Two grants allow students hands-on learning at N.D.

CRESCO - Notre Dame School has been awarded a $1,500 R.J. McElroy Grant and a $250 grant from the CUSB Bank Student Learning Fund for their “Bringing Us Together through Mardi Gras” project. 
Art teacher, Ms. Kelly Schwartz, and music teacher, Mrs. Meghan Ringoen, collaborated on this project. It brought kindergarten through sixth grade students together as they celebrated the culture and tradition of Mardi Gras. Students gained a deeper understanding of celebration through a focus on New Orleans art styles and jazz music.  
At the beginning of this project, students were introduced to Mardi Gras traditions, how they connect to the church calendar and what the celebration looks like in New Orleans. Following this introduction, the art and music teachers provided experiences and explorations of jazz and New Orleans art styles that connect to Mardi Gras.
In art class, each grade level studied and created projects that demonstrated their understanding of characteristics of New Orleans art, such as mediums, colors, patterns, artists, techniques and styles. 
Culminating projects included kindergarten king cake collages, first grade jazz inspired chalk art, second grade parade paintings, third grade bead mosaics, fourth grade plaster Mardi Gras masks, fifth grade vinyl album art and sixth grade costume and float design. 
The grants supplied necessary art materials and a digital document camera for demonstrations.
In music class, kindergarten through sixth grade students experienced, explored and learned about Jazz music.  Kindergarteners listened to high and low sounds in Jazz, first graders sang and experienced solfege and melodies, second graders explored meter and time feel third grade performed the ‘big four’ time feel pattern that is common in New Orleans Jazz, fourth grade experienced singing Jazz music and fifth grade learned some jazz slang through their song. 
In addition, the sixth grade students are participating in an extended Jazz unit that includes singing Jazz music, swing dancing, exploring the elements of Jazz, improvisation and Jazz appreciation activities. The grants supplied an Orffmobile mallet instrument cart.
To culminate this project, student work is being shared with the community through art displays and recorded music and videos. Students will view the projects in downtown business windows by ‘parading’ by the windows to enjoy the art and scan QR codes to listen to musical performances. 
The displays in downtown business windows will be available for viewing until March 2. All are welcome to join in our celebration and learn about Mardi Gras and jazz by visiting the displays. 
Happy Mardi Gras from Notre Dame!

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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