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Dancing Across Cultures

Thursday, February 9, 2017

"Throughout the year, we encourage families to share their different cultures, allowing our school to come together as a community, expand our knowledge, and partake in unique experiences."

Lunar New Year Lion DanceGlobal Citizenship is an important component of the KLS Graduate Profile. We aim for our students to spend time abroad, collaborate with international counterparts, and learn to communicate in another language. Because our world is increasingly interconnected, we believe our students must have a global lens in order to become effective leaders. Our multicultural teaching team focuses on empowering learners to face global challenges and solve problems with deep empathy.

Our teachers integrate global citizenship education into their project designs by inviting families to share their personal traditions. In Independence Level 1, Sonia Cho and Brooke Love seek out hands-on, interactive opportunities for students to relate content knowledge back to their (and their classmates') personal lives. During Term 3, Sonia and Brooke chose to engage students in learning about Lunar New Year, a celebration that holds special meaning for a number of their students.

"Throughout the year, we encourage families to share their different cultures, allowing our school to come together as a community, expand our knowledge, and partake in unique experiences," says Brooke. "This is one way our students are able to play a part in their learning; they become so engaged with these exciting opportunities."

Learning about Lunar New Year also ties into IL1 students' term project on Ethics & Justice, as students are exploring other countries through music. 

"Throughout history, music has long been used by those seeking social justice or as an ethical response to support a cause," says Sonia, who is in her third year teaching young learners at KLS. "Artists, musicians, and ensemble groups have used their musical talents to inspire, bolster courage, and foster a sense of community. Our inquiry for the term is, How can ensembles make positive change in the world? As the final culmination of the term project, students will come together as an ensemble to perform a song and dance and do their part as an ensemble to make a difference and help end world hunger."

As a special treat during the students' study of global cultures and music, one IL1 family brought a Lunar New Year tradition to campus: the lion dance (舞狮, múa lân, 사자춤, 獅子舞). The entire school was able to enjoy a special dance presentation outdoors in celebration of the arrival of spring (Feast of the First Morning of the First Day, or Tết Nguyên Đán in Sino-Vietnamese). The lion dance is often performed during Lunar New Year celebrations to bring good luck, fortune, and happiness to the community.

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