Elementary Arts Integration Course
Day 1: Introduction
The overall aim of our first day is to introduce the course and to become comfortable interacting collaboratively and creatively together. Everyone is expected to participate as they are able.
Head and Shoulders, Baby [Music–Singing Games] This is a traditional singing/hand-clapping game. We learn this game in order to get everyone up and singing/moving from the beginning. It also gives a chance to discuss the experiential nature of the class and the expectation that participants will approach the class from a teacher’s perspective: behaving as themselves (not taking on the role of children) and thinking always about how to apply what they do in class to their future or current classrooms.
Down Down Baby (Links to an external site.)—Another popular singing game.
Name and Gesture [Drama–Improvisation Games, Pantomime] Our version of this classic is a work-up game. Everyone says their names twice accompanied by an action. After we learn everyone’s action and name, we play the game: Everyone is sitting in a circle. The leader begins and says their name twice followed by someone else’s twice. That person says their own name twice (with the action) followed by someone else’s, and so on until someone messes up. Whoever messes up goes to the end and everyone moves up one space. Be sure to keep the beat throughout. (See another version from Augusto Boal's FORUM THEATRE for teachers: Notes from a workshop at Athen Conference 2000, by Susie MacDonald and Daniel Rachel; see also Theater of the Oppressed)
What Are You Doing? [Drama–Improvisation Games, Pantomime] An improvisation/ pantomime game. Someone asks “What are you doing?” but you say something different from what you are doing and then that person has to do the thing you said you were doing.
Chalkboard Brainstorm: What good can come from these experiences? What are the most important things you will teach? The main point: The arts can get at the heart of what’s most important in elementary teaching and learning.
Introduction–Get to know your teacher. Fill out name/picture cards.
The Syllabus–This is a basic rundown of the syllabus and associated resources for the class. Students are expected from this point on to keep up with every requirement in the class without reminders—which actually saves you from having to depend on getting reminders from the teacher. Also remember to wear comfortable clothing from now on so that you can move and do art projects. Finally, be “present” in each class; no multi-tasking.
Discussions–Review how to complete the discussions
The Website–Introduction CORE learning experiences. Reading and discussion assignments.
Polygon Portraits (Links to an external site.) [Visual Art–Collage] Participants create self-portraits using polygons cut from construction paper and glued onto a construction paper background. The point is to create an expression of oneself rather than a realist image. This relates to the Cubism movement in visual art and also a chance to really get creative and "think outside of the box."
Watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKquUggzqpg (Links to an external site.)
Make-up for Day 1
If you missed class, you can catch up by completing the following within one week of the class:
- Review five of the Singing Games from the website by following the link for Head and Shoulders Baby. Write 250–300 words reflecting on what you saw and its relevance to you as an elementary teacher.
- Read the handout/link about Augusto Boal’s Forum Theatre for teachers. Write 250–300 words reflecting on how you might use these ideas with children and what they could gain from them.
- Follow the link for What Are You Doing and explore improvisation games. List five more (in addition to the ones listed above) that you might use in your teaching. Beside each one, include a couple of sentences describing how you might use it in your own teaching.
- Carefully review the syllabus. Write 250–300 words reflecting on what you hope to get out of this course. Email the teacher if you have questions.
- Complete a Polygon Portrait (follow the link for the instructions) and bring it to class for display along with the others.