Artist in Residency Grant - Round 1
ACHF Arts Access ACHF Arts Education ACHF Cultural Heritage
The Electricity of Poetry: 1. Expose students to performances of poetry written by the artist. 2. Engage them in voicing responses to the material. 3. Each student creates an ‘object writing’ poem. 4. Learn aspects of effective delivery with opportunities to share poems with peers. 5. Generate interest in joining the after-school Creativity Club led by the artist. “Folk Songs Are For Singing: 1. Expose students to live performances of American folk songs. 2. Engage them in voicing their responses to the material. 3. Teach students to sing 2 - 3 folk songs. 4. Students learn about the cultural/historical context of these songs. 5. Continue to generate interest in joining the after-school Creativity Club. After-school Creativity Club (Individual and small group mentoring.) 1. Students select one or more of the following goals: creating and performing works of poetry, fiction, essay, drama, and songwriting, with optional use of additional mixed media. 2. Learn techniques for activating creativity and warming up physically and vocally. 3. How to give and receive supportive feedback. 4. Apply tools of effective editing. 5. Acquire new performance skills.The artist will use Inquiry Questions in all settings to obtain feedback from students. Participation levels in exercises, assignments, and performances demonstrate a successful outcome. Teachers will be asked to share their observations about students in regards to reaching proposed outcomes. Students in the Creativity Club will write a short piece as a final project describing what they learned and accomplished.
THE ELECTRICITY OF POETRY: Classes went very well. I could have improved the learning process by having handouts that give several examples of writing that includes all 7 senses. I received gratifying comments from all 3 teachers: I really like the music/rhythm and vocal exercises! I know the students took pride in their poems. Thanks for the guidance you provided for their writing! -Ashley Roemer, 5th grade Language Arts teacher; I have caught a lot of students writing poems! Identifying the seven senses has really helped their writing. It was also really nice to see some of my students get out of their comfort zone and participate during the more active activities. It was a good community building exercise. - Ben Anderson, 5th grade Language Arts teacher; A lot of my kids have been pretty excited about poetry since your visit. I’ll be building off of some of the great basics you gave us. They also love all your comments and really like that a published author/artist gave them advice and not just their same ‘ole teacher! - Brooke Thrall, 5th grade Language Arts teacher; FOLK SONGS ARE FOR SINGING: I was blown away by how great the kids sang and how quickly they learned. By sharing a couple of original songs that were set in Minnesota (one historical and one contemporary) they got to experience and respond to music they had never heard before. I think that their experience of the folk songs was enriched by learning about the social and historical context and that will stay with them whenever they hear or sing those songs again. There were a few students who did not participate fully. I understand that singing does not come easily to everyone and I wished that I had more time to connect one-on-one to better understand and support each student. In my very last class the regular teacher was absent, and although there was a sub I found it much harder to keep them focused and on task. Ms. Kreitlow is a talented and engaging performer, and students were intrigued by her original compositions. We were able to make connections between folk music and prior units of study, as well as compare and contrast different versions of the folk songs presented. Their exposure to folk music, especially the concept of songwriting as a literary and storytelling tool, enhanced subsequent units of study as well. - Jana LeClaire, music teacher; CONCERT FOR FIFTH GRADERS: I especially enjoyed this aspect of the residency. I love that all three sections were assembled together. The concert was held in the auditorium with a sound system and good lighting and felt like a very special event. As well as sharing some original songs I had set two student poems to music. They responded to those just as I hoped; with pride, joy and enthusiasm, instantly singing along on the choruses. I ended with The Erie Canal which they learned in the Folk Singing classes. Obviously they had the entire song memorized because they sang loudly and enthusiastically. Melissa Marudas from the Central Minnesota Arts Board was on site to video the event, so some delightful footage is archived and an edited version now on the Central Minnesota Arts Board web site. I will make this available to the school as well. AFTER SCHOOL CREATIVITY CLUB: I started out with thirteen students which receded to nine over a few weeks. This was due to health and family issues, a student moving mid-semester, and possibly one or two who were either uncomfortable or disinterested. The remaining students participated fully. I was especially pleased with how supportive they were of each other and that performances and displays of their original works will be shared in the school's Arts and Academics Showcase. The mix of grade levels (5th - 8th) worked well and allowed new friendships to be forged. I created a questionnaire to obtain feedback which they filled out during the last session. Favorite things about being part of the club were: “getting more comfortable with singing in public, trying new things, meeting new people, letting my creativity pour, and “poem acting. Specific things learned included: what haiku is and that it rocks!, “that some people are loud and some more shy,” and to claim my space. What they learned about themselves and their abilities were: “I am a poet!, how good I was at acting, not knowing that I was such a good poet, and “that I can and will be loud even when I don’t know it. (This last comment was from a very shy student.) A couple of students felt like they could have used more support and positive feedback while others felt encouraged by everyone, felt pushed to do new things (in a positive sense), and people said I was a really good singer. I realized early on that I needed to provide quite a bit of structure to make this program really work - more than I first anticipated. If I facilitate a similar program again I would tighten the focus so students know more specifically what to expect.
Other, local or private