Singin' in the Rain (Forest)

Michael Porter
Singin' in the Rainforest is a collection of songs and dances that help reinforce science concepts related to the rainforest.
Singin' in the Rainforest is a collection of songs and dances that help reinforce science concepts related to the rainforest. The show ties directly into the 1st grade curriculum, as students have been learning about the rainforest in their homerooms. The necklaces they are wearing on stage were made in class as part of the unit. 

"This is a new show for JCDS," said music specialist Jessica Barker. "Rather than adapting a previous show to fit Covid protocols, I was challenged to research age appropriate material and write the show from ground up."
Each of the three classes will bring to life a science topic and animal topic through song and dance -- with an introduction, a topical science piece, and two pieces about an animal.

For example, Ms. Szallay's class will create a rainstorm using body percussion, Ms. Brinson's class performs a song about toucans, and Ms. Ellis' class sings about the layers of the rainforest (forest floor, understory, canopy, emergent layer). Ms. Barker made sure each class had equal learning opportunities and ample ways to highlight each student.

"We transform the room into a rainforest, complete with the four layers," said first grade teacher Kristin Szallay. "Our study of the rainforest is cross-curricular. We explore the rainforest biome through music, art, and literacy."

Singing limitations have also been a challenge this year, due to Covid. Ms. Barker is slowly introducing singing back in a way that is safe and follows guidelines from the National Association for Music Education, including wearing masks and limiting the amount of time for singing as a group.
"We are all anxious to get back to singing again," Ms. Barker said.

The dance numbers are choreographed by Ms. Lexie Bristol. All of the students participate in the dances together. Ms. Lindsay Curry steps in once again to lend her dramatic expertise.

This is the final grade level show for this especially challenging year. However, Ms. Barker made it work, even providing opportunities for the hybrid learners to participate.

"My number one goal this year was to provide a performance opportunity for every child in the school," said Ms. Barker. "The show must go on!"
Located In Jacksonville, FL, Jacksonville Country Day School is a private school for Pre-K 3 through 6th grade. JCDS prepares students for a healthy and productive lifetime of intellectual exploration, character development, and social responsibility.