Artists-in-Residence Site:  Lake Marion Elementary Early Childhood Special Education
19875 Dodd Boulevard, Lakeville (Con. Dist. 2)

Collaborating Teacher: Julee Gackle
Teaching Artists: WonderWeavers- Tina Rohde and Colleen Shaskin
Art Form: Storytelling

Project Overview
Students explored the basic elements of storytelling. They worked collaboratively with peers, staff and the artists through creative storytelling, performance and visual art activities, including but not limited to making a storybook, creating their own puppet, and learning basic dramatic movement. Music was also included throughout the residency with the use of songs and instruments. Students had the opportunity to perform for their peers at the end of the residency.  

Project Highlights
“All the students were able to put on a puppet many overcoming tactile issues. Each student showed progress with communication attempts by the end of the residency. Many students had personal successes that staff did not expect. The involvement of the teachers and support staff was amazing and greatly enhanced the effectiveness of the residency. As teaching artists we learned from the teachers and support staff, as they modeled appropriate teaching skills that worked with this population of children.”  -- Tina Rohde, Artist.

“One student in particular blossomed with the storytelling experience. He is usually very introverted and quiet during large group or circle time and will actually turn his back from the group. It was very exciting to see him want to participate in the storytelling activities.  He was especially motivated by the puppets they made and was observed using them to talk to his peers and became very animated. We have seen this carry over into other classroom environments and into the typical preschool setting.” – Julee Gackle, Teacher.

Students use puppets to tell their story with the WonderWeavers – Tina & Colleen.

This program has been made possible in part by the Department of VSA and Accessibility at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Minnesota Department of Education and support funds from residency sites.

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