8th Grade Performance Studies

8th Grade Performance Studies is the time to be part of a Production crew to develop larger than life films.  We create documentaries, short films, and finally a film festival.

CONTACT Ms. Lulu at lcarpenter@seattlegirlsschool.org for more information.

Production Re-Launch & Guests from King 5 News

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In Production, we have finalized Character Sketches, MindMaps, and Plot Graphs.  We are in the middle of creating our first introductory scene for each Production Group utilizing the traditional screenwriting format learned in December.You can see students casting spells over whiteboards as they generate tons of ideas and see which one will hole.

Here are your trusted teachers who are ready to take you the final stretch into your final culmination!  Ms. Lulu is the 8th Grade Performance Studies Teacher and Kyle is the 8th Grade Art Teacher and during term 3 we transform into magical unicorns that combine our powers to become Production Co-Teachers.

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We were honored to have Amanda Grace and Emily Landeen from King 5 News come to SGS to talk about their experiences as women within their fields of cinematography, film, media, and the news.

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SGS Community Meetings have a new “Performance Studies SPOTLIGHT”

A new tradition at Seattle Girls’ School this year is to spotlight student works at our weekly Community Meetings that happen every Monday and Friday.  The SGS community of students, faculty, and staff gather as a whole to watch presentations from various grades.  The meetings are lead by students in 6th Grade.  This year Performance Studie

We have featured 7th Grade Bill of Rights videos along with students that have been published.

The 7th Graders had a long process creating parodies that highlighted the Bill of Rights, so we showcased their videos at Community Meeting.

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An 8th Grader shared the following poem about her Hijab (Photos by Devon Simpson)




‘My Hijab, My Wings’ — a Seattle girl’s poem

The Evergrey stated, “What’s it like to face discrimination for the things you believe? Sumeya Block is 13 years old and an 8th grader at Seattle Girls’ School. Last month, she attended “Make Your Voice Heard: An MLK Day Youth Advocacy Workshop,” an event where young people in Seattle helped each other combat Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. And she wrote this poem, she told us, to tell “haters and people who have misconceptions about Islam that regardless of their opinions, my Hijab inspires and uplifts me.” “

My Hijab, My Wings

By Sumeya Block

Purple, pink, blue, red,

     Soft, woven, knit flowy.


I wear wings on my head. I wear a hijab on my head.

The feathers, small fabric. Wing span the size of my


Swish, swish, swish, flap, flap, flap.

Keep pumping, holding myself up high.

Pieced together from the fragments of my world. These wings hold me, but sometimes they begin to


When the haters thrust their opinions my way. Their words raw and cold start to seep in, The fabric, my wings start to get pulled down by these false hands. These hands holding on to what they don’t want to accept are lies.  Because that means they are wrong and the monster is not me.


               I Remember.

I am unapologetic.

   I am Sumeya.

I will let the fabrics of my life carry me away. Up and down, always afloat always strong.

             Always a bird.

When I falter,

              I go higher.

T(ea) Time Storytelling Unit in Performance Studies with Traditional Written & Oral Tradtions Compared to Virtual Reality (Language Arts Collaboration)

We just finished our collaboration with 8th Grade Language Arts (LA) and we investigated the essential question “Can you write compelling personal narratives using effective techniques, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured sequences?”

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We were able to write personal narratives within Language Arts (LA), so we can “compare and contrast” the difference between oral traditions and written craft.  We also pulled students from within classes to experience Virtual Reality (VR) narratives.

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Storytelling is timeless, so we shared how culture and histories are built on stories.  We have been studying and writing personal narratives as well as performing personal narratives during T(ea) Time.  Also, we have been studying empathy which means, “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” Through storytelling in historical and traditional ways as well as through new technologies, we learn how we can build empathy for ourselves and for others across difference.

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Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) DOCUMENTARY UNIT with Production and Global Studies


8th Grade Production just wrapped up their collaboration with 8th Grade Global Studies.  We submitted all their documentaries to “Speak Truth To Power” Student Video Contest.

