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Designed to Move

Note: This program can only be delivered virtually. Designed to Move is a 3-5 day virtual professional development residency for classroom teachers led by dance educator and seasoned teaching artist Sarah Council. Program participants will acquire a variety of...

Dancing Lifecycles

Note: This program can only be delivered virtually. Dancing Lifecycles is a 3-5 day virtual STEM-focused creative dance residency that explores the lifecycles of plant life, animal life, or weather through movement and dance making. Directed by dance educator and...

Dancing Engineers

Note: This program can only be delivered virtually. Dancing Engineers is a 3-5 day virtual STEM-focused creative dance residency that explores the 6-step engineering process through movement. Drawing additional inspiration from forms such as bridges, arches, and...

Dancing Histories

Note: This program can only be delivered virtually. Dancing Histories is a 3-5 day virtual creative dance residency that studies a pivotal historical event through movement and collaborative dance making. Classroom teachers and the Teaching Artist will work together...

Dancing the Story

Note: This program can only be delivered virtually. Dancing the Story is a 3-5 day virtual creative dance residency that explores a work of literature through movement and dance making. Directed by dance educator and choreographer Sarah Council, students will consider...

Dancing the Painting

Note: This program can only be delivered virtually. Dancing the Painting is a 3-5 day virtual creative dance residency that explores and responds to a work of visual art through dance making. This residency is directed by dance educator and choreographer Sarah...

Dancing the Poem

Note: This program can only be delivered virtually. Dancing the Poem is a 3-5 day virtual creative dance and poetry writing residency that will engage students in an exploration of the poetic form through movement. Directed by dance educator and choreographer Sarah...

Move, Create and Collaborate

Note: This program can only be delivered virtually. Move, Create and Collaborate is a 3-5 day arts-integrated, virtual creative dance residency that engages students in an exploration of classroom curriculum through movement and dance-making. Working together over...

Team Building with World Percussion

This residency is a hands-on percussion experience. Participants will learn to build community and teams through the rhythms from around the world, including: - Brazil (Samba) - Africa (Mozambique) - Caribbean (Calypso) - African, Cuban, American (Namzugchir) - Japan...

Best Foot Forward: An Intro to the Art of Public Speaking

This class is designed to build confidence and create ease in the art of public speaking. Through carefully guided exercises, activities, and creative imagery, students will explore the concepts of body awareness and vocalization. Lively and fun theater improvisations...

How Freedom Works

Students gain a deeper understanding of American government with this lighthearted and engaging workshop or performance. Topics include gerrymandering, the Electoral College, how a bill becomes a law, and presidential order of succession. Also available for virtual...

WiseWrite

A SPRINGBOARD SIGNATURE PROGRAM From the first brainstorming session to an original performance by professional actors, students in the WiseWrite program learn what it takes to be a playwright — all while strengthening their literacy and writing skills. WiseWrite...

Essence of Poetry

Consenses STL's Poetry Box Project explores poetry through a multistage arts immersion experience in which students engage in wordplay and a variety of mixed media to create both individual work, as well as complete a collective presentations that ultimately form an...

Mindful Movements for the Soul

Mindful Movements for the Soul will introduce students to mindfulness through yoga. Students will engage in breathing exercises and intentional movement to learn to listen to their bodies and minds. Students will always choose and feel empowered to take their yoga...

Shadowball: The Negro Baseball Leagues

Bobby Norfolk’s latest living history performance takes us on a fascinating journey through the heyday of the Negro Baseball Leagues, a time when this country was segregated by Jim Crow laws, and America’s “National Pastime” wore two faces, the whites-only Major...

Tales of the Underground Railroad: The Story of Henry “Box” Brown

Journey back to the historical era of the Underground Railroad in this theatrical reenactment of one man’s struggle for emancipation. Henry “Box” Brown was born into slavery in Virginia in 1816. After his wife and children were taken from him and sold, he had himself...

Dreams Deferred: The Poetry and Prose of the Harlem Renaissance

All aboard! Jump on the "A" train to celebrate the African-American art, music, and poetry exploding out of Harlem in the early 20th century. During this artistic journey, we will make stops for poetry, prose, vignettes and toe-tapping music! Bobby uses musical...

Medea, Thor & More: World Mythology

Note: This program can only be delivered virtually. Engaging, educational, and entertaining, MEDEA, THOR & MORE: WORLD MYTHOLOGY explores the meanings and functions of world mythology by bringing to life myths from several different areas of the world: “How Atum...

