One December 2nd, 2017, our New & Beginning and Student Teaching Artist Project trainees gathered once again at The Drama League for a day of collaborative lesson plan presentations, while the Advanced trainees had a relaxing day off. These teaching teams spent the last three weeks collaborating on some innovative lessons, many for the first time, and for this fourth workshop we had twelve teams step up to present.
Our brave Performance Artists AnJu & Liz were up first, having designed a lesson for 9th grade girls around the idea of the body, theatre, and creative writing.
Noelle & Michael created a memory quilt with their “students,” guiding them in an activity around illustrating and sharing memories through story-making and visual arts. They prompted students with an engaging opening line: “I have an important story to share with you.”
Jean-Luc & Alyssa used Jacqueline Woodson’s poem “Group Home Before Miss Edna’s House” to tie memory to action, using images to inspire both physical expression and written poetry.
Michelle & Miguel planned an awesome lesson around superheroes and lyricism, designed to teach students to both find their individual superpowers and create a song lyric.
Cayenne & Xiaolin combined their theatre and visual arts powers to collaborate on a lesson that had their students creating characters with unique traits and personalities.
Kurt & Valerie had the room peeking into the future through poetry and visual arts, leading us in a power meditation on imagining growth and our future selves.
Meher & Ro expertly combined their art forms by creating texture and list poems with the group. They used strips of fabric to create “memory strand poems,” splitting the room into small groups that then created their own pieces.
Li & Reilly came up with an innovative lesson on scenic design and visual arts work. They asked how does considering spatial design (in theater) and background imagery (in comics) help form narrative? Their lesson took over the entire room and had the participants wanting to continue long after the timer ran out.
Dominic & Leigh introduced a new concept to the group: Afrofuturism. They used improvisation games and the digital collage works of Jessi Jumanji to create a platform where kids can think about who they are and who they could be.
We ended the day by unwinding with a community building game: Airplane.