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Lesson Plans


CURRICULUM ISSUES

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Marilyn Schnake (mschnake)
Tue, 18 Feb 1997 07:47:21 -0600

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Our Place in the World: An Inquiry-Based Thematic Curriculum Resource
posted on ArtsEdNet: Imagination Story

As I explore the content of the core lessons available to all of us, I am
immediately fascinated by the kinds of questions designed to personalize a
written text on the screen. The interaction of content and choice is
enticing.

Dr. Erickson uses stories to engage us in imagining life here and now and
there and then. Storytelling activiates our brains, neurologically, to do
what the brain does best--associate with feeling and emotive environments.
Storytelling is a natural process that lessens forgetting and aids
information processing. Through the story of Fee, students find patterns
and connections to personal memories and create stories that relate to a
classroom theme. Weaving stories to address issues, values, and art making
in the art curriculum is highly relevant and will excite students'
responses and imaginations.

I wonder if art teachers would devote time to read the story of Fee to
their classes. There are many themes that could spin off, such as bravery,
responsibility, caring, love. I would tell the story as a dramatic piece,
as a storyteller.

Conversations (through storytelling, as explanations and descriptions of
personal expressions) stimulate thoughts, emotions, and memories of our
own. We change focus when a related experience pops into our mind. People
have a greater capacity for long term memory when embracing storytelling of
past experiences or simulated past experiences of others. It aids our
understanding of Our Place in the World. Therefore, art making related to a
story and evidenced in/on a form can bring forth rich images of personal
meaning. A narrative drawing of a personal response to a thematic idea
might be placed on scrolls, for example, as people have done "there and
then."

As I read the lesson plan and sorted out its value, I instantly related the
topic to my class teaching tomorrow--how to choose learning experiences
that develop understanding. At this point, I have a mindset . . .

Marilyn Schnake
Northern Illinois University


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