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Grade 3: Designing Costumes & Props for Modern Fairy Tales

This month, Graland third graders combined their love for fairy tales with the world of drama. Under the guidance of Drama Teacher Mrs. Julie Lachance, the students participated in a new unit that beautifully complemented the Grade 3 language arts curriculum. 
Following their exploration of classic fairy tales and their adapted versions in language arts class, Mrs. Lachance provided third graders with existing scripts of silly fairy-tale stories in drama, such as "Goldilocks and the Three Bullfrogs." Students were then thoughtfully cast as characters that would challenge them more than any other role in class throughout the year. According to Mrs. Lachance, her intentionality behind this was to encourage the third graders to continue to grow their confidence and presence on stage. 

As a new element of this project, students were also given the opportunity to design all of the costumes and props for the fairy-tale performances entirely from scratch. In collaboration with Innovation Teacher Mrs. Elizabeth Leddy, Grade 3 drama students spent three days in the Gates Innovation Lab collaborating, designing, and building original costumes and props for their productions.

According to Mrs. Lachance, one of the most inspiring outcomes of the project was that her students' creations "far surpassed anything that could have been purchased or pre-made." Grade 3 teachers Mrs. Mary Helen Hamilton and Ms. Heather McCormick were also excited to share their thoughts on this collaborative effort. "This was such a wonderful opportunity for cross-curricular collaboration!" Mrs. Hamilton said. "In our writing lessons, we often encourage kids to act out a scene to prompt them to write more details about what the characters are doing and saying in their stories. The additional practice with these skills in drama class made students more familiar with their fairy tales and enhanced the writing that they did in our class. We're so grateful to Mrs. Lachance for coming up with this amazing unit." Mrs. McCormick followed by saying, "Seeing my students leveraging their imagination, engaging in collaborative efforts, and crafting costumes for their fairy tale adaptation was a delight. I want to express my gratitude to Mrs. Lachace for providing us with the opportunity to collaborate with Mrs. Hamilton and me in our fairy tale writing unit. This opportunity allowed the students to bring their fairy tales to life!"

As the curtain closes on the 2023-24 school year, Mrs. Lachance is already looking forward to building upon the students' engagement and excitement throughout this activity by continuing it next year. Inspiring work, Grade 3 thespians! 

Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1927, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.