The students in Jennifer Golonka’s dance class are beginning to choreograph in small groups. They invent movements and spatial pathways using language to negotiate and problem solve as they work. The dance-making provides an authentic opportunity for the students to communicate, and the supportive collaboration provides a safe space to try something new.
Author Archive | Kelly Donovan
Conflict in America – Curriculum Connections in Theater
Teaching Artist Chris Heller collaborates with ESL and classroom teachers at PS 239Q to use a theme from the Social Studies curriculum “Conflict in America” to help students design tableaux and write short scenes they perform for their classmates. Students gain a deeper understanding of the theme of conflict, which is also essential to good […]
Developing Artistic Voice in Dance
Sarah is a 5th grade advanced English Language Learner at PS 20Q. She is an eager student, but one who is still developing academically. In dance, she finds a creative outlet where she builds a strong artistic voice and grows into a leader among her peers.
Scaffolding Language through Warm-up Activities in Theater
The first goal of teaching artist Chris Heller’s theater residency at P.S. 239Q is to create a safe space for 4th and 5th grade ELLS to take risks in theater. Through scaffolded warm-up activities students progress through silent, physical warm-ups, to games in which they’re asked to say just one word or sound, to eventually […]
Traditional Chinese Dance and Creative Movement
Mei-Yin Ng has been teaching Traditional Chinese Dance and Creative Movement at PS 20Q for 8 years. This combination of forms is essential to her identity as a Teaching Artist working with a diverse community of students that includes many English Language Learners.
Developing English Language Skills through Dance
Jia-Xing is a first year English Language Learner at PS 20 in Queens. He is also a naturally gifted dancer. We see how, through his engagement with Teaching Artist Mei-Yin’s dance unit, his command of the English language greatly improves, and he becomes a leader among his peer group.
Using Charts and Visual Aids In Dance Class
Teaching Artists Alda Reuter and Peter Bogdonos generate vocabulary charts with their ELL students. We see how using the charts in dance work helps ground the learning of vocabulary through the physical activity of dance. Jason, an ELL student, explains how he uses the dance vocabulary across his curriculum.
English Language Learners Work Together to Create a Dance Phrase
Students in Ms. Sarantakis’ 3rd/4th grade class are learning how to perform and create a movement canon. Three students – all beginner English Language Learners, and each of whom speaks a different first language – must work together to create a movement phrase and perform it in a canon. The boys use English, gestures and […]
Working with Beginner English Language Learners in Improv Theater
Teaching Artist Lindsay MacNaughton and the ESL teachers at PS 229 in Queens, NY share strategies for working with Beginner ELLs. Amanda, a recent arrival from China, is learning English through her participation in Ms. Lindsay’s theater class.
Developing Artistic Voice through Improvisation
In Kim and Nami’s 4/5th grade dance residency, the artists provide students with a clear artistic process to help students develop their own improvisations. This structured step-by-step process frees students to work through artistic problems independently, putting the power in the students to explore movement freely, make artistic choices and decide how to develop their […]