What is Recitation?
Once each fall and once each spring, PCA holds a very special night called Recitation. At Recitation, the students have a chance to present many of the poems, songs, chants and jingles they have learned over the past semester to a room full of family, friends, and those interested in learning more about the school. Afterward we mingle, have some refreshments, and tour the classrooms. The students’ desks display some of their work from the semester, and the walls display some of their artwork. Our spring Recitation night was May 2.
Recitation is a night for our students to practice presenting in front of people as well as display to their loved ones much of what they have been learning. I have yet to attend a Recitation that did not amaze me. I know our students work hard and learn a lot, but listening to a sampling of the sheer volume they have learned in one semester always astonishes me.
After an opening prayer, the whole school gathered on stage to lead us in worship. In confident unison and strictly from memory, the whole school sang through Psalm 1, recited Galatians 5:22-23 and The Apostles’ Creed, and together we sang all the verses in the song, “All Creatures of Our God and King.” I must admit I needed my song book and my children did not!
From the Kindergarten class, we heard the poems “Wide-Eyed Owl,” “Snow,” “Caterpillar,” and “The Daffodils.” They recited quotes by Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. They sang “The Clock Song,” the “Ocean Song,” chanted about North, South, East and West, and recited the answers to the Children’s Catechism questions 9-20.
The second and third grade class recited more answers to the Children’s Catechism, The Lord’s Prayer in Latin, English grammar jingles, and math facts. They sang the “States and Capitals Song” and a section from their history song, which chronicles the major historical points throughout the New Testament, in Greece, and in Rome from 2200 B.C. to 476 A.D.
One of the most animated presentations of the night was the second and third grade recitation of Lewis Carroll’s poem “Jabberwocky.” Written by the same author who wrote the whimsical and nonsensical book Alice in Wonderland, “Jabberwocky” was a fun piece for the students to memorize and express with their faces and motions as they recited.
The second and third grade class also sang a few songs, directed by their music teacher, Mrs. Peery. They sang “Alleluia,” “Ah, Poor Bird,” and “Kyrie Canon” by Andy Beck.
Mrs. Peery also teaches music to the fifth, sixth and seventh grades. They sang “Simple Gifts/Pachelbel’s Canon,” “Antiphonal Kyrie,” and a historical pub song from the revolutionary war, “There Was an Old Lady Lived Over the Sea.” The students recited “Song” from Pippa Passes by Robert Browning, the introduction to the Declaration of Independence, the preamble to the Constitution, and “Opportunity” by Edward Rowland Sill.
After this, all the students in the school came onto the stage and finished the evening with the song “Alleluia, I Will Sing,” a recitation of Proverbs 3:1-12, and the song “Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands.” One of the board members thanked the teachers, the students, and the parents for their involvement this year. Then we all went to the reception hall where smiles abounded, mouths were full, and parents and students alike were proud of the semester’s work displayed on their desks, on the wall, and all around for all to see. As usual, it was an inspiring Recitation night!