STUDENT ARTISTS: Tisa Becker's first-grade class

Singers, musicians, dancers and actors

Posted: Friday, December 26, 2008

This class will perform a version of "The Gingerbread Man," which they wrote themselves.

Courtesy Of Tisa Becker
Courtesy Of Tisa Becker

Ages: 6-7.

School: Riverbend Elementary School.

Their teacher, Tisa Becker, says: "Our class loves to make learning fun! We have created our very own version of the classic fairy tale, 'The Gingerbread Man' after reading several versions in class, including Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith's 'The Stinky Cheese Man' (1992). Our retelling has many more characters than most versions, which include extra animals and a little boy and a little girl.

"Our plot and setting are similar to most versions as the Gingerbread Man runs from all of the characters and is eaten by the fox at the end of his journey from the kitchen of the Little Old Lady. We loved our story so much we decided to create a performance to share it with our friends and families.

"Our class is so creative. In our play, we will perform the folk dance, 'Jump Jim Joe' to more contemporary music, 'The Safety Dance by Men Without Hats,' written by Ivan Doroschuk. We love to dance and perform. It has been a natural part of our play during choice time so it is only understandable that we turned it into a literacy activity.

"We really enjoy learning. The most inspirational piece of my day is during writing when students share their excitement about books ... with other friends.

"The success was derived by the students' intresnic motivation to dramitize the story as they created there own version (retelling)."

Experience: They've been practicing since September.

All in their families: "Many family voulunteers showed up to help make props for our play and to help with performance practice."

Class favorites: "We have many favorite artists: Eric Carle, Faith Ringgold, Piet Mondrian, and Russian composer, Pyotr IIyich Tchaikovsky."

Future class plans: "We plan on performing Aesop's Fables at the end of the year and 'Sylvester and the Magic Pebble,' by William Steig, in the spring."

Other class activities: Reading, writing, math, science, social studies, visual arts, music, cultural arts and play.

Class facts: "We are very respectful when we walk in the hall and line up at recess." The class also has three newts: Heuy, Dewy and Louie. Their class hero is the cookie monster.

• Student Artist in the Spotlight is a weekly feature on the Neighbors page and done in collaboration with the Juneau School District Elementary Art Program. To have your student art included, contact your school office.

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