Maracatu & Co-Teaching


The fourth TATIP Saturday workshop was a highlight of the Teaching Artist Training & Internship Program (TATIP) for me – both planning for it and actually implementing the lesson. 

We were put in pairs according to our school placements. My partner Janet and I set to work choosing our focus. We discussed our interests and strengths and arrived at maracatu, a Brazilian performance style. I have some familiarity with maracatu and, as it is primarily a drumming style, we would be teaching in Janet’s art form music – so we both felt well represented in our choice. 

We met out of class time to plan our lesson. We worked well together and were enthused by each other’s ideas. Any differences of opinion we had extended both of our thinking and, in my view, created a better lesson.

We chose to present the initial 15 minutes of our lesson to the class. This included: a warm-up name game using a Brazilian drumming beat, and then an introduction to maracatu by providing some initial facts and vocabulary, playing a song and inviting the students to move to the music, and finally showing the students images of the instruments and performers. The rest of our lesson would have included a main activity where students split into groups and learnt an Afro-Brazilian beat and then performed their different rhythms together. We would finish our lesson by returning to the warm up activity, but this time sharing one word to describe our experience of the lesson rather than our names.

Janet and I stayed in contact through the week as we refined and submitted our lesson plan and planned for our lesson presentation. We were the first group up on Saturday so we met early, went over our presentation and got excited!

Presenting to our fellow classmates was a lot of fun. It was my first time co-teaching and one of my first times leading a lesson in the United States. The supportive environment of our class was affirming and energizing. 

Having our own presentation out of the way, it was a pleasure to experience all of our classmates’ lessons. All of us brought elements of our passions and expertise to the lessons. A standout for me was Jehan and Alex’s lesson. They used poetry, colour and shapes to combine both of their art forms – creative writing and visual arts. I was utterly engaged in their lesson for third graders, which made me think deeply about how colours and shapes are part of poetry and vice versa.

This Saturday workshop really highlighted how many different styles and subjects can inhabit Teaching Artistry. It was wonderful to be able to support one another and learn from each other at the same time.

-Krystalla Pearce, Theatre Artist, TATIP Trainee