Grange Elementary to cultivate spirit of winter games through music and movement


Although the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia aren’t set to begin until the opening ceremonies on February 7, Grange Elementary School is already cultivating the Olympic spirit that will soon be felt around the world. In order to generate student interest in the worldwide competition, school music teacher Ashley Miller, along with physical education teacher, Jeff Tolson created their own version of the famous opening ceremonies on January 10.

“We wanted to do something that incorporated our idea of connecting the various curricular studies of physical education and music along with the interdisciplinary studies aligned with the Common Core Curriculum, said Ms. Miller. “We wanted to raise awareness of just how important an event that happens every four years and causes the world to pause for a few weeks and put its differences aside truly is.”


On January 10, students participated in a school-wide assembly in which each grade level wore colors corresponding to the Olympic rings. Each grade created a grade-level flag donning symbols that represented each student individually. As the ceremony began, teachers each lit a “torch” that will not be extinguished until the closing ceremonies on February 10th.

The opening ceremony is the precursor to a four week Music and Movement unit in which Ms. Miller and Mr. Tolson will be teaching students how the elements of music (rhythm, beat, and patterns) can be incorporated into dances for various songs ranging from classical to hip-hop style music. In addition, each lesson throughout the unit will contain information on the events of the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The students will also learn about the mascots of this year’s Olympics and will have an opportunity to create their own mascot for the Grange Olympics.

An assembly for the closing ceremony for the Grange Movement Olympics will be held on February 7, which is the actual opening date of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. Each grade level will perform their routine piece for the school during the closing ceremony.

According to Mr. Tolson, “Students are really enjoying this unit as it truly reaches out to a variety of learners (students who enjoy gym, music, and art). It allows students an opportunity to express themselves in ways that they may not otherwise be able to.”






Spotlight contributed by Jamie Barnes of Grange Elementary
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