Heroes Are Everywhere: Write Your Own Journey Myth

Note: This program can only be delivered virtually. Stories are doorways to help us understand the world, and myths are some of the greatest stories ever told. Some of the most famous myths are journey myths, in which a character must go on a quest and face many...

Three Little What-zits and the Big Bad Who-zit

In this residency, Sherry Norfolk will perform a fractured version of “The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf,” then explore the pattern of fracturing stories with students. Students will research a particular state, continent, habitat or region to choose their...

Harriet Tubman: An American Hero

By now, many Americans have learned that Harriet Tubman was the most infamous leader of the Underground Railroad, but what does that mean? What exactly was the Underground Railroad and how was it run? What were the roads that were taken into Freedom? How many miles in...

Visualizing Mathematics

A SPRINGBOARD SIGNATURE PROGRAM (Originally Developed by Ellie Balk) Do some of your students struggle to connect with mathematics?  Teaching core math curriculum through the lens of visual art can give the students confidence to learn and absorb more content in...

Art of Baseball

A SPRINGBOARD SIGNATURE PROGRAM (Originally Developed by Carrie Launius) Explore all aspects of baseball while developing essential math skills related to analyzing data. Through small group collaborative analysis, students delve into various data points across the...

Scott Joplin: The Ragtime King

The music of Scott Joplin influenced a whole generation! Explore the life and music of an American original. This exciting and engaging program combines storytelling, live music and audience participation and traces Joplin’s path from an inauspicious beginning in...

Through the Eyes of York: The Lewis & Clark Story

York, William Clark's slave, was the only African-American member of the "Corps of Discovery" — the official name of the band of courageous explorers whose epic journey across our continent became immortalized as the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The Plains Indians...

Mindful Movement

Mindful Movement introduces students to awareness of self, space and community using creative movement and dance. The program will lead students through a series of activities that will reduce stress and anxiety, enhance focus, and explore empathy and emotions in a...

Money Magic

Jeff wants a puppy. He wants a puppy more than anything so he asks his mom if he can get one. She says, “If you’re grown up enough to earn the money, then you’re grown up enough to take care of a puppy.” With the help of a zany cast of characters, Jeff learns to WORK...

Making it Happen!

What do you want to be? Jeff wanted to be an entertainer but he didn’t know how. He took a trip to the library, checked out some books and started learning. With effort, focus, perseverance and a good mentor – Jeff practiced and learned how to entertain.  He didn’t...

Women Get the Vote: America’s Suffrage Story

What if you were told that you couldn’t vote? That’s what half of the American adult population—the female half—was told until 1920. Using historical records and dramatic reenactment, Karen portrays a cantankerous suffragette and her modern day...

How Freedom Works (Deluxe Edition)

Students gain a deeper understanding of American government with this lighthearted and engaging workshop plus performance. A group of 20-30 students plus and adult work with Jay and Leslie of Laughing Matters in a workshop and then during the show, they become the...

Moving Through STEM

Designed especially for STEM nights, this program includes two 30-minute excerpts of this ensemble’s popular “Moving Through Math” and “Moving Through Science” performances. "Moving Through Math" targets grades K-2 and is an interactive lecture demonstration that...

Milky Way, Moons, and Meteorites

Join educator, author, and songwriter Dinosaur O’Dell for an interactive assembly about outer space science. The students learn about the planets in our solar system, gravity, the greenhouse effect, friction, and the difference between meteors, meteorites, and...

Professor I Drop, The Juggling Scientist

Jay Cady of Laughing Matters illustrates the concepts of kinetic and potential energy using bean bags, spinning plates, and other juggling equipment in this interactive classroom workshop. He also shares original poems about famous scientists and challenges students...

Endangered Species Project

In this live music presentation, audiences will learn about animals like Missouri’s own Hellbender Salamander, the ever-elusive Magic Rabbit, and the beloved sea cow – Manatee. You will also hear the tragic story of the Passenger Pigeon whose plight inspired the...

CSI: Photosynthesis!

Someone has killed Penelope’s beloved plant – and she calls in an expert detective to help her solve this mystery: “Detective C.O. Science.” However, Detective Science never works alone. Instead, she utilizes a large group of CSI interns, played by your students!...

“TREE”mendous

Storyteller and naturalist Kim Madden will introduce stories about our friends, the TREES. Students will discover the many facets of these living members of our world – and our own backwards. They will listen, participate, imagine, and predict, as Ms. Kim weaves...

