The set up began in part, the night before, as our Academic Mentors and the Learning Celebration Committee members, all came together to set up tables and get the stage set. I used a brick backdrop, black tablecloths, old empty wine bottles from an artist who collects them to make art, white daisies to stick in each bottle, an information tent about literary devices for each table so our guests knew what to look for in our poetry pieces (as they were broken out into sections by literary device, as they would be performing), and then some accessories for our stage to give it the cafe' feel! We had a parent barista and parents contribute to the food assortment. We served hot coffee and hot chocolate, with a cafe' bar for all the fixins' to top their drinks with! The Art Show was set up in a separate room, so they could enjoy their students' art as they mingled and got their plates of yummy treats!
The Art Show
The kids had a display of their first three art projects they they have been working on over the past six weeks of fine arts. Each display had information for the parents, informing them of what the kids had learned regarding that particular project. The art was beautiful, and the kids were very proud to show their guests their beautiful works!
Rehearsal Prep for the Kids
The kids got an opportunity to rehearse the previous week in class, and then they were given a special opportunity to rehearse in front of the residents of a local retirement and assisted living care facility. The residents loved the kids, and the kids got a great chance to boost their confidence in presenting their poetry to an audience. Here is a sample of my daughter presenting her poetry piece to them.
The day of the Poetry Cafe', the children came in their best Beatnik outfit, and ready to rehearse through the whole performance a few times before lunch, and then their actual performance! We wanted the final rehearsals to be fun and not too overwhelming for the kids, so we had a few fun things up our sleeve for the day! We started out the day with a silly video about how to be a Beatnik courtesy of Mr. Know It All...
Practice and Set Up for Performance!
Then the kids began getting set up and into their proper line up to perform. Then they ran through their whole performance with their Academic Mentor giving them pointers along the way, and making sure all the elements came together for a super performance!
Beatnik Dance Party Break!
Once the kids had run through their practices, then we took a fun break and had a little "dance party"! We played the "I Wanna be a Beatnik" music video, and the kids had a blast - dancing, forming congo-lines, and free-styling!
Next, the kids went outside for their virtue lesson of the week on Humility. We are continuing to work on Virtue formation each week in Community, and today's lesson was on the protection of God through being humble and submitting to God's directions. We played a game that was called Umbrella Tag. The kids proceeded to play a game of tag with one change; the umbrella was "safe" when the kids stood under it and they couldn't be tagged. However, they could only stay under it for 5 seconds and then they had to run again. They had lots of fun running around and tagging each other, and trying to make it to the umbrella before being caught. We discussed the analogy of how God is our umbrella of protection, and we must be humble enough to submit to his protection by obeying His commands. When the lesson was done, the kids were able to eat their lunch and then we followed it with a little celebration of Duck Donuts and hot chocolate.
Our barista in place, our videographer set up and ready to go and the food all out, we were ready to receive our guests. The students were able to mingle with their family and friends before their performance began, showing them their art and where they could find their coffee and treats. Then the poets were summoned back stage to get ready for their performance.
Final Thank You's
Our boys did a great job as the literary device sign carriers, helping to introduce each new literary device before the poets came out to recite.
We ended our Poetry Cafe' with my raffling off two books to our guests The Children's Book of Virtues and A Child's Garden of Verses. Then we ended with some flowers for our Academic Mentor's hard work!
It was a wonderful celebration of the kid's work! Everyone enjoyed it very much!
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