We began the term by focusing on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), spearheaded by Eleanor Roosevelt within Global Studies. Students then worked in small groups to independently research a current human rights issue. They identified one or more individuals or groups working to address the issue locally and created a five-minute documentary on their findings within Production utilizing Final Cut Pro and basic HD Cameras.

We practiced and built upon skills from Intensives, such as camera shots, transition effects, photo additions, and text changes. Some students chose to interview Human Rights Defenders and learned interview techniques. We learned to collaborate with a Production team to manage our time, communicate effectively, share work roles, and work independently.

Some topics included:

  1. Human Trafficking
  2. Homelessness
  3. Racial Bias in the Criminal Justice System
  4. LGBTQ+ Youth and Suicide
  5. Homelessness
  6. Voting Right
  7. DACA & Immigrant Rights
  8. Domestic Violence

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SJCU Three Paragraphs – 1 Paragraph per symbol

SJCU Homework for Wednesday November 2

Of the six symbols you brainstormed, please select THREE and write a PARAGRAPH FOR EACH SYMBOL. (three paragraphs total)

  • Your paragraph should fully explain your symbol.  This is your opportunity to speak for your shoes! What would they say? What does the symbol mean? What is the backstory?
  • Paragraphs should be typed
  • Each paragraph should be a minimum of four-six sentences
  • Please include specific examples and plenty of details
  • Your writing should be edited closely (spelling, punctuation, etc.)

Classroom Discussion & Notes on Microaggressions (Social Justice & Cultural Understanding – SJCU)

In class, today we talked about microaggression.  A microaggression can be rooted in racism, sexism, or discrimination based on nationality or sexual orientation along with other forms of oppression. It can be delivered casually or even unconsciously. And it can unleash effects that add up over time.

IN-CLASS ASSIGNMENT:  Watch the following video and take notes.  Place in your binder.

  1. What is the definition of a microaggression according to this video?
  2. What are the different types or levels of microagressions?
  3. Name examples that you see in film.


IN-CLASS ASSIGNMENT: Watch this video about microagressions in regards to someone’s culturally significant name.  In the last assignment, the example was not specific, but in this video remember that a microaggression is similar to numerous mosquito bites or “tiny attacks” on a person emotionally and mentally.

  1. How does this relate to discussions and assignments where we discussed the meaning and importance of  names?
  2. What did you notice?

ASSIGNMENT: SJCU Family History Interview

Family History Interview

Due dates:

-10/12: Interview should be scheduled and noted on your planner

-10/18: Interview should be completed, interview notes should be typed up, reflection completed and ready to share with classmates


Introduction and assignment description for interviewee:

Dear __________________,

This is an assignment for a class at Seattle Girls’ School called Social Justice and Cultural Understanding (SJCU).

The goals of this assignment are:

  • Interview a family member
  • Reflect on their stories and make connections to their own life
  • Provide space for students to feel comfortable sharing their family story with classmates

The purpose of this assignment is to connect students with personal stories to help them gain insight into how life was for their family 30-70 years ago.

You have been chosen because you have a valuable experience to offer. Our hope is that this assignment will help your interviewer gain a personal understanding of how systems, particularly in the United States, might have changed or remained the same from the time you were an 8th grader.

Thank you for your time and wisdom!

Guiding interview question: What was life like when you were my age (in 8th grade or just about to enter high school)? OR Describe a day in your life when you were my age.

After you ask the guiding question, here are some follow up questions you might ask:

-What was the year and where did you live?

-What were things you remember about that time?

-What was important to you at the time?

-Where did you live? Describe the neighborhood you lived in.

-Describe the people you were living around, going to school with, socializing with (racial, income, gender, religion)?

Follow up questions continued…

-What were your out of school experiences or responsibilities?

-What was your biggest concern when you were an 8th grader?

-Did you notice any differences between boys and girls at your age?

-What is family and what makes one?

-Is family important?

-Culturally, how do we define family?

What internalized messages do we get about family?

