Grade 3 Spotlight Performance Guide

We’re very excited for our Grade 3 How We Express Ourselves Spotlight in March. This year’s performance will have a new format which will involve the whole grade level performing at the same time! With so many bodies on stage, we want to share our learning more than once. We will give two shows, one first students on Monday, March 12 at 1pm and one for parents on Tuesday, March 13 at 1pm.

Below you can find information on how you can prepare for the Grade 3 Spotlight outside of Performing Arts class. You can also find the presentation that we use for lyrics and the form of each performance here. Each culture group has some work to do memorizing and solidifying their performance role. Each group also has a costume option for their performance. This is optional and should come from the students existing wardrobe, there is no need to purchase clothes for the Spotlight!

New Zealand

What everyone needs to do:

  • Have Tutira Mai and E Pa Pa memorized (don’t forget the moves to Tutira Mai!)

What Team New Zealand needs to do:

  • Find black clothing for your costume
  • Decorate your sticks (optional)
  • Practice your moves with your partner
  • Make your poi and practice (for the small poi group only)


What everyone needs to do:

  • Memorize the chorus for “I’se the B’y”

What Team Canada needs to do:

  • Find rain jacket, rain boots, rain hat, jeans or plaid shirts for your costume
  • Finish preparing your instrument and know how to play your ostinato on it!
  • Memorize your solo (if you have one) and work on your jig (if you’re doing one)


What everyone needs to do:

  • Memorize El Condor Pasa

What Team Peru needs to do:

  • Find a hat to wear in your dance
  • Boys if you have a poncho, girls if you have a shawl, bring it in for a costume!


What EVERYONE needs to do:

Memorize the song!

Grade 3 Call for Materials to Make Instruments

G3 has been engaging in some exciting work in preparation for our G3 Spotlight in March. While the dates and times for our performance are still being finalized (it will probably be in the afternoon of March 12 and or 13), we do need to know that we need to collect materials from home to make some of our instruments.

A dozen students are planning to make “ugly sticks” as part of the Newfoundland kitchen party tradition of Canada. Take a look at how you can make this instrument here:

To make the ugly stick and some other instruments we are asking Grade 3 students to scour their homes for the following:

  • old shoes/boots that are not worn anymore
  • jingly things that can be screwed onto the ugly stick (ie. bottle caps, washers, keys, metal rings)
  • tin cans (clean them first please!)
  • combs

Ms. T in the Maker’s Space will help us with the construction of ugly sticks in the coming week, so the sooner you bring your materials in, the better! Make sure that you understand these materials are donations, we can’t guarantee that you’ll get them back!

Also, several Grade 3 students have been interested in making poi from the Maori culture in New Zealand. Here is a video of how they can do that (please note, you can just ball up plastic bags to make the stuffing instead of buying new cotton fluff!):

A New Year in PA!

Happy New Year Lower School! Can you believe we’ve been at school for three weeks already! They have been busy ones!

It’s been a while since we’ve had a general update on what has been going on in PA for Grade 1, 2 and 3. Take a look below!

Grade 1 – Intro to Drama Unit – January-March 2018

Central Idea: People use the arts to communicate ideas, feelings and experiences

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Adopting voice or emotion of a fictional character
  • Listening and responding in role to other characters in role
  • The responsibility of an audience member vs. a performer

In this unit students will learn about tools for an “actor’s toolbox” including actor’s neutral, projection, mime, and tableau. We learn that actor’s use these tools to communicate their emotions and stories. Ask your child about games like “Space Walk,” “Sock Monkey” or the story “Stone Soup.”

Students will build upon what they learn in this unit in their Arts Spotlight in May. Their Spotlight will feature work from dance, drama, music and (hopefully) visual arts. Stay tuned!

Grade 2 – Drama Unit on Characterization – January-March 2018

Central idea: We can use our voice and body as a means of expression.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • The way body and voice can be used to depict a character through specific voice and body exercises and activities.
  • Experiment and develop vocal control in the use of character voices, impersonations and accents
  • Portray and sustain a character posture in a given situation

In this unit students will build on the work that they did in drama last year as part of their Spotlight and begin to look at how to use their voice, body and gestures to portray the role of a character. Through the vehicle of fairy and folk tales, students will not only embody a character as an actor, but also extend their thinking by changing well-known plot lines and outcomes. Ask your student about the Japanese folk tale “Momotaro-san”, soundscapes, “Good Evening Your Majesty” and “Hot seating.”

Grade 3 – How We Express Ourselves Transdisciplinary Work – November-March 2018

Central Idea: People can discover and express different cultures through the arts

Lines of inquiry:

  • How culture can be expressed
  • What influences the artistic expression in different cultures

This unit is our big Spotlight unit in Grade 3. Through our work in the classroom and PA, students will unpack world arts cultures from around the world. In PA, students will dig deep in the cultures of New Zealand, Peru and Canada. In March, students will present their work sharing what these art forms look like, but some universal understandings that we have discovered about music and dance around the world. Stay tuned!

G3 Challenge to be World Arts Detectives

As part of their current work in the transdisciplinary theme of “How We Express Ourselves” in Performing Arts, Grade 3 students recently were challenged to consider being world arts detectives over the winter holiday. Our current central idea is:

In PA students have been exploring world arts cultures and considering the purpose behind using the arts to express culture. Through this work we’ve already discovered that it takes an open-minded thinker to engage in some of these art forms!

Even though its fun to learn about the arts that Ms. Benusa selects, its also interesting when students bring in cultural artifacts that they find from their own culture or from their travels. Over the break, students are challenged to consider finding expressive arts that belong to the culture that they visit. This optional task for students can look many different ways!

  • A video of dancers or musicians performing in your hotel or restaurant
  • A small instrument or local handicraft purchased from a gift shop
  • A recording of you singing a folk song with a member of your family

If students bring cultural artifacts into PA, Ms. Benusa will give time for them to share what they found. Let’s see what we can find!

G3 is into “Treble”

Grade 3 students have recently been doing work with a Western music notation tool – the treble clef. Students have started to develop strategies for reading pitches on the five line staff and applying that knowledge to music we’ve learned so far this year. Ask your student what their strategy is!

As we often find that humor can be a “sticky” tool in learning new concepts, Grade 3 students have been singing this treble clef song in class:

Grade 2 Spotlights Coming Soon!


Created with flickr slideshow.


We had our first rehearsal in the LLAC for our G2 “Connections” Spotlight today! As we prepare for our performance a couple of things to remember:

  • Performances are on the following days:
    • 2A/2D/2E – November 6 – 9:40am
    • 2B/2C – November 7 – 9:40am
  • Students are welcome to wear “free performance dress” for the performance. “Free performance dress” means clothing that is dressier than normal dress down days, but is still comfortable and to wear on stage. We want students to be proud of they way that they look. No ball gowns or tuxedos are necessary! Some students might already have clothing that enhances their performance, and that is great!
  • The performance will be recorded in live streaming. More information on that soon!

For ways you can help your child prepare for their performance, check out an older post about the G2 Spotlight here.