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Students learn lessons on stage

First-grade teacher Janet Yessayan uses theater as a teaching tool

Posted: June 8, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 8, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Tinman Noah Garcia, Lion Joshua Talamantes and Wizard of Oz Evan Lavo in a scene from the play.

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Sulphur Springs Elementary School first grade teacher Janet Yessayan has found an innovative teaching tool that is popular with both student and parents.

Her annual production of “The Wizard of Oz” has evolved to include elaborate costumes, props and scenery, as well as lessons in teamwork, vocabulary and grammar.

The 21 first-grade students began rehearsals in April for the show that was recently performed before other students and parents.

Yessayan began including “The Wizard of Oz” performance in her classroom curriculam 16 years ago. She has taught at Sulphur Springs Elementary since 1986.

The collection of costumes used in the show keeps growing, Yessayan said.

Some of the costumes have been made by parents and others by Yessayan.

“Every year, I add a new costume. This year, I added a new munchkin costume,” Yessayan said.

Yessayan has always had the show performed on stage in the school’s multipurpose room.

“This is great for the children’s self-esteem, and it also gives them a wonderful memory,” Yessayan said. “It’s a great learning experience. We incorporate all parts of the curriculum when we do the show.”

 

‘The Wizard of Oz’ cast

Narrators:  Romeo Garcia, Johnny Garcia, Cierra Coia, Sophia Maybin, Juan Ortiz and Kenny Sapolsky. Auntie Em: Kira Strauss. Uncle Henry: Anthony Martinez. Dorothy: Brooklyn Rappe. Toto: Makaiya Cortinas. Cyclone: Gavin Edmiston. Wicked Witch: Jordan Campa. Good Witch: Sophia Maybin. Munchkin Mayor: Sean Spencer. Munchkins: Shriya Rajesh, Cierra Coia, Isabelle Tanzman, Kenny Sapolsky, Juan Ortiz and Rheyana Murillo. Yellow Brick Road: Andrew Oliveri. Scarecrow: Shane Lester. Tinman: Noah Garcia. Lion: Joshua Talamantes. Guards: Johnny Garcia and Anthony Martinez. Wizard: Evan Lavo. King Monkey: Romeo Garcia. Monkeys: Andrew Oliveri and Gavin Edmiston. Winkies and kittens: Cierra Coia, Kira Strauss, Isabelle Tanzman, Shirya Rajesh and Rheyana Murillo.  

 

mbuttelman@the-signal.com  /  661-287-5590 

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