|If we want students to really grasp what they learn about a subject, we should provide opportunities for them to teach that subject to someone else. The fourth grade classes taught their elementary schools across the Hobbs Municipal School district about New Mexico through cultural songs and dance. Every elementary school decked their halls in art work including colorful lizard paintings and papier-mâché Hot Air Balloons. This spotlight of New Mexico was part of the American Education Week celebration.
The week was welcomed by clear turquoise skies which is typical of Lea County during this time of year. The parents and students in attendance experienced a collage of culture representing the different groups in the state. Rhythms from the Navajo focused on the indigenous nations that have called New Mexico home the longest. There was music about how to spell Albuquerque, eating spicy jalapeños and getting your kicks on Route 66. Student narrators moved the musical presentations along by speaking about the symbols, legends and famous faces of the state. They asked the state question – “Red or green?” One audience member answered back “Red!!!” There were tunes about the railroads and oil industries that have established the economy of the state. A whirlwind of student dancing ensued and represented the Hispanic Culture much to the enchantment of their parents. The performing students displayed many elaborate costumes celebrating the colors of the state. This district-wide presentation would not be complete without the state of New Mexico’s official song “Oh, Fair New Mexico”. Some schools also chose local arrangements about the state written by our own music teachers Mary Ann Brown and Cindy Roberts. Most importantly our district observed the initiative of our music teachers in collaboration with their 4th Grade teachers and the 4th Grade classes. There were also a few younger grades that joined in leading the celebration. In typical New Mexico fashion these teachers and students worked tirelessly for the last few months getting ready to teach their schools about New Mexico.
At the end of the day, as the sunset painted itself across the eastern New Mexico sky, we reflect on the lessons learned during the New Mexico Centennial Celebration. This week about New Mexico has taught the students their place in the state’s past, present and future and is summed up best in the words of Mrs. Heister’s classes’ last song: “We all march to the beat of a different drum but we are learning to live under the same sun.”
If you have any questions about the Elementary Fine Arts Program you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your interest in the arts.
Elementary Fine Arts Coordinator
Hobbs Municipal Schools