Isabel – What really goes on behind the scenes in musicals? (Genius Hour Oct. 2014)

Isabel shared so much about what is involved in making a musical, drawing on her experiences in the audience at professional musicals, her involvement in our school musicals and also community theatre. She also used some video and print sources that shed light on behind the scenes.

What happened behind the scenes of movies – Isabel discovered that she already knew most of the information and she hit a few brick walls. Instead, Isabel decided go into musicals instead because she felt that she could generate some deeper questions. Musicals are a whole lot of work! The behind the scenes people

Isabel created a diarama with props to help illustrate the elements of a creating a musical:

  • painting sets
  • lighting
  • fog
  • props
  • special effects
  • costumes
  • hair
  • make-up

Writers, composers, musicians, conductors, chorus singers…..choreographers, dancers……Makes the production truly COME ALIVE!

Sometimes elements are developed but then the director changes direction and everything has to be redone!!!

Special effects are usually a trick of the eye!

  • secret doors and compartments on the stage
  • special springy things and electric lifts that bring people out of the walls or sets
  • special hallways behind stage that allows people to do scene changes and movement more easily — can look magical but it’s just
  • lighting — can create a mood and develop a character (green light for scary witch)

Stage makeup  stays on better  than regular makeup, and you can be all covered in makeup, which makes you very hot under the bright lights. Wigs are fun, and also make actors hot. Sometimes actors will even dye their hair to match their wig! Costumes can also be very large and bulky — which again adds to the heat

Isabel connected to the acting we recently saw from Big Kid Entertainment — large movement is important so people can see from all parts of the audience.

A production is a BIG TEAM EFFORT


backbone — directors, stage crew, backstage (sets, costumes, hair, makeup, props, lighting)

Child actors: very stressful for them! Young to have such pressure because all actors can make or break a show!


I wonder how child actors can do all of this since they are so young? (Matt)



Greg – Who is Zlatan Abrahamovich? (Genius Hour – Oct. 2014)

Greg shared with us important information about Zlatan Abrahamovich:

  • background information – born in Sweden
  • important winning goals
  • famous goals (he scored 6 goals from the half way line on the field!)
  • position on the football field (European soccer)
  • 15 million Euros per year
  • current team: Paris St. German (PSG)
  • trick shots that he is famous for
  • hobbies – fishing

Greg shared a video with an amazing goal by Abrahamovich!

(Photos to follow!)

Additional wonderings:

  • What are some of the traditions for jersey numbers and why are there such traditions?
  • I wonder about ballet and pro soccer (Elise)


Ava – How do animals help people? (Genius Hour – Oct. 2014)

Ava shared that animals can be helpful to humans in many ways

  • entertainment
  • clothing (sheep wool)
  • help people during emergencies (e.g.  cat alerted family about odorless carbon monoxide, beluga whale saved a drowning woman, pot bellied pig ran into the road to alert someone that the owner had had a heart attack)
  • Service Animals: help people (e.g. push buttons for opening doors, gets objects for people who can’t walk, miniature horse or dogs helping people walk down steps, help blind people get around)
  • help with mental health (e.g. help us feel better – we can talk to them or pet them)

The students made all sorts of connections to this, our second animal themed Passion Project!

Lingering questions:

  • I wonder if there will be a step up and more people will be able to use a service animal? (Isabel)
  • I wonder if service animals are better to use (more reliable) than technology that can stop working? (Ava)
  • I wonder if certain species of animals or groups of animals (like mammals) are better suited to be service animals and why?
  • (Ms Fawcett)








Julia – How were dogs domesticated? (Genius Hour – Oct. 2014)

Julia shared with us several theories as to how dog were domesticated.

All theories began with one starting point: wolves. All modern dogs evolve from wolf ancestors. Students were able to make a ton of connections as they reflected on dog breeds and characteristics they are familiar with. A lively discussion arose about what dogs would be like today if humans hadn’t begun to selectively breed to bring out certain characteristics (Answer: without human involvement in selecting mates, all dogs today would still be wolves!). Julia led the class through understanding various traits that humans wanted (e.g. short snout on a bulldog) and the effects on the dogs (e.g. short snouts lead to breathing issues).




Lexie – Who created different types of dance? (Genius Hour – Oct. 2014)

 Lexie shared a visual display giving the history of several types of  dance from Western culture (European based culture, including culture in Europe, and European culture that was shared with other parts of the world, such as North America)

Folk Dancing (Serbian)
Break Dancing
Ballroom Dancing

Who invented types of dance?

Who invented types of dance?