On December 17, the second grade presented a theatrical interpretation of their studies of the Solar System to parents, faculty, staff, and schoolmates. They named their play The Sun and His Friends, and students played the parts of the planets, the Sun and Moon, and an asteroid. With help from teacher Shannon Timoney, the class wrote their lines to tell the story of the planets and designed their costumes to communicate something about the god or goddess for whom their planet was named; for example, Neptune carried a trident, a familiar weapon associated with the Roman god of the sea.
The performance kicked off with the planets rotating in through the doors of the Multi-Purpose Room to music from the 2001: A Space Odyssey soundtrack. They then welcomed the Sun, who was dressed in a yellow cape and crown, to the stage. The individual performances were funny and informative, providing facts about our Solar System, such as that Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and is the fastest moving. Earth, dressed in a colorful blue and green dress with images of the continents, reminded the crowd that she is the largest of the terrestrial planets; Mars, wearing red, boasted that exploration may soon strip Earth of its title of the only planet with human life; Saturn preened in her tutu, telling the audience that they would want to “get out their cameras” to take pictures of her beautiful rings; Uranus circled the Sun while tipped on his side; and Jupiter reminded us that it is the largest planet, by far, and is known as the gas giant.
The students wrapped up a delightful performance with a booming, “Together, we are the Solar System!” Afterward, they sat on the stage for a Q&A with their fans. Their schoolmates were curious about the inspiration for their costumes and characters, and from the humorous responses, it was obvious the second graders really enjoyed the unit.
“This is always an exciting time of the year for the second grade,” Shannon said. “The performances are always creative and a great representation of what they learned in the classroom. Bringing their work to the stage also helps the students experience the wonder and significance of our Solar System.”