We’re still solidly in winter, but spring will be here before we know it! A number of teaching artists on the Artists-in-Schools roster have programs celebrating the spring season, whether you’re looking for a creative way to observe holidays such as Earth Day or St. Patrick’s Day, or you just want to encourage students to take advantage of the warming weather to spend more time outdoors in the natural world.
Celebration of Seasonal Silliness (Grade levels PreK-6, Family Fun & Special Ed classes)
Songs, stories, rhymes and dances specific to the season!
Let Us Celebrate the Earth Together! (PreK – Adult)
These stories demonstrate ways we can act to protect the earth. The stories concentrate on how caring for the Earth is one way we care about our world. A local effort can have resonating effects on our planet.
Beauty Flies, Butterflies! (Grade levels PS-3)
This story program celebrates the butterflies’ wonderful life cycle and adaptations through old folklore and original tales. Puppets and huge butterflies add spectacle and wonder to the presentation. Younger students learn the butterfly song and they discover how butterflies came to be. This tale is followed by an original story told by two caterpillar puppets. One caterpillar longs to become a butterfly while the other is not at all sure how he can survive. He soon discovers that butterflies have their own ways of adapting and thriving. The students learn an interactive metamorphosis poem that describes each of the four stages. They will experience an original tale about a girl who discovers the secret of the monarch butterflies and uses it to win a treasure. This program is full of audience participation that encourages the students to take on an active role in the performance.
“Saints Preserve Us!” The Irish in America (Grade levels 8-12)
Saints Preserve Us! features the story of Sean O’Shaughnessy as he journeys from Ireland to America . The story begins in Ireland in 1845 and continues on through 1870, finally ending in Ohio. Through the character of Sean, the diaries, journals and letters of the Irish immigrants to America come alive. Listen as he tells of the onset of the potato famine, the booking of passage to America with his new bride, the crossing of the Atlantic and the loss of their first-born. Discover what he found upon their arrival in America, “the land with the door of golden opportunity,” the reality of life in the city, and their eventual move to Ohio where they settled. The script is based upon primary research and documentation along with Follin’s own personal family history.
The ABC’s of Children’s Books (Grades K-6)
Beginning with a funny presentation on her creative process, students will learn how the author gets her ideas and polishes them (repeatedly) to craft a poem or story. They will see how a book is put together, including preliminary art work and text revisions to the finished product. Grades 3 and up will participate in a poetry jam that gets even reluctant students performing poems. Teachers may choose the grade-appropriate title they want her to present to students. The author provides related writing and/or art lesson extensions and donates each book she presents to the school library.
Carol’s books include:
Spring Blossoms “An ode to the beauty of the season, this book is a catalogue of flowering trees that will charm children. Written in rhyming couplets, Gerber’s spare text leaves plenty of room on the page for Evans’s luscious bursts of color, including all the fresh pinks and greens one would witness on a fine spring day. . . Given the new Common Core priorities, this book is a real plus.” – School Library Journal, August 2013
Seeds, Bees, Butterflies, and More! “Ideal for classroom use, this collection of short performance pieces introduces seed distribution, plant germination, the roles of roots and sunlight, pollinators and some familiar creatures. . . With short lines, Judicious use of rhyme and interesting language, the poetry works well.” Kirkus Reviews, January 2013
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! (Grades K-6)
Jergens combines juggling with a Going Green theme for a fun and impactful show. Students will learn about natural resources and what they can do to save them for future generations. Highlights include unicycling, bean bag chair juggling, giant yo-yo manipulation, plate spinning, and a recycling game show.
Fun With Jewelry from Recyclables (Grade levels K-12)
The performance begins with Marlow sharing his personal vision of how recycling is necessary to protect the environment from pollution and waste. He demystifies the creative process by demonstrates recyclable materials being transformed into toys, games, jewelry, science projects and more. Students learn that recyclables are a valuable and fun resource to use to explore their own creativity and spirit of invention.
The workshops begin with Marlow talking about his career as a painter, sculptor and jewelry designer and how he came to work with recyclable materials. He then works one-on-one with students to help them make many things out of their plastic recyclables and encourage them to share ideas for how they would reuse these materials. The workshops come with an illustrated instruction book filled with great projects that serve as a jumping-off point for exploration in future classes.
Erin Go Bragh (Grade levels K-7)
On the 17th of March, everyone is Irish. The Irish are noted for their blarney, humor, literature and music. This is a fun program that provides an insight into Irish life and character through music and dance.
Sarah Goslee Reed
Environment…Earth Day Celebrations (Grade levels K-6)
This program includes songs of nature and environmental awareness, and includes elements of friendship, family, cooperation, honesty, and humor. Children are involved with singing, rhythms, and hand motions.