This past Thursday two of our teaching artists, Pierce Purselley and Stacey Volland, led a workshop about energy in a 3rd grade classroom at St. Elmo elementary, a low income school in south Austin. This workshop is part of our program called Teaching the TEKS Through Theatre, where we send professional teaching artists to schools to use theatre techniques to teach core curriculum.
Usually we collaborate with classroom teachers about subjects that their students struggle with and find ways to make the lesson more dynamic using theatre techniques.
The 3rd grade team at St. Elmo were eager to have us do an introduction to energy, a subject that is tested frequently on the state standardized test.
For this workshop, the students met two scientists who told them that the sun in very sad because he is feeling unimportant. In order to convince the sun not to leave our solar system, the students had to learn about different kinds of energy and teach these concepts to the sun.
Here students are learning about the reflection and refraction of light by a playing a game. The idea of the program is the get students out of their desks and kinesthetically involved to understand the concepts.
It was a great day and we are excited about growing the program!