so much project.
We’ll keep you posted on the goings on for May – especially Wordstock, whcih we’re really looking forward to!
We went into Cedar Drive today and they presented their persuasive speeches! We were really happy with the progress that they made today – more than half the class was allowed to go to their concerts, they remembered what ethos, pathos, and logos are, and some of the performances were very good – the role playing got even got a little too dramatic at times and ruined the effect of the speech (one kid was a REALLY good fake crier – tears and everything). This made the listeners believe their “kid” was spoiled and didn’t let them go anyway. All in all, good presentations.
Then we watched the speeches – only two though since we were running short on time. We watched the MLK “I Have a Dream” and Reagan’s “Challenger Address”. They did a pretty good job analyzing them – tone, volume, message, etc. We noticed that for the Challenger Address one of the kids had a similar observation to one the first group had when we watched it – that it was sort of monotone, which we had said was normally bad when giving a speech. It gave us the opportunity to explain that for the situation, little vocal emotion was appropriate, especially since there was still inflection and emphasis in his words.
Since we only showed two speeches, we also had a little time to speak to them about Wordstock. We explained what it is, what we expect from them (performances), and asked them to spread the news to the first group since they had friends in it. The teacher we are working with is also going to put in a morning annoucement, and then anyone who knows what they will do for the event will sign up in her room. We plan on having a “rehearsal” the next time we go, probably in May, which will be with both groups of students. Rachel and I are really excited – we’ve attended Wordstocks at our high school and loved it. Moreover, this is our culminating event with the middle school kids, and both the teacher who runs Wordstock at our high school and the principal of the middle school plan on attending, so we want it to be a success. Wish us luck, and we’ll keep you posted!!
Unfortunately, we are not going to Cedar Drive tomorrow – both Rachel and I have college visits. However, we rescheduled for this coming Tuesday, though, the 9th, so we’ll have a post for you guys next week. Also, we set a date for our ELL lesson this month – Tuesday the 16th. Can’t wait to tell you all about it, but in the meantime wish us luck on our college visits!
“Nothing is impossible – the word itself says, ‘I’m possible!'” ~Audrey Hepburn