Sea Cliff School Brazilian Culmination

Sea Cliff 3rd Graders Participate in Interdisciplinary Brazilian Culmination

At Sea Cliff School, third graders had an interdisciplinary culmination combining lessons in art, music, history, and global issues as they ended their extensive study of Brazil. Many families were invited to attend the culmination to hear their children play instruments replicating the sounds in the Amazon rain forest, see drawings of animals, and listen to books the children wrote regarding their cultural and global studies on Brazil.  

Music teacher Ashley Hassett-Bordes said, “The music primarily focused on the rainforest and its different layers. My students and I talked about how the instrument sounds were meant to mimic the sounds heard in the rain forest. The drum circle represented the four layers of the rainforest - the forest floor, the understory, the canopy and the emergent layer - and how they all connect and work together.” She added, “During the culmination, my students played instruments including hand drums and shakiras, and each group played a different rhythm pattern. These patterns were layered together creating one overall sound - just like in a real rainforest!” The Brazilian instruments were made from natural resources from the region.

In addition, as part of the Interdisciplinary unit, third graders in art learned to organize their thoughts prior to creating their artwork through participating in discussions, visualizing, sketching, experimenting, and reflecting. Art teacher Lisa Giurlanda said, “We analyzed artwork as a form of text. We discussed a variety of global issues and students were encouraged to use different mediums to research and express their various topics of concern.” Many chose to draw photos of animals in the Amazon rain forest.

The young Sea Cliff artists were encouraged to make thoughtful decisions about their work and really shared topics they felt passionate about. Ms. Giurlanda concluded by saying, “All of the third graders at Sea Cliff were immersed in the art processes to create a powerful work of art. They learned that through thoughtful decision making, art can be used as a way to express their feelings, ideas, and thoughts with the world.”

Article and photos by Shelly Newman

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