Bold, Boastful, and Brave: Discovering the Power of Voice

February 18 & 20, 2016

Donald King is a Creative Professional, Educator, Art Director, Festival Producer, Branding/Marketing Specialist and Socio-Musicologist with more than 20 years of notable accomplishments. King has extensive expertise in the the arts, literacy, and education, including developing and producing large scale, multi-stage festivals and events, cultural arts institutions, music venues, and brands in highly competitive markets. 

Rebecca Davis is an independent teaching artist located in Delray Beach, FL. She has considerable experience working with individuals ranging from Pre-K through college. Her favorite population to work with would have to be “disinterested teenagers”. Rebecca has a Bachelor’s Degree in Voice and Theatre Arts from Northwestern University and a Master’s degree from NYU in Educational Theatre, and is certified to teach in New York state. Rebecca is particularly passionate about arts integration, and endeavors to bring dramatic experiences to students in all grade levels and in all subjects. When not making art or teaching about it, Rebecca can be found continuing her education in Drama Therapy.

 

Guest Presenters:
Missed it?

 

What if you had something to say, yet no one would listen? What is the power of your voice, your story? The world inside the walls of the classroom is just as complicated and complex as the world outside and we want to be able to connect to and hear from ALL our students. Educators learned strategies to engage all students at the highest level through meaningful learning experiences with rich texts, connected across subjects, and guided by inquiry based essential questions. How can we learn about our present by examining our past and looking toward the future? Explore the importance and impact of culture on all our stories!

“Find your voice;

create the cadence.

The square awaits.
Lights, Maestro, Please . . . “

       - Nikki Giovanni

"Tapping into my student’s creativity is easier than I thought.  Making the room their own will help all voices heard!" 

                     - Teacher feedback

"Lift every voice! It means every child is a story. Every story wants to be told. Sometimes as the teacher I must help students get the words out by fostering an environment where every child feels free to lift their voice. 

                                                                                    - Teacher feedback

TLA Presenters:
 
 
 
Kurt Wootton is the author of A Reason to Read : Linking Literacy and the Arts; Co-Founder of the Arts Literacy Project at Brown University; and Director of Habla: Center for Language and Culture in Merida, Mexico. He is a leading national expert on using multi-sensory strategies to build literacy.
 
 
 
 
 
Debbi Arseneaux is an Educational Constultant and Teaching Artist with The Learning Alliance. She has been a teacher in the Washington DC public school district and worked as a professional Theatre Teaching Artist and Director in the DC area for over 15 years.

Participants added their "tag," a name or symbol to represent your identity, to a graffiti wall upon entering the workshop. Graffiti and tagging are a powerful element of hip hop and street art culture, and brought into a classroom, they can provide a powerful way for students to make their mark and make themselves visible, making the space their own.

Creative Director Don King provides a fresh perspective on Black History as American History and presents a journey through our nation's Creole heritage. Focusing on what brings all our children together, rather than what divides them, is a powerful way to bring students' lived experiences into the classroom. Our classrooms should embrace cultural complexity, representative of the diverse world of our students. 

Teaching Artist Rebecca Davis leads the room in a game of Pepeta. "Pepeta" means "to juggle," as in a soccer ball, and is an African game from Kenya. The game introduced the idea of "call and response" and brought a sense of "alegria," or joy, into the room. Games like these are foundational practices that build community, strengthen bonds, and prepare students for the work ahead.  

Reflection is at the heart of all our workshops, giving participants a chance to make meaningful connections to their own world and modelling visible thinking strategies that can be brought back to the classroom. This time, we had butcher paper covering each table and participants could jot down insights and questions throughout the day to capture their thoughts. This also echoed the graffiti wall. 

We explored the Essential Question: What is the power of your voice, your story? through our anchor text, Harlem's Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills by Renee Watson. Florence Mills was a jazz singer in the Cotton Club era who broke down barriers for her fellow African American performers and used her voice in support of civil rights. She was absolutely adored, and yet, incredibly, there are no existing recordings of her voice!

We introduced a music and sound app called Keezy to use as a tool to create Digital Soundscapes. Each group created a soundscape to accompany a section of text, and then each section was shared in sequence to bring the room into the world of the story. This serves as an Entering Text activity, giving students a fun and engaging way to go deep with a small section of text and make deliberate choices about mood, tone and setting. It also brings technology into the classroom in a simple and accessible way...you just need an Iphone or an Ipad. 

Here are a few tips to get started with Keezy! 

A simple Four Square handout prompts students to think about the major events and the challenges the character faces in the story to meet the mastery level of the ELA standard. 

Breakbeat Sampling:

Creative Survival|Expressive Culture

An interactive playlist

from BeBop to Hip Hop

We explored the idea that we are both curators and creators of culture in our classrooms, and we want to embrace the creative expression of all our students. Using the traditional Brazilian practice of a "cordel," we curated a Museum of Text, a collection of over 100 quotes and selections of text from artists, musicians, poets, and authors. We mixed lines from sources as diverse as the Declaration of Independence, Maya Angelou and Beyonce, all around the main theme of the power of voice and story.

We explored the idea that we are both curators and creators of culture in our classrooms, and we want to embrace the creative expression of all our students. Using the traditional Brazilian practice of a "cordel," we curated a Museum of Text, a collection of over 100 quotes and selections of text from artists, musicians, poets, and authors. We mixed lines from sources as diverse as the Declaration of Independence, Maya Angelou and Beyonce, all around the main theme of the power of voice and story.

After selecting a piece of text from the Museum of Text cordel, participants completed a new Four Square, responding to the quotes to make text to self connections, exploring their own challenges and the power of their own voice. Then we introduced a few key elements of a remix...repetition, rhythm, a tag, and a guest artist...all of which we had experienced throughout the day. Participants used Keezy and all the other elements to remix their chosen texts in a final performance task. 

Thank you to our generous community partners for your support, including
United Way, Impact 100, John's Island Community Service League, and John's Island Foundation
  • Facebook Basic Black
  • Twitter Basic Black
  • Black Google+ Icon
  • Instagram Basic Black

© 2015 by Liz Bahl & Debbi Arseneaux. Proudly created with Wix.com

Keezy2