Boulder Spotlight: 4th Grade Presents Stone Soup as Rock Opera

In Performing Arts class at Mack-Boulder, the cornerstone event for each grade is the work-share. Work-shares are assemblies that are typically an amalgam of a performance, a play, and a demonstration, depending on what the students want to showcase. For each work-share, the performing class develops, rehearses, and then presents a “show” based on what they have been exploring and learning in their Performing Arts class. The work-shares often include singing, movement, drama, and interesting facts the students have learned about music, movement, or theater.

Last Thursday, Mack-Boulder 4th graders brought to life the old folk tale, Stone Soup, in the form of a “rock opera” as their work-share.

For several weeks leading up to the performance, with Julie Chilton in Performing Arts, the students worked on learning musical numbers, staging directions, dancing, hand motions, and characters. They developed stage presence, practiced cooperation, and experienced being part of a cast.

In addition to the “rock opera,” a group of 4th graders also learned and played a song as part of a live band. Since several 4th graders are either experienced school band members or recently joined the school band, Julie decided with the students to incorporate this aspect into the work-share.

4th grade teacher Melody Parker said, “It was exciting to see all of the growth in the students throughout the experience—confidence, stage presence, rhythm, and choral singing.” Parker explained that the work-share connected to the 4th grade’s IB Unit of Inquiry about community, as the students learned how to support each other as a cast and ensemble during the experience. The 4th graders even made all of the props, with Bev Ball in the Design Lab.

Just as the villagers and soldiers ultimately came together to create a delicious soup for the community to share, the 4th graders, with help from several of their teachers, came together to create Stone Soup for our community to enjoy.