Scott Rosenow reads as teachers bring the story to life.
Leah Coop gets a reaction as she reads a story to her group .
S aterra Dixson (right) pantomimes with her partner.
SCEA Brings the Arts to Educators
To the delight of her colleagues, East Lake Elementary School teacher
Saterra Dixson recently pantomimed the story If You Give a Pig a Pancake
during an Arts Integration in the Elementary Classroom Workshop at Battle
Elementary School. The Southeast
Center for Education in the Arts (SCEA), a nationally recognized professional
development institute located at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga,
held the workshop.
As a student, I was not taught in an arts integrated fashion; the
arts were not brought into instruction at all. Since we all know everyone
learns differently, this approach includes different learning styles.
You read about integrating the arts in books, but to actually experience
it in the classroom makes a tremendous difference, Dixson said.
Since 1988, SCEA has been helping administrators, arts specialists, classroom
teachers, artists, and parents understand the nature of art, dance, music
and theatre as they discover exciting ways to integrate the arts throughout
the curriculum. Innovative research and programs in comprehensive arts
education and school reform have enabled elementary and secondary schools
educators from across the nation to establish the arts as vital components
in the basic education of all students. In recognition of this successful
integrated approach to the arts, SCEA, under the direction of Kim Wheetley,
Lyndhurst Chair of Excellence in Arts Education, was the recipient of
the 2003 Tennessee Governor's Arts Leadership Award.
Current SCEA work is focused on exploring, assessing, and documenting
ways in which ongoing professional development, multi-arts education,
and arts integration can enhance learning and transform schools.
We have 62 participants from nine Hamilton County schools including
Battle Academy, Big Ridge Elementary, Boyd-Buchanan School, Chattanooga
Christian, East Lake Elementary, Hillcrest Elementary, Ooltewah Elementary,
Thrasher Elementary, White Oak Elementary. Other teams are from Louisiana,
Georgia,and Covington, Tennessee, Wheetley said.
As the teachers in the workshop used theatre techniques to tell a story,
they were learning ways to incorporate the arts into social studies and
Specifically, the teachers were demonstrating story sequence and
how it is often based on cause and effect. Earlier they were presented
with story objects, and they explored ways to create a story from the
objects, using the objects as props. Later they used pantomime in teams,
and then they investigated insertions to the story, or additions to the
story, Scott Rosenow, Theatre Director for SCEA, said.
Rosenow explained to the teachers that creativity is required when the
group extended the story, and if members got stuck, they asked for help.
Similarly, instead of helping each child individually, group problem-solving
is a valuable tool for the teachers and students.
Teachers also created a string story, using bookmark-sized paper. With
few words, they drew a series of events, fashioned after a cartooning
story board. These can be attached to a piece of yarn, and hung
on the classroom wall or students can take them home to hang, Rosenow
First grade teacher Leah Coop from Covington Integrated Art Academy in
Covington, Tenn. enjoyed her learning experience.
Its awesome. I teach first grade, so as I learn new techniques,
I am thinking of ways to incorporate these ideas. For instance, as I teach
beginning and ending sounds of words we can use objects in a story, matching
pictures with words. These ideas are exciting because they are hands-on
learning techniques, Coop said.
For more information about the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts
and upcoming workshops, please email Kim Wheetley or call (423) 425-5204.