Grade 3/4 Play: A Class Collaboration That Lets Students Shine

One of our favorite traditions at Friends School of Minnesota is the yearly 3rd and 4th grade play! The students and teachers worked hard to prepare for the debut of the play this week.

Andrew and Amber, along with all of the students brainstorm early on in the school year to write the script. 

What is the plot? Who are the characters? What problem are they trying to solve? 

This year the theme of the Quaker value of peace was woven into the script, as it is also the theme for this year’s Friends Gathering for Racial Justice event. This is truly a collaborative experience, as students all have different ideas as to how they’d like to see the story unfold. Some ideas end up being important parts of the play, other ideas fall out, but all are an important part of the process.

Once the script is written, it is time for the students to make the story come alive. 

For the two weeks leading up to the play, the students and teachers spend most of the school day preparing for the show’s debut. Some students see themselves on stage, in the spotlight, delivering the lines and becoming characters they’ve created. Others see themselves as builders, reading through the script and brainstorming ideas for the set, and transforming large pieces of cardboard into busses, trees, whatever the set for the year entails. Some students see themselves as sound engineers creating sound effects and adding background music to make the story come alive. The stage crew is also needed, students who are organized and able to quickly change the set for the new scene. 

One of the reasons this work is so inspiring is because all students and skill sets are important. We need the creativity of actors, set designers, a stage crew and sound engineers to make this all work. Though each role is different, they are all integral in making a collaborative project like this work. 
This year’s play is entitled, ‘Tale of Two Sides’ and is about how a natural disaster and 8 plucky youngsters help unify a divided town. The entire FSMN community came together to cheer on our 3rd and 4th grade students as they shared their work on stage on Thursday. Bravo, 3rd and 4th grade!

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