Michigan schools considering a fully integrated and aligned fine arts curriculum now have a new resource at their disposal. School leaders at Concord Academy Petoskey are assisting other Michigan charter schools in the alignment and mapping of fully integrated fine arts curricula, development of a high-quality, comprehensive Internet resource, and implementation of professional development programs for new and aspiring teachers.
Dance/Theater and High School English Integration Technique
High school English class and Dance/Theater classes collaborated in a Japanese Haiku performance piece entitled "Omoi". Students wrote haiku poetry and then selected fifty or so that were used as the inspiration and foundation to choreograph and/or act out in a theatrical manner, i.e. warrior dance, tea ceremony and flower arrangement. Students were personally invested in the creative decision making process of producing live performance due to there work in the origianl writing assignment. A difficult process because there is no actual script but proved to be very rewarding for the students.
A is a struggling student who came to our high school as a junior. A is also living with a foster parent and has attended many different schools. The final assignment for this year in the study of world cultural dance was to write a reflective essay of five paragraphs. Students were to address the value of having learned about various cultures through dance on both a personal and global level. Initially this student produced only three sentences. When asked to redo and complete the essay he very angrily crumpled up the paper and threw it out. I asked him in a very calm and concerned manner to please try and see what he could do. A did complete his essay and it was remarkable how much thought went into it compared to his first draft. He realized that it was not so much for the teacher that what he did was important, but that it proved to be a valuable and rewarding experience for him.
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