Our Spanish specialist holds the philosophy that children learn language most effectively by being immersed in it through active involvement. This encompasses singing songs, playing games, art projects, role play, and having fun, all in Spanish, of course! To add interest to learning Spanish, especially in the upper grades, we use Spanish to discuss topics important to the students and use the Internet as a major resource to soak up the target language. Our teacher speaks mostly Spanish during classes so that the input the students are receiving is in Spanish, not English. There are five components to learning a language: reading, writing, speaking, listening, and culture. Students will work on all five, but in the lower grades, especially Pre-K– 1st grades, they will focus more on speaking, listening, and culture. Our Spanish teacher has lived in Ecuador and Brazil, and has traveled to many other Latin American countries. Besides Spanish, she has also studied Portuguese and French.
Drama is an integral part of education; it aids children in language and communication, problem-solving, creativity, and teamwork. Drama also enhances empathy and social awareness, as well as self-concept. At Hope Lutheran School, we offer a comprehensive drama program that fosters all these elements, and we have tremendous fun while doing so!
The first part of the school year in drama is dedicated to getting ready for the Lutheran Elementary School Tournament (LEST) held at Concordia University in Portland for grades 5 through 8. Part of the competition is dedicated to drama with typically 12 to 16 schools participating. We are pleased to offer an award-winning program beginning with auditions in October and rehearsals right up to competition time in February.
In April, Hope’s after-school drama club begins and is open to children in grades 4 through 8. Each year we offer a different theme, whether it is Ancient Greece, Shakespeare, or comedy, the weekly two-hour program is built around that theme to include learning creative drama (improvisation, mime, skits), stage fighting (hits and naps, sword-fighting, falling) and putting on a play. The program culminates in an evening performance for family and friends that showcases every aspect of what was learned.
Hope also offers an enrichment program based on drama sponsored by the Parents and Teachers of Hope (PTH). Through our partnership with The 5th Ave Theatre, they bring us Adventure Musical Theater which engages students through storytelling, song, and dance. The productions are created by local composers and writers and are designed to include standards-based educational content. Study guides come with the package so that our teachers can incorporate the various themes of each year’s musical into their day-to-day curriculum.