For Teachers & Teaching Artists

The Scientific Mime

This workshop, for Pre-K–3rd-grade or 4–8th-grade teachers, gives the tools to teach abstract scientific concepts in a concrete, embodied way. It will help you and your students get physical while exploring physical science. A mime can show and deal with invisible forces, like gravity, electricity, & magnetism. A clown tripping is a clear example of an object in motion encountering a change in its motion when it is acted upon by another object. Mimes like to become animate and inanimate objects and explore them as characters–why does the moon always gaze at the earth, revolve around her, and hide her face and then reveal it again? Learn some simple mime techniques–push-pull, stillness, isolation–and some new approaches that will engage your students in learning and provide a way in for your kinesthetic learners.

The Scientific Mime – was amazing and soooo much fun! We learned ways for students to explore science concepts in a way that directly relates to them – using their bodies to create movement, force, momentum, etc. I really enjoyed experiencing how miming relates to these complex ideas.


Games We Can Play That Teach ELA Standards

Learning can be fun if we make a game out of it. In this workshop for Pre-K-2 teachers, we  play non-competitive movement and theater games that teach a variety of standards, and then parse out how to lead them and the standards they can be adapted to. It’s fun! And educational!

CCR English Language Arts Standards K-1.RL.1 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text. 2.RL.1 Ask and answer who, what, where, when, why, and how questions to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text. K-1.RL.3 Identify (describe) characters, settings, and major events in a story. 2.RL.3 Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges. K.RF.2.a Recognize and produce rhyming words. 1.RF.2.c Isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and final sounds in spoken single-syllable words. K-2.SL.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners in groups.
NC Essential Standards in Theatre Arts  K-2.C.1 Use movement, voice, and writing to communicate ideas & feelings. K-2.A.1 Analyze literary texts and performances.
NC  Essential Standards in Dance K-2.CP.2 Understand how to use performance values (kinesthetic awareness, concentration, focus…) K-1.CP.2.1 Use body and voice control in personal and general space.


Using Drama to Elicit Details & Elaboration

Creative drama activities help students discover details in their writing. This workshop for teachers leads them through a process that teaches students how to move safely and with control in the classroom and how to facilitate imaginative and dramatic explorations of characters, places, and situations. These explorations lead to vivid, detailed writing.

Participants will:

  • learn how to teach children to move safely and with control in the classroom
  • learn several game structures that can be used repeatedly and adapted to teach a variety of curricular objectives
  • gain confidence with using movement in the classroom
  • understand how movement games and structures can boost memory, aid kinesthetic learners, foster creative thinking, and teach cooperation
  • make connections between, movement, and their curriculum
  • make creative choices
Curricular Connections
NC English Language Arts Grade 3-8.W.3 Write Narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. Grade 4 2.05 Make inferences, draw conclusions, make generalizations, and support by referencing the text. Grade 5 3.01 Respond to fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama using interpretive, critical, and evaluative processes by:…examining reasons for a character’s actions, taking into account the situation and basic motivation of the character.
Theatre Arts K-8.C.1 Use movement, voice, and writing to communicate ideas and feelings. 


How Do I Get My Students to Collaborate & Discuss Effectively?

The English Language Arts Speaking & Listening thread requires collaborative discussions in pairs, small groups, and larger groups. How do we teach our students the behaviors, methods, and expectations that allow for productive group discussion and collaboration? In this workshop, teachers will explore the basics of effective small group processes (such as sharing leadership and responsibility, paying attention to group process tasks, using positive language, intensifying listening skills, and developing a class norm of skilled collaboration) and how to weave them into class work.

Curricular Connections

CCR Anchor Standard English Language Arts 1. Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.  3-5.SL.1.b Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles. 3.SL.4 Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
NC Theatre Arts 5.C.1.2 Apply appropriate vocal elements of volume, pitch, rate, tone, articulation, and vocal expression in various types of formal and informal presentations. 5.C.1.3 Construct original scripts using dialogue that communicates ideas and feelings.
NC Health ICR.1.1 Classify behaviors as either productive or counterproductive to group functioning.


Creating a Cooperative Classroom for Learning through Drama in Grades 4-8

Especially for teachers who want to use movement and drama in the classroom to teach Science, Social Studies, and English Language Arts, this experiential workshop demonstrates how to guide students to move in the classroom safely and with control. Sheila includes techniques that build collaborative learning skills into a classroom norm. Teachers gain an understanding of how to lead movement-based exploration of curricular objectives in their classroom. They take home a guide to leading the activities they take part in during the workshop. This workshop was developed during a Kennedy Center training.

Teachers enact the crucial moment in the William Tell story.

What a Kennedy Center evaluator said about this workshop:

“Well-planned, fabulous, engaging, with the right touch of humor–you got tired teachers up and excited.”


Curricular Connections: NCSCoS-ELA Speaking and Listening, Comprehension and Collaboration K-12.1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


What Were They Thinking? Integrating Theatre, English, & History in Grades 3-8

In this professional development workshop, teachers experience practical methods for using drama and movement to teach Social Studies and English Language Arts curricular content. They choose figures from history and explore them through movement and imagination; they write from the point of view of the characters they choose and create a brief, informal readers’ theater presentation. Teachers take home a guide to leading the activities they take part in during the workshop, including a script for leading similar activities in their own classrooms. This workshop was developed through a Kennedy Center training.

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