Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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  Connecting With The Arts Home   A Teaching Practices Library, 6-8
  Watching the Video
  Connecting to your Teaching
  Addtional Resources
  About the School
  Q and A with Teachers
  Program at a Glance
  School: Hand Middle School
  Location: Columbia, SC
  Grade: 7
  Disciplines: Music
Visual Art
Social Studies
Language Arts
  Description: Creative connections between arts and non-arts subjects

Making Connections

Boy playing french horn in a band Program Summary
Teachers of music, visual art, and theatre build thoughtful connections to topics their seventh-graders are working on in social studies and language arts.
Preview the Program  
  The Integrated Instruction
Mary Lou Schweickert Mary Lou Schweickert, Band Teacher
I try to make a lot of connections for my kids. The seventh-graders have been studying World War II, and in band we wanted to tie in with that. I’m trying to get the kids to understand the importance of bands in military music, and how they can inspire enthusiasm as people go off to war.
Mary Ann Odom Mary Ann Odom, 7th-Grade Social Studies Teacher
The biggest tie we have with arts people is working on the World War II unit. One lesson I do about World War II involves reading letters from a young woman on the homefront to her sweetheart. Most of the time when our students learn about World War II, they’re thinking the people were old, but we’re talking about very young people - the lady in the letters was 22.
Sharlyn Turlington Sharlyn Turlington, Visual Art Teacher
I talked to Mary Ann Odom about how to connect some of my work to what she does in geography. So I had my students go to the computer lab and do research on countries that they were interested in visiting. Back in the art room, they’re interpreting what they learned on a big piece of paper using chalk pastels and scratchboard. I think that makes geography come alive.
June Kirkland June Kirkland, Chorus Teacher
The all-state junior high choral committee selected a piece called “Come Travel With Me,” and when I saw that it was inspired by Walt Whitman I just had to have it. In language arts the students are working on Whitman right now, and one of the teachers wanted to know what I was doing with this piece, and she even gave me some background information to help out in chorus.
Karen Shull Karen Shull, 7th-Grade Language Arts Teacher
We have been analyzing a Walt Whitman poem, “O Captain! My Captain!” We have also been doing a unit called “The 1940’s, Decade of Change.” Through that unit, we study art, literature, music, and drama. Many of the students are also in a drama class, where they have been doing a production of Fiddler on the Roof. So we try to make connections with some of the things that they’ve been studying in drama.
Jennifer Larson Jennifer Larson, Theatre Teacher
Fiddler on the Roof gave students a lot of context for the history of Jews prior to World War II. It was a multi-level process of learning. The first was academic. The students were asked to choose a topic related to Fiddler, research it, and give a formal presentation. Step two was rehearsal, where you're not only rehearsing a play, you’re also teaching the skills of theatre. Finally comes production, where backstage etiquette actually counts more than memorization.

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