"In the end, designing Bennett Day Fun Festival wasn’t really about learning how to run a music festival. It was about working together to achieve developmental milestones in a meaningful and authentic fashion, and, of course, making a little music along the way."
Posted: September 24, 2020
Written by: Ms. Camacho and Ms. Washington
Last year, community collaboration was at the heart of our work in 1st Grade Camacho/Washington. Students, teachers, and families came together to create “Bennett Day Fun Festival,” a music festival featuring our classroom band, The Grandy Band. This idea emerged when students performed songs and used loose parts to design a stage and instruments during Explorations. Working in pairs and small groups, we researched music festivals, designed festival elements, and wrote songs about various topics, including math! As we delved further into our project, we realized we were surrounded by people at Bennett Day with many talents to share and wrote letters to community members requesting help.
Watch the video below to see our project-based learning journey (you don't want to miss our performance of "We Are The Grandy Band" that starts at 4:10)
An Interdisciplinary Adventure
In TESLab, we worked to make electronic instruments using various computer programs and basic circuitry. We designed our stage using Lego pieces to create a model and a repurposed pallet for the final product. In Art, we designed our logo, created band pins, and painted clay structures to display in our merchandise booth. In PE we created “Grandy Band Ball!” Combining physical and cognitive developmental skills, participants practiced underhand tossing to hit the target and used addition to find their total score. Dr. Page from Bennett Labs taught us how to use interviewing as we designed our experience, while the third grade class band, Broken Hearts Band, gave us tips for songwriting.
A family connection provided an awesome opportunity to visit School of Rock! We learned about numerous instruments and their sounds, played rock band instruments - bass guitar, electric guitar, drums, keyboard, and a microphone - and performed “Come Together” by The Beatles and “Ain’t No Man” by The Avett Brothers. It was very important to us that everyone could eat at “Everybody’s Food Truck” so Profé Suarez helped us translate the menu into Spanish. We experimented with rhythms and explored sound vibrations in small group sound stations during music. Even our song titled, "We Are The Grandy Band," written with help from Mr. Granquist, highlights the importance of collaboration and unity as it illustrates that we are just people, creating music together.
Conducting experiments from “The Science Book of Sound” allowed us to experience the scientific method. Our study of music exposed us to math and literacy as we looked for language in album covers and band posters, wrote letters, read song lyrics, used measurement in our designs, and graphed data such as festival names and musical instruments. Our food truck spurred a study of money and gave us practice with math code such as addition and subtraction while also incorporating language as we wrote and read the menu.
In the end, designing Bennett Day Fun Festival wasn’t really about learning how to run a music festival. It was about working together to achieve developmental milestones in a meaningful and authentic fashion, and, of course, making a little music along the way.
Want to learn more about our project-based approach to learning?
Join us at an upcoming Open House.