The Upper Grades students worked hard on the class play in the two weeks prior to Winter Break. By week two, the students had immersed themselves into their characters and the story. The class worked together to lift each other up and enhance the production with many of their own ideas for their characters and the set. In Waldorf education, the class play serves multiple functions beyond being an additional branch of arts education. Pedagogical theater is a tool for developing individual capacities in students and also serves to strengthen the social dynamics of the class as a whole. Our end goal is not just an entertaining experience for the audience but also a vehicle for the students to stretch themselves and grow through the art in ways that may not come naturally. Our block and public performance of Gilgamesh exceeded my expectations, and it was a delight to behold the unique growth of each student in the class. This article expands on the function of pedagogical theater in the Waldorf schools: https://www.waldorfpublications.org/blogs/book-news/why-a-class-play-in-waldorf-schools
This week, the Upper Grades class is settling in to a study of Ancient Greece which will culminate in their participation in the Pentathlon along with students from other Waldorf schools in the southeast.