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G3: Cultural horrors and Avatars

Avatar: The First Reading

Grade 3 have officially started rehearsing for this year’s Performance Day (Friday 18th December). Our script is mostly finished and everyone has their chosen character. We are also researching the original show and it’s unique culture, to help with our production.

“Avatar: The Last Airbender” first aired on television in 2005. It tells the story of a world with 4 Kingdoms; Water, Fire, Earth and Air. Within each Kingdom there are also individuals who have unique “bending” abilities, which means that they control elements of their given Kingdom. A war has ravaged the land for 100 years, however, the Avatar has returned and will hopefully restore peace.

It is a wonderfully complex and emotive tale, especially given that it’s target audience was 6-11 year olds and regularly brings to mind the golden age of Studio Ghibli (Nausicaa and Laputa especially). When we first considered developing this story, some of the themes we observed from the show included, war, racism, sexism and totalitarianism. Heavy stuff indeed.

Grade 3 opted to develop an original story based around the world of the 4 Kingdoms. We look forward to sharing more with you as our creative journey unfolds.

Cultural Insight Presentations

Wednesday morning, and we were treated to small group presentations by the class. Each group having selected a specific cultural theme to explore. These included, food, language, sport, architecture, nature and art. All the presentations were at least five minutes in length and adhered to the rule of limiting text on screen only for the the purpose of labeling images. They also reduced the amount of transitions and effects, giving all the presentations a very professional quality.

In the end, the presentations were excellent and showed a real improvement from previous efforts. Good work everyone!

Cobwebs ready?

Yes, it’s that time of year again, where costumes and candy are in ready supply. Grade 3 got to learn a little about the origins of Halloween, namely that it possibly originates from a Celtic Pagan (pre-Christian) celebration called Samhain (pron; “Sa-ween”). Samhain was a 3 day celebration that saw people dressed as monsters and ghouls because it was believed that this was the time of the year when the spirit world comes closest to the world of the living. By dressing as a creature of the other world it gave protection from being taken by them.

Grade 3 also got to hear a traditional Irish Halloween song, that is sung instead of simply saying trick or treat, when children visit houses on Halloween night:

“Halloween is coming, the goose is getting fat

Could you please put a penny in the old man’s hat

If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do

If you haven’t got a ha’penny, god bless you”

Interestingly, this is a traditional Christmas song that was adapted for Halloween.

Happy Halloween one and all!