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SVVSD fifth graders perform Shakespeare in the Park

Each performance was roughly 30 minutes long
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150 fifth graders perform Shakespeare in the park

Fifth graders in the gifted programs of eight St. Vrain Valley schools gathered on Friday to perform their adaptations of Shakespearian plays in Collyer Park. 

Four stages were set up around the park, allowing students to participate as actors and audience members. 

The program is designed to do more than show off students’ acting skills. 

“The festival allows students to apply advanced comprehension and language skills into a creative celebration of learning,” said Jennifer Mayer, gifted and talented coordinator for St. Vrain Valley Schools. “Students access critical reading, writing, thinking and speaking skills as well as leadership opportunities to create a dynamic and memorable experience that is both challenging and engaging.”

Teachers begin teaching their Shakespearian curriculum in January. The lessons focus on building vocabulary, understanding how the stories unfold and more, according to Mayer. 

Each school has a different way of deciding what they will perform. Some schools offer students options while others let the students vote among themselves. All activities are student-led, Mayer said. 

The 30-40 minute performances are also up to the students. The plays on Friday varied from authentic renditions of the play to students’ interpretations. 

Participating schools included Erie, Black Rock, Blue Mountain, Central Highlands, Lyons and Niwot elementary schools and Soaring Heights PK-8.