-What language do we use about family that makes assumptions? Example: Using the phrase “parents” instead of “guardians”

What to turn in:

  1. Detailed and typed interview notes (one page minimum). It can be difficult to stay engaged in an interview and record everything your interviewee is saying. Consider recording your interview if you have the technology available to do so and transcribing it after the interview.
  1.     Typed reflection

Part 1) Answer each of the following questions (minimum of one paragraph for EACH question)

      -What was something you learned?

      -What was something that surprised you?

-What similarities and differences did you notice between your interviewee’s responses and your own life?

Part 2) Pick ONE of the 3 I’s of Oppression questions and respond (minimum of one paragraph)

-What messages did your interviewee internalize growing up (about themselves, their family, race, religion, class, or culture)?

-What interpersonal experience(s) did your interviewee share about either gender, race, religion, class, or culture and how were they impacted by this experience?

-What institutions were either oppressive or beneficial to your interviewee and how were they impacted?

FINAL NOTE:  Both your interview notes and reflection should include a heading with your name, class, assignment name, and date. Interview notes and reflection should be double spaced, Times New Roman, size 12.

3 I’s of Oppression Scenarios Activity

3 I’s of Oppression Scenarios Activity

Seattle Girls’ School – Social Justice & Cultural Understanding (SJCU)



DUE: Wednesday, October 5, 2016 

Instructions:  Place these scenarios on the triangle indicated by their number….






Scenario 1: A young Asian woman hates the shape of her eyes and wants to get plastic surgery to make them more European looking.

Scenario 2: A group of men make remarks to a woman on the street about her body.

Scenario 3: Although black people account for only 12 percent of the U.S. population, 44 percent of all prisoners in the United States are black.

Scenario 4:  A young black girl is walking down the hallway at her school and her classmate reaches out to touch her new hairdo and says, “Your hair doesn’t feel like I thought it would.”

Scenario 5: A six-year old boy brings a Barbie to show and tell and the teacher tells him that boys do not play with dolls

Scenario 6: In 2015, female full-time workers made only 80 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 20 percent. Women, on average, earn less than men in virtually every single occupation for which there is sufficient earnings data for both men and women to calculate an earnings ratio.

Scenario 7: Someone leaves a comment on an online video about LGBTQ rights that says, “Homosexuality is a sin.”

Scenario 8:  In an immigration raid in Laurel, Mississippi, Latino workers are separated from their black and white co-workers and are singled out for immigration checks.

Scenario 9: A young person says her name is “Fayyaad.” Another student says, “That’s too hard to say, can I just call you Fay?” She says “Sure!”

The 3 I’s of Oppression and Culture | Social Justice & Cultural Understanding (SJCU)



Oppressive systems operate on several levels simultaneously. All too often, discussions of oppression with people start and end with the ways in which people oppress one another interpersonally, and fail to examine the ways that oppression can be both institutionalized and internalized. We want to see and examine how it functions in our lives internally, interpersonally and institutionally (the Three “I”s), as well as culturally. Oppression operates on many levels. Our job as change agents is to undo oppression, so let’s map out how change is possible.

Institutional Oppression:

The network of institutional structures, policies, and practices that create advantages and benefits for some, and discrimination, oppression, and disadvantages for others. (Institutions are the organized bodies such as companies, governmental bodies, prisons, schools, non-governmental organizations, families, and religious institutions, among others).

Interpersonal Oppression:

Interactions between people where people use oppressive behavior, insults or violence.

Internalized Oppression:

The process by which a member of an oppressed group comes to accept and live out the inaccurate myths and stereotypes applied to the group by its oppressors.


The way people live with their values and belief by developing traditions and customs. Culture is characterized as a way of life or being that is sometimes not named or seen. It is seen in art, language, institutional practices, social groups, and more.

Journal Entry #2

  1. What feelings or thoughts came up for you during the “Step in/Step out” circle activity? Explain.
  2. Explain one of the forms of oppression described above in your own words.
  3. What are the 3 I’s? Please give 1 example of each.

Journal Rubric

Length requirement? (4-6 sentences per question) Yes                                No
Turn in on time? Yes                                No
supporting details (thorough, detailed and give specific examples) Yes                                No