Related Arts News at The Grove

Locust Grove Elementary

December 2015

Music News by Tim Springer

Fifth grade classes are currently learning about Colonial American music in connection with their Social Studies unit. They are learning about the different styles of music and instruments popular during the Colonial era and how they were used. Fooba Wooba John has been a favorite song of this unit. This humorous folk song was brought to America by the English settlers and continues to delight children today. Other styles the students are learning about include work songs, game songs, sacred songs, lullabies and patriotic songs. As part of the unit, students are composing an original melody based on the lullaby, All the Pretty Little Horses.


Fourth grade students are currently learning about the String family of the orchestra and how each instrument makes its sound. Instruments being studied include the violin, viola, cello, double bass and harp. In addition, fourth grade students are continuing their year-long study of recorder. Many students have already mastered enough songs to meet or exceed their Fall goal.


Third grade students are currently learning about the Woodwind family of the orchestra and how each instrument makes its sound. Instruments being studied include the flute, piccolo, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, and English horn. Students are watching You-tube videos of professional musicians or talented children playing the woodwind instruments. After each video, they discuss the timbre (or sound quality) of the instrument. Other topics for the current unit include dynamics (loud and soft sounds), call and response form, and the addition of low so to the students' pitch vocabulary.


Second grade students are learning about a variety of symbols used in written music. So far they have been introduced to bar lines, double bar lines, repeat signs, measures, time signature and the musical staff. Their rhythmic vocabulary includes quarter notes, eighth notes and quarter rests. Their melodic vocabulary includes the pitches, so, mi, la, and the recently learned do. The current unit also includes AB form or music in 2 parts.


First grade students are just beginning to learn about musical notation. Up to now they have used iconic or pictorial notation. After learning the song, Rain, Rain Go Away, they were introduced to quarter notes and eighth notes along with the pitches, so and mi. They will soon learn about quarter rests. In addition, first grade students are learning about tempo and tempo changes within a song. They have really enjoyed learning the song, Freight Train which begins slowly, speeds up, then slows down at the end. They are also learning the Chimes of Dunkirk dance in order to move their feet and body to the tempo of the music.


Kindergarten classes are continuing their focus on steady beat. They have learned a variety of songs and poems which include movement and instruments. They are also exploring high and low pitch with their voices and classroom instruments such as xylophones and other Orff instruments. My goal is for all kindergarten students to be able to match pitch accurately with their voice by the end of the school year.

Drama News by Sherri Eldridge

We are just finishing our unit on Literary Elements of drama. Our main focus was on understanding and developing characters. The Reader's Theater performances for grades 2-5 were fantastic! The students enjoyed working with puppets to develop characters in grades k-1. Our focus was on creating a story with a beginning, middle, and end with our characters. Our next unit is on the purposes of drama in different cultures. The 2-5 students will be creating and performing skits to show a tradition that is part of our culture. Some of the students have told me that they create skits at home with their families! If that sounds like fun, take some time while you are inside this winter and try it. Your child will love it!

Physical Education by Clint Bennett

Hello to all, I hope everyone has got off to a healthy and happy start to the school year. With our teamwork and sportsmanship unit wrapping up this Wednesday we are eagerly moving on to Fitness.

In this unit students 3rd-5th will be reviewing Components of Fitness and FITT Principle as well as exploring health related benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. Don't be surprised if they come home and want to pump some iron or sign up for a 5K.

K-2nd grade students will be learning how exercise and activity can benefit their health. t

I would encourage everyone to get out and exercise with your family, we are entering into the fall season which is the perfect time to enjoy some outdoor activities.

The Art Room! by Typh Hainer Merwarth

This fall students worked with clay. It was a messy, smelly and creatively rich time in the art room. Please check out the display case outside the Art Room to see examples of their awesome work!

The 5th grade was introduced to Latin American culture and the holiday Dia de Los Muertos. The students created amazing Calaveras Masks using form, pattern and color. Half the 5th grade classes have glazed their pieces and the other classes will have a chance to complete their masks during their next rotation after break.

The 4th grade had a lot of fun creating Monster Pinch pots. on the first day of the unit the class discussed common characteristics of monsters and then students drew sketches of their ideas. Students implemented Habit 3 “First Things First, Begin with The end In Mind.' into their creative process.

The 3rd grade also created monsters but in the form of a rattle. Rattles are a favorite clay project, an instrument and a cool sculpture all-in-one! The students worked very hard on their monsters and created many original and beautiful art works. I look forward to seeing the final results as classes finish up glazing their pieces during their next rotations in the New Year.

Wishing all families a restful, refreshing and joyful winter break!

Ms. Typh