Third graders at Woodward Elementary taught their schoolmates about the meaning of the holidays by performing “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”
On Tuesday afternoon, preschoolers and first graders visited Leslie Gillespie’s classroom, where her students read aloud the iconic Dr. Seuss story accompanied by some slides on a projector.
After the story, the students asked their younger schoolmates about the meaning of the story and told them that Christmas is about spending time with loved ones, not about receiving gifts.
Gillespie said her students put in a lot of time preparing for the performance.
“Christmas is coming, and the kids are not as focused,” Gillespie said. “So I gave them a project. We worked on it once a day for about two weeks.”
Gillespie said she’s proud of how her class performed in front on their schoolmates.
“I think they did great!” she said. “It’s a good lesson for everybody. (I wanted to give them) a sense of family to bring home the idea of Christmas being about family and spending time with people. I thought it went pretty good.”
Gillespie added she also used the popular story to help drive home the class’s recent lessons about story structure.
After their first performance, the students said they enjoyed the experience.
“I enjoyed performing for other people,” said Rhett Shuter, who played the Grinch. “The acting was fun. It was fun to voice the Grinch. I watched the Grinch movies growing up.”
Shuter wore a suit and tie for the occasion and said he borrowed his Christmas wardrobe for the show.
“I want to perform, so why not dress up?” Shuter said with a shrug.
Third grader Carson Damron said he also enjoyed putting on the show.
“The whole thing was fun to do,” he said. “It was fun practicing for it.”
Damron added he enjoyed acting and would like to do it again in the future.
Riley Brandt, another performer in the show, said she enjoyed the feeling of performing.
“I liked performing for people,” she said. “I liked how people had their eyes on me and my (castmates) were counting on me.”
Brandt said that during the production she learned an important lesson about public speaking.
“(I learned to) talk slower,” she said. “I used to talk fast because I’m scared, but I learned to talk slow so they actually understand. This was my fourth (read-aloud play). It was really fun.”
Sofia Moradel, another cast member, said she was nervous but learned how useful practice can be.
“At first I was really scared, but then today, I wasn’t scared anymore,” she said. “The more I practiced, the more I wasn’t scared. I used to mess up words, but the more I practiced, the more I got better.”
Moradel said she enjoyed that the audience was engaged in the show and not talking.