4th Grade’s Visual Arts Performance Stone Soup
At a recent Tuesday Chapel, our 4th grade students put on a production of “Stone Soup: a ‘Rock’ Opera.” The musical presentation was based on the fable of stone soup. In the story, a group of soldiers arrive in a small village and begin to boil a pot of water with only rocks inside. The soldiers then convince the townspeople to contribute ingredients in order to make a meal that everyone can share.
The production came together after a month of preparation, featuring collaboration on the parts of both of the 4th grade classes, their teachers, and their parents. The teachers in charge of the production were the 4th graders’ music and art teachers. The main mind behind this production was the music teacher, Norita Hoegel, who coordinated with art teacher Joyce Ng to help fully execute her vision for the stage design.
Students from both the standard and LAD 4th grade classes took part in the making of this small showcase. Because they share their art and music classes, they were able to join forces to put together this performance during class time — the students practiced lines and songs during music class and helped to paint and painted the sets during art class. Outside of class, though, the students and their parents sourced props together, and the parents helped the children in making and acquiring their costumes.
To cast the variety of roles featured in the production — from narrators, to soldiers, to villagers — the 4th graders went through a small audition process. Many of the roles called for solo parts in songs, and some students were also tasked with scripture reading and prayer, giving 4th graders the opportunity to have their own feature moments on stage. These moments allowed the students to build their confidence in front of a crowd, and a handful of students were able to express themselves in ways that were previously unknown to, perhaps, even themselves.
The overall structure of the production, from the collaborative nature of its design components to the many different roles within the story itself, allowed for the students to showcase their own talents while also bolstering up the rest of their classmates, and the 4th grade as a whole. The production content highlighted the students’ individual talents as well as their abilities to perform and interact with one another, and the physical design elements exemplified the value of coordination and cooperation.
Alongside their performance, the 4th graders also shared accompanying verses from the Bible to round out the chapel. The first verses come from Romans 8:29-29: “We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like His Son.”
While the fable of stone soup itself is not a Christian story, its values overlap with biblical values — the same values we aim to instill within our student body. The fable a traditional folktale that imparts a lesson on sharing resources with the community, a message not unlike that found in the Bible, urging Christians to work together, support one another and worship together.
The second verse shared during this presentation was 1 Corinthians 12:17, which states, “All of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it.” The story’s moral, that of the importance of community and collaboration, is too a reflection in itself of the time and teamwork that allowed the 4th grade to put on a great show.
LACS does not have a traditional performing arts department, but opportunities like this allow students to experience something similar to that of other, larger campuses. Students get an audition and rehearsals, contribute to stage design, and ultimately get a chance to perform live in front of an audience. A presentation such as this one allows for our students to experience the joys of the performing arts eevn without the presence of a larger, fully-funded program. Community resources, time and effort are more than enough to allow our students to show off their creativity and talent, and can glorify God all the same.