The Education/Outreach Department is offering in-school workshops that use theatre techniques to engage students in classroom learning. These workshops meet specific needs of a school’s curriculum—from social studies to science, English to math, theatre to art. For this program, two teaching artists go to a classroom and use drama techniques including taking on roles of characters in literature, learn vocabulary through movement and gestures, and reenacting situations based on historical events and places.
This past fall we piloted this program at Metz Elementary school where I worked with 3rd grade stuents who participated in a dramatic journey to the center of the earth. Along the way they worked together to solve problems including the identification of the various layers of the earth and its corresponding types of rocks and minerals.
Here we have just entered the room as secret agents calling on the next great scientists to help us on our mission.
The students and I are walking through lava as we travel into the earth.
In their evaluation of the pilot workshop, a teacher wrote:
“This is a very exciting way to get our students to learn about a subject that is often dull and difficult to teach. Because it was a different approach to learning, the students were excited and attentive, allowing them to really internalize the information presented. When we took a test on rocks I saw them acting out the drama exercises they did to help them remember difficult vocabulary. I wish I could teach this way all the time, but I simply don’t have the time or the resources. I would bring this program back in a heartbeat.”