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Learning to Teach... Together

On November 4th, 2017, the 2017-18 TAP trainees gathered together once again at The Drama League for the second workshop of the year. The theme of this workshop: Lesson Planning & Learning Objectives.

Lesson planning can get really dense when approached head on. However, Facilitators Patti Chilsen and Karla Robinson decided to lead the group in an experiential model lesson, so that they experienced the first half of the day as students, rather than as Teaching Artists. Patti and Karla showed how to expertly weave art forms (theatre and writing) by bringing to life a poem by Kelly Norman Ellis title "Raised by Women." The participants used kinesthetic, sensory, visual, and spatial learning to enter the poem, building upon the multiple intelligence work from last week.

Once the participants experienced the poem a few times, Karla led the

group in an activity that had them creating their own poetry about where they are from. Using anaphora and sensory details, the participants brought to life their own unique backgrounds and vision, and the room was swirling with vivid imagery.

Next, Patti had the participants separate into groups, each choosing their favorite lines from their individual pieces. They combined these individual lines to make collaborative community poems - a CWP staple lesson! The participants took these community poems and created collaborative performance pieces, each using a secret ingredient given by the facilitators, including music, movement, pattern, props, and more.

The groups shared their performance pieces, taking a few moments after each one to reflect on what they noticed, what elements they did or did not include, and choices made by each team.

After lunch, it was time to unpack the morning's lesson, using Patti and Karla as model teachers. The participants remarked on what they experienced and the facilitators instructed them on how to properly scaffold a lesson, using open and closing rituals, intro and main activities, call and response and more.

The participants had lab time to brainstorm with their partners as well. Next week, the advanced trainees will present collaborative arts lessons with their partners, and the new & beginning and students will do so on December 2nd. We can't wait to see what innovative lessons they come up with. Stay tuned to see how those turn out!

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