December 10, 2021

Dear Parents,

We didn’t have Mass this morning, so we read the daily readings from the USCCB website instead. The readings talked about how Jesus was a friend of sinners. We listened to a song by Casting Crowns called, “Jesus, Friend of Sinners”, and enjoyed the painting that was “performed” alongside the song at one of Casting Crown’s live concerts. We also finished filming and editing the scenes for the Nativity video. This was a huge deal for the kids and took two weeks of research, writing, and filming. During the process, they learned how to use a green screen (it’s trickier than it seems) and how to use one of the many video editing apps, Power Director. Today we sent everything off to Mr. Anderson so that he could add in each grade’s contribution to the final production. Look to the newsletter for information about “Opening Night”.

This week we read “A Christmas Memory”, a short story by Truman Capote. This is an iconic work from the author of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “In Cold Blood”. Truman Capote masterfully uses imagery in his writing, and we saw many instances of imagery that ignited the senses. After doing some research about the author’s life, we realized that “A Christmas Memory” is autobiographical in nature and is a nostalgic telling of Capote’s relationship with a much-older cousin. We will begin writing Christmas memories of our own next week and will finish them in time to send home for the holidays.

We started a mini unit called “Protest Nation” in which we explore what it means to protest. We talked a lot about some of the protests we have experienced (either live or on the news) and how protests are meant to get people’s attention and spur them to think differently about an issue. We looked at some great examples of art as protest and explored the idea that art can plead, argue, and provoke as much as other forms of protest (like marches and sit-ins). Today, the kids chose an issue and will need to do some research about that issue. They will have only next Monday during social studies time to complete an art project (a poster) that represents that issue in a creative way. They may not use a slogan or artistic idea that was created by someone else – it must be original. When they present their posters on Tuesday, they will first need to present the issue they chose, tell why they chose that issue, give some background on it, and mention both sides of the issue. They will then present their poster and explain why they created it in the way they did. This will culminate our “abuse of power” unit.

I will be sending an overview of the “Legacy Project” next week. This is a long-range project in which the students study an ancestor and write a narrative biography about the person, then create a 50-page album about them. Although we won’t really launch the project until January, I am sending the overview before Christmas so that those who will be seeing relatives during the break can start gathering information, family stories, photos, etc. about the person they choose. The person must be a grandparent or (preferably) older relative.

Next week will be busy with a few things:

Thursday, December 16th: “Hamilton” watch party in the afternoon. Kids can bring treats and blankets for the floor. I am still waiting on a few permission slips. Kids without permission will spend the time helping in another classroom.

Friday, December 17th: Kids have a white elephant exchange in the morning. They should bring a wrapped gift worth no more than $10. It need not be store bought.

Friday, December 17th: Kids make gingerbread houses with their Kindergarten buddies. We still need a bag of candy (jellybeans, gum drops, etc.) from each 8th grader to make this happen.

Friday, December 17th: School out at 11:45 for Christmas break.

Have a great weekend!



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