Natural Wonders… Earth Protectors Who Led the Way

Former St. Louis Zoo Naturalist and Great Ape Keeper Dianne Moran leads students on a journey into environmental history as she portrays either Mountain Gorilla Researcher and Defender Dian Fossey, or Mother of Environmentalism Rachel Carson. Stepping from character,...

Lifestyle Changes!

Under the direction of dance education professional Alicia Gbaho, students will learn that dance is an art that is vital to the development of the total individual. It contributes to physical fitness, enhancing abilities such as agility, strength, endurance, and...

Chef Alfredo and Madam Souffle

Join Chef Alfredo and Madam Souffle as they cook up some fun with facts in their kitchen – your classroom! These entertaining and crazy cooks will use Drama Based Instruction (DBI) to show the relationships between sets of data, the order for solving equations, and...

Moving Through Multiplication

Designed to help students conceptually grasp the foundation of multiplication, this program is designed to support student learning of factors and multiples, and later on, fractions. It explores how patterns lay the fundamental building blocks of music, dance, and...

Tales With a Point: Fables and Fairytales

The Cady duo not only bring fables and fairy tales to life in this energetic performance, they help children analyze the stories by identifying characters, settings, plots, and morals. Jay and Leslie use theatricality, humor, circus skills, and audience participation...

Voice and Verse

Through spoken word poetry, students will engage in self-exploration, vocabulary expansion, and public speaking. Published poet and spoken word artist Pacia Anderson will work with students on the major elements of spoken word poetry, such as: content, structure, word...

Rhythms, Rhymes & Raps: Poetry, Prose & Rap Stories

Kids discover the music of poetry through a rollicking multi-cultural tour of raps and traditional verse. Bobby turns traditional tales, such as “Little Red Riding Hood” or “The Three Billy’s Goat’s Gruff,” into finger-snapping, toe-tapping verse. He transforms...

Read! Write! Act!

A SPRINGBOARD SIGNATURE PROGRAM (Originally Developed by Alissa Rowan) Lights, camera, action! Students become master playwrights/screenwriters and enhance essential literacy skills as they work through the writing process of developing a scene in a play or a movie....

HealthWise

A SPRINGBOARD SIGNATURE PROGRAM Knowing how to take care of yourself is the single most important thing one learns in school. But do students know how? HealthWise demonstrates ways to take care of “you.” The goal of HealthWise is to help students understand how to...

MusicMaker

A SPRINGBOARD SIGNATURE PROGRAM (Originally Developed by Mark Pagano) Students develop a variety of literacy skills through music creation and song-writing in this hands-on residency. Students learn the basic components of music while constructing themed lyrics to...

Learning Through Movement

A SPRINGBOARD SIGNATURE PROGRAM (Originally Developed by Andrea Peoples) Explore the music and history associated with dance in America. Students learn hip-hop, disco and other dance moves that developed in America. Students are introduced to different styles of music...

IdeaBuilder

A SPRINGBOARD SIGNATURE PROGRAM (Originally Developed by Celeste Nichols and Carrie Launius) In this hands-on residency students create a prototype of a product that solves a real world problem in their daily lives. Students must use critical thinking to determine a...

Turn Off The Lights

With shadow puppets, a completely different type of performance is available. Shadow Puppets resemble silhouettes more than traditional puppets and can move in very life-like and dramatic ways. When the house lights go down and the stage light casts the first shadow,...

Smiling at Diversity: Billboard Project

During this socially-minded studio arts program students will design a community billboard proposal. Lessons in drawing, color theory, painting, bookmaking and collage will prepare students with visual and conceptual tactics that can be used in all categories of...

Juggling Jeff’s Diabetes Show

R.E. Porter visits Dr. Dave and learns about the differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, what insulin is, as well as diabetes management and prevention. Lots of audience interaction and several demonstrations with audience volunteers! Audience: Grades K-8...

Juggling To Read

Reading is everything!  It allows us to communicate with each other, learn new things, pass on history, be entertained, explore the world and pass notes to each other!  It also helps us to drive!  Everything you see in the show can be learned in a book!  What will you...

Juggling Jeff’s Jester History

A healer? Dietitian? Social equality leader? Entertainer? That's right - we are talking about the medieval jester! A 45 min. presentation on the historical medieval jester. Includes audience interaction, volunteers, juggling, comedy and more. Audience: Grades K-8...

Writing, Drama and Puppetry

Students explore and become excited about reading and writing through puppetry. As a group, students explore the writing process and become familiar with story elements and dramatic forms of writing. Then through creation their own puppets, students write their own...

Wiley and The Hairy Man

This play, set deep within a southern swamp, centers around a young girl, her mother, her faithful dog, and the Hairy Man who haunts Wiley's days and dreams. Dance, drama and music bring to life the adventures of this plucky heroine. In an exciting duel of wits, Wiley...

Improv Theater!

Improv Theater! is a unique theater class that combines theater games, acting techniques, and improvisation in a mix of adventure and creative exploration. Students create impromptu scenes and characters in a fun and supportive environment. Additionally, this class...

Papa’s Percussion and Puppets for Preschoolers

The energetic enthusiasm of “Papa” Wright is woven throughout this workshop designed to introduce young students to the percussion family of instruments. A wide variety of instruments become the vehicles to learning to count and play simple rhythms. By using puppetry,...

Instant Improv

Using students’ suggestions, school themes or curriculum connections, Ed Reggi and two ensemble members of Paper Slip Theatre create a play for your students. In addition to watching the play unfold before their eyes, audience members participate by portraying...

Peter Rabbit Grows a Garden

This performance features Peter Rabbit growing his own garden after receiving seeds and instruction from a disgruntled farmer named Jill. Problems arise when a gopher steals some of Peter’s carrots.  Peter has to resolve the issue by sharing his knowledge of gardening...

Amazing Animals!

Join veteran Zoo naturalist and living history performer Dianne Moran as she presents a fun-filled learning experience. Live animals (spiders, insects, snakes, lizards and small animals), bio facts of skins, skulls, etc. along with lots of audience participation...

Sum of Our Favorite Numbers

Laughing Matters shows students that numbers can be fun. Stacking cups and juggling makes addition, subtraction, multiplication and division enjoyable for visual learners. A fun filled fairy tale, “The Ruler Who Measured Too Much,” is sure to entertain and inspire...

Read It Right Now

In this energetic, interactive performance, mime, juggling and magic make literacy come alive! Letters get animated as Jay mimes the entire alphabet from A (arrow) to Z (zipper). A clever magic trick is used to introduce rhyming words, synonyms, antonyms and...

Letters, Numbers, Shapes and Colors

On a journey through the alphabet from A to Z, Jay and Leslie use mime, juggling, sign language, and a big bag of tricks to teach little ones basic concepts they need for kindergarten. The centerpiece of the show is "M is for Mystery" where students learn to recognize...

Juggling the Earth’s Resources

In this fast-paced performance, juggling and diagrams bring environmental education to life. This program features a discussion of the impact of burning fuel on the ozone and global warming, a fun and interactive demonstration of the water cycle and a juggling...

Shakespeare’s Story: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Shakespeare created magnificent poetic theatre, but he started with great stories. Kings, queens, fairies, magic; many of his stories read like classic fairy tales. In this one hour session teaching artist and Shakespeare storyteller Daniel John Kelly guides his...

Moral of the Story

Research tells us that the BEST way for young children to learn how to treat others is through stories that help them develop empathy and understanding. These fun-filled stories do just that without a single moment of preaching or didactic-ism! Also available for...

Spiders ’n’ Bugs ’n’ Butterflies

Creeping, crawling, fuzzy, flying insects fill these interactive stories with wiggles and giggles! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program [salesforce...

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Tales of storms, rain, drought, clouds and weather! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program

North to Alaska!

Folktales from Alaska introduce children to the animals and customs of our northernmost state in a way they will never forget! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book...

Music! Music! Music!

Melody, rhythm and dance provide the motif for these stories! Kids will be dancing, singing, clapping and tapping along! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program...

Leapin’ Lizards!

Geckos, chameleons, horned lizards, gators and crocodiles slither and slide through these multicultural tales! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program [salesforce...

It’s For the Birds!

Crows, owls, ravens, hawks and buzzards are among the many winged creatures that inhabit these folktales! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program [salesforce...

In, On and Around the Pond

In, On and Around the Pond: Animals that live in or near the pond provide a lively theme for this active program featuring frogs, ducks, geese, beavers and maybe a water snake or two! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance...

I Read It in a Book

Each of these stories brings a favorite picture book to life, helping children make the important connection between stories and the printed word. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program [salesforce...

I Can’t Sleep

When we have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, it’s comforting to know that others share the same problems! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program...

Frolicking Frogs

Happy, hoppy stories of frogs from around the globe. Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist/Partner: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program

Down on the Farm

Old MacDonald is joined by a host of critters and characters who make the barnyard the happening place to be! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program [salesforce...

Around the World and Back Again

Folktales from around the world teach children about neighbors near and far, and how much alike we really are. This program can easily be tailored to specific continents or regions. Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance...

Storytelling Express: A Musical Journey Around the World!

Conductor Bobby Norfolk and Engineer Dave Farver will magically transport you on their express train across vast continents where you will meet mysterious characters whose adventures will entertain and enlighten you.  You’ll be amazed as Bobby brings to life diverse...

Voices of the Past: Famous People of Missouri

Experience the drama, humor and excitement of the fascinating people and historical events of early St. Louis & Missouri. This program will highlight the Great Fire and Cholera Epidemic of the 1800’s, myths and facts of slavery in St. Louis and the various ethnic...

Tales Worth Telling: Stories of Character Education

Bobby puts a new spin on the age-old practice of using stories to impart universal values, such as cooperation, self-esteem, honesty, responsibility and respect in this series of tales that focus on enhancing Character Education. Available for after school and virtual...

Stories to Celebrate Special Themes!

Throughout the school year, there are many thematic events for students to learn timely lessons. Bobby has an array of stories to help celebrate these special events in your classroom. For the first semester, he has scary and not too scary stories for Halloween....

Living History Programs

Bring a historical character into your classroom. Through first person narrative, Bobby will bring to life one of the following: Through The Eyes of York: The Lewis & Clark Story (Grades 3-12) Dreams Deferred: The Poetry and Prose of Harlem (Grades 6-12) Scott...

Back to the Books: Stories that Encourage Reading

Excite your students with the joy of reading!  Using high energy animation and dynamic sound effects, three-time Emmy Award winner Bobby Norfolk brings to life myths, folktales and legends! By highlighting popular library books, Bobby illustrates the power of...

Folktales From Around the World: Stories of Cultural Diversity

Dynamic sound effects and Bobby’s lively, animated style highlight this presentation of tales from the Far East, Africa, Europe and America. As Bobby compares and contrasts different cultures students learn that people from around the globe are more alike than...

Secret Agents of the Underground Railroad

These exciting, true stories of amazing danger and adventure bring to life the real heroes of the Underground Railroad, an informal network of safe houses and trails used by 19th century black slaves to bring people to freedom. Through this program, important parts of...

Musical Traditions from the Middle East

Featuring a wide array of exotic instruments, this performance focuses on the rich musical heritage of the Jews, Arabs and Persians. Through ancient stories and song, two of St. Louis’ most talented multi-instrumentalists, Farshid Soltanshahi, a native of Iran, and...

Sounds of Brazil

With the program “Sounds of Brazil,” Samba Bom brings the audience on a journey into the five regions of Brazil by playing the music of each region. The program is a cornucopia of information about Brazilian history, geography and people, starting with the indigenous...

A Feelin’ Called the Blues

Join Charlie on the steel and acoustic guitars and Sandy on his harmonica as they trace the history of one of America’s oldest and most original art forms — the blues. From its roots in slavery to the present day, students learn how the blues shaped much of today’s...

Words from the Drum

Kunama drums, sings, dances and tells stories with a vibrant energy, bringing together students of all ages.  The tales, rich in African-American folklore, come to life through audience participation in music and dance from the United States, Africa, Brazil and the...

Dancing Through the Decades

What songs would you hear if you turned on the radio 20, 40 or even 60 years ago? Find out in this fabulous program by one of the top ten musical groups in St. Louis, as rated by The Riverfront Times. From “Jump, Jive and Wail” to the “Electric Slide,”  Kittie Moller...

Interstellar Counting Systems for Space Aliens (and Kids)

Students are engaged through interactive stories and songs that incorporate finger plays, movement, fill-in-the-blank lyrics, counting, and dramatic expression. During this musical journey, Dino and the students discover monsters under the bed, help a space alien fix...

Eat Like a Rabbit, Swim in Peanut Butter and Other Healthy Tricks

Dino, the Nutrition Musician, communicates his message about healthy food and an active lifestyle through interactive music and stories, engaging children with finger plays, movement, fill-in