February 14, 1912 is the birth date of my native home of the great state of Arizona. And this past year, we celebrated 100 years. Of course, this is cause for a show! The 4th graders in our state study Arizona as part of their social studies unit curriculum, so we designed a show specifically to highlight some of the many wonderful features of Arizona. An Arizona show would not be complete without the mention and singing of the song, "Route 66". This sparked the idea of an Arizona road trip and the need for an awesome van to take on the road. (Or at least sit on the stage.)
Our Arizona van could seat 6 passengers at a time, which was great for speaking parts! The students were able to pass the cordless mic from performer to performer while seated in the van.
As the director of the show, I thought of this crazy idea to have a van but it was the incredible skills of Lori the Amazing Paper Lady that made it happen. The following pictures will show you how the van was able to remain upright during the show.
Lori used cardboard and some panels of wood to make the frame of the van. Cardboard slats were placed over the chairs and the kids sat on top of the cardboard and chairs.
The driver held the steering wheel up and pretended to drive.
And there you have our Arizona van!
To help the students understand the placement of Arizona's counties, they learned a song and made a map on stage in front of the audience. First, the prop looked somewhat like the Arizona state flag, minus the copper star in the middle.
The kids enjoyed making the map and the audience had a strong visual of where the counties in Arizona are located.
It was wonderful to see the cross-curricular connections between social studies, cultures, community and music. To watch the audience sing along and tap their toes to the music promoted an experience between people that only music can provide. Music really is the universal language.
Happy 100th Birthday Arizona!