Beacon Heights Students Sing and Dance American History
The last month of school at Beacon Heights was full of year-end festivities including drama and dance performances. Fifth-grade students at Beacon Heights helped to finish the year by performing a play about the Boston Tea Party and the American Revolution. The students studied drama for one trimester where they learned to integrate the Utah Core with the arts.
“The kids learned about the 13 colonies and how colonists separated from England,” said Tina Dinh, fifth-grade teacher at Beacon Heights. “They learned the history first and then integrated it through drama.” Dinh added that the integration of singing, dancing, drama and history helped the students solidify their learning.The purpose of the arts program is to help students learn the curriculum through multiple modalities. By doing so, learning can take place on many different levels.
“When you’re playing the character that caused a lot stuff to happen, it helped us learn it a lot,” said fifth-grade student Octavia Patno, who played King George in the production. Another student, Lauren Lords, added that by learning history and then performing, it felt a little like they were living history. Morgan Chatterton added that she had fun performing about the Boston Tea Party. She said she liked her role, she thought the play was funny, and it made it more fun to perform.
Beacon Heights partners with University of Utah, Children’s Youth Theater. Grades four through six participate each year with theater teachers who team with the classroom teacher. Together they create productions that integrate social studies, science or literature units students are studying in the classroom. Along with theater performance and preparation, students learn research, writing, visual art, music, and public speaking as a part of the theater performance.