‘Tis The Season To Be Jolly! At Seoul Campus!

Seoul campus music teacher Emily Grove and art teacher Karen Jung collaborated to pair a holiday concert with winter inspired artwork. Here Emily and Karen tell about the students’ work and performance. We’ll also hear why Jen Wright’s fifth graders sold their art.


Seoul campus is buzzing with Christmas spirit, as students are singing carols, creating winter artworks and selling prints to raise money for South Sudan.

The winter festival started with PK, JK and Kindergarten students performing in their annual winter concert on Tuesday, December 4th. Students performed different vocal pieces, as well as poems and dances. Music teacher Emily Grove said her students worked hard to get ready for their concert, learning how to use their voice, working on beat and rhythm, as well as poetry with hand play.

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Upper elementary students from first to fifth grade performed on Thursday, The fifth graders performed many familiar tunes on their brass and orff instruments. The fourth graders played some wonderful “Jingle Bells” on recorders, as well as singing and dancing with the third graders. Second grade also performed a dance, and sing their own winter holiday song. The first graders performed their vocal pieces for the audience, singing and reciting poetry. Towards the end of the concert the crowd got to enjoy watching all of our students perform “Merry Christmas” in Chinese, as well as dancing the Russian Dance from “The Nutcracker.”

Seoul Campus also hosted a winter art exhibition last week, showing our amazing student artists. Before and after the concerts, the audience was invited to look at the artwork. Kindergarteners created snowman collages with beads, buttons and shaving foam paint with a pinch of glitter. First grade students created landscape paintings of a winter scene and second graders created snow globes. Third grade students explored patterns and created paintings of hot chocolate to match the after-concert hot cocoa concession. Fourth graders experimented with cutting snowflakes and used their knowledge of different color schemes to design snowflake cutout designs. And fifth graders created linoleum block print postcards with their own special story.

Making Art To Build Wells

SC51This trimester fifth grade read A Long Walk To Water by Linda Sue Park, a book Jen Wright loves teaching. The fifth graders began reading the book, believing it was only a make believe story about a boy named Salva caught in war in South Sudan. “One day they were reading the book and it was only characters,” Ms. Wright said, “And then we watch Salva’s TED talk and when everyone realizes Salva is alive – it’s poignant.” And for the group of fifth graders, understanding the reality of Savla’s story gave way to their desire to help the people in South Sudan.

SCArtSalva Dut founded Water For South Sudan to build wells so people can have clean drinking water. “Some people don’t have the resources we use everyday in life. We don’t think about having basic needs,” Andrew said. In a village, a well of clean water increases good health. Jaywon explained that a well also means girls can go to school because they do not need to carry water all day, which the students found is really hard work! Thinking about what they learned from the book, the students agree that Salva teaches us not to give up. Salva walked for two years to find safety at a refugee camp before moving to the US. There, Salva wanted to return to South Sudan to help, and created Water For South Sudan to do just that.

While reading A Long Walk To Water, Ms. Wright’s class tweeted at Linda Sue Park to tell the author what they were learning and doing in response to the book. The class also set an ambitious goal: join the Iron Giraffe Challenge and raise one thousand dollars to build wells. This challenge didn’t end when the book was finished. At the winter concert, the class sold their artwork for donation, raising money to meet their Iron Giraffe Challenge.


Please contact us to be in touch with Jen Wright and her fifth grade class if you want to know more about or contribute to their Iron Giraffe Challenge. 

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