Second-graders from Olive-Mary Stitt, Patton, Windsor and Westgate schools saw their writing come to life during a series of skits performed at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre by the Metropolis staff Monday and Tuesday, May 20 and 21.
Thanks to the Write to the Spotlight program, supported by District 25 and the Arlington Heights Arts Commission, these students spent four weeks studying the poems "Furry, Furry Squirrel," by Jack Prelutsky; "Smart," by Shel Silverstein; "Sick Day," by Kenn Nesbitt and "The Voice of Spring," by Mary Howitt. During that time they were guided by instructors from Metropolis School of the Performing Arts in creating their own plays based on those poems. They learned a variety of drama and improvisation activities to determine the tone, word choice, and other literary elements of the poems.
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The payoff came when the kids traveled to Metropolis to see their work performed on stage by the Metropolis staff.
On the day of the performances, as students and teachers filed into the Metropolis Centre, their excitement could be felt throughout the room. When it came time to settle down and watch the show, they were quiet and used "inside voices."
The dramas included stories such as the dentist who treated animals, but lamented the fact that none of his patients ever flossed; the boy who insisted he was too sick to go to school ("I have measles! I have chickenpox! The dinosaur ate my homework!") until he learns it's Saturday and there's no school.
On Tuesday, May 21, the Metropolis staff offered an evening performance for the public, which featured 19 of the plays.
The Write to the Spotlight program is held each year, usually in the spring and offered to second graders in four schools in District 25. According to Christine Trendel, the teachers look forward to the sessions because helps stimulate the students' imaginations and gives another way to help hone their writing skills.
The Arlington Heights Arts Commission has helped fund the program for the past three years.
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