Sing & Soar with Flight Adventure Park and Nursery Road Elementary School
Updated: May 3
Imagine….an entire 5th grade class given the opportunity to compose and perform their own original opera. What do you think would happen? Let’s find out!
Nursery Road Elementary School, in Irmo, SC, was given this year-long project, known as “Creating Original Opera”, consisting of 5th grade students working together to build the opera from scratch utilizing just a theme and a thesis.
As part of the project, the students were given the ability to apply for 3 of 12 jobs for the opera, such as a composer, makeup and costume designer, performer, electrician, and production manager. Once the application process was complete, students were then interviewed, in which each student was guaranteed to be hired for one of the three jobs that they had applied for.
Lisa Brooks, Magnet Lead at Nursery Road Elementary, states that the philosophy behind the opera building is a “gradual release from teachers being in charge to then by the time to the performance happens, the students are in charge” (2:42).
Moreover, it was up to the students to collectively vote on where the setting of the opera would take place, where they agreed upon using Flight Adventure Park in Irmo. Flight Adventure Park, located approximately 15 minutes by car from the school, offers a thrilling and fun environment for the students to film, as they bounced high on the park’s trampoline attractions.
Not only did the setting at the park suite the theme of the opera, but it was a perfect fit for students to come together within the community to create a once in a lifetime experience, something both Nursery Road Elementary and Flight Adventure value in their mission to success.
“It is exciting to see them in a school setting and doing something else that is fundamental to education…we want to be able to see everyone around us form together and do something incredible” (1:35), said Flight’s General Manager, Brenshon Stovall when asked about the project.
Although the story of “Creating Original Opera” tells its own tale, Nursery Road’s year-long project delivers a true meaning of importance: teaching children real-life skills.
As the students strived to perform their everyday responsibilities within the opera, they were also learning fundamental life-skills, such as collaborating and working in a group setting, socialize, independent thinking, and problem solving without the help of a teacher or parent.
These life skills, along with others, are building blocks for child development, where they can apply the knowledge taught in the academic environment and incorporate it into the outside world in their everyday lives. From making new friends, to applying for their future first jobs, the children are more equipped to tackle real-world problems and strive for goals as they enter their future.
Applying these fundamental and life-skills acquired in school will further enhance the children’s drive towards success, character building and strengthen their confidence.
Teaching children life skills in the classroom helps them to grow, motivates them to try new things, and thus allows them to acquire new abilities which can boost their confidence levels.
Confidence is key, especially in children, when they are prone to making mistakes and facing changes. As they are taught real-life skills, children become more prepared which results in a feeling of security and confidence. In turn, children put more trust in their own capabilities, while at the same time, can better handle times of failure or making mistakes.
As seen through Nursery Road’s “Creating Original Opera” with the help of Flight Adventure Park Irmo, the 5th grade class took accountability into their own hands, working together to create an original opera from pen and paper to its live performance set to appear this April. With minimal to no guidance, the students learned fundamental life skills all on their own and acquired knowledge that they can incorporate into their everyday lives beyond the classroom. With such skills, these children are sure to strive for success, and just as an opera singer’s voice or jumping on a trampoline, reach new heights!