Once Long Ago: Why We Tell The Story

Our 5th graders wowed us with their performance.
This week, fifth grade performed Once Long Ago: Why We Tell The Story, a story theatre experience with Orff Ensemble accompaniment. Students took turns being on stage as actresses, singers, and dancers, and in the instrumental ensemble playing Orff instruments and world percussion instruments. To dive deeper into their learning about folk tales and storytelling, alongside this performance, students were asked, ‘Why do humans tell stories?” They explored answers to this essential question in many of their classes in the following ways:

ART/STEAM: Inspired by Nigerian and Jamaican art, students brainstormed their own custom creations by designs that were engraved by the drawing GlowForge laser cutter in the Creation Station and coloring them with colored pencils. Students also designed the hanging system that displayed the installation for their performance.

LIBRARY: Students discussed the origination of folk tales and shared some Cajun tales, considering how they were used to alleviate fears and adjust to changes in the specific communities.  A Black History Month in-class research project on selected African American authors also culminated in the girls telling their author’s stories to the class.

ENGLISH: A unit on how do I tell my story culminated with each student discussing her emotions, family history, and dreams through a piece modeled on Sandra Cisneros’ vignette “My Name.” The students discussed their sense of self through a personal statement poem titled "I Am."

HISTORY: Students studied Haitian immigration to Louisiana (1795-1815) and the influence the large number of refugees have had on New Orleans culture, including Voodoo, Marie Laveaux, food, and architecture. Students researched a significant person from Louisiana and presented the story of their lives in first-person.

MATH: Students learned how graphs can be used to tell a story. They used statistics from Jamaica and Nigeria to represent real-life situations.

SCIENCE: Students explored the stories of the brave and innovative women and men who persevered in finding scientific truths, even though they were often mocked and even persecuted for their quest for knowledge.

LATIN: As a follow up to the study of Boudicca and the Romans, Latin students continued to think about how there are almost always (at least) two sides to every story.  They considered how the Romans viewed other cultures and how these other cultures viewed the Romans, and explored how humans might be influenced by different tellings of the same story.
2343 Prytania Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Louise S. McGehee School is a private independent all-girls school for Pre-K through grade 12 and open to all qualified girls regardless of race, religion, national or ethnic origin.