Building Characters with Values: Project Updates from Performance Media Arts

Ms. Lulu
We welcomed term 2 in 5th and 6th grade with refreshers on elements of performances!  Now, we are on our way to completing complex design projects focused on character development, both on stage and in videos.

We are nearing the completion of term 2 and, consequently, our projects, some of which will be showcased at culminations. For 5th Grade, we are wrapping up the Super People’s Design Project which will be showcased during the Toy Study and Comic Con Culmination on Tuesday, March 12, 2024, at 5:30 pm.  This is an interdisciplinary project with Tech, Art, Music, and Adventure & Wellness (A&W) Classes.  For the 6th Grade Avatar Design Project, we will wrap up videos by the end of the term, and pieces of the project will be showcased with their art class masks at the Sum of Our Parts Culmination on Thursday, March 21, 2024 at 5:30 pm. Both have soft and hard skills that students need to learn in various classes and yet center on Performance and Media Arts (PMA).  

In 5th Grade, we have finished learning and embodying through performances the Hero’s Journey (creation of character through struggle), Story Mountain (plot points), and C.R.O.W., an improv concept that translates to storytelling (character, relationships (to main character), objective/want, where/setting). This was stacked on top of learning about the elements of performance which included facial expressions, body language & gestures, levels and depths of taking up open space, character and spatial relationships/connections, being open to the audience (cheating out/nose & toes to the audience), and performer neutral. We are currently in the middle of designing costumes and masks based on colors and symbols that show their core values. They will soon be shooting videos with their power accessories based on Circuits from Tech Class, theme songs from Music Class, artistic medallions from Art Class, and boxing moves from A&W Class.

In 6th Grade, they spent term 1 creating “Avatar Masks” based on their core values.  In term 2, they started practicing making stories based on those masks’ values.  We had our annual “March of the Avatars” so that the masks could travel from the Art room, around the school, and land in the Upstairs Learning Space (USL) for easy access to perform and display for the whole school and visitors. We have completed stage 1 of our Avatar project by finishing the Avatar masks in Art Class, reading Binti in Humanities, and identity development in Advisory Class.  Now, we will move on to stage 2 within PMA where the elements of character building, world building and story building are spliced together, bringing the project full circle for the ultimate interdisciplinary project experience.  Ultimately, they will end their term with a science fiction short story video using online editing software that generates out-of-this-world scenes by using green screen keying effects and more.

I look forward to witnessing all the projects displayed at the upcoming culminations and am excited for you to see the students explain their thinking around designing their projects and how they can expand their magical powers to construct futures we could have never imagined.
Located in the Central District, Seattle Girls' School is an independent school for girls and gender nonconforming students in grades 5-8. Our mission is to inspire and develop courageous leaders who think independently, work collaboratively, learn joyfully, and champion change.