MARCH 10TH 2016
ARTICLE BY: ARTS INTEGRATION MENOMONIE
Since September, teaching artist Erika Svanoe has been working with Rachel Kelm’s 2nd grade River Heights class, helping Kelm integrate music and composition into the classroom curriculum. To fully experience how music can tell a story, the class recently attended a live theatre performance at the Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts.
The Main Street Kids Club: a MathStart Musical was produced by the Eau Claire Children's Theater and weaves six different stories, each focusing on a separate mathematical concept. To prepare for the field trip, the class discussed story elements to watch for: Character, Setting, Problem and Resolution. After watching the show, students identified the different settings and discussed how the different set pieces helped communicate different locations. They also talked about the characters, what challenges/problems they faced, as well as how they solved their problems.
In reflecting on the experience, teacher Rachel Kelm commented, “The students absolutely loved their time at the Mabel Tainter. For many of them, it was their first time in the theater, and for even more, it was their first experience attending a musical. They really enjoyed the singing and dancing, and I feel that seeing a story set to music like this really helped the students to connect with and retain more from the story. An entire weekend (and then some) has passed since the show, and I still catch the students singing or humming melodies that they heard. I am very eager to see how the kids do when we try to write our OWN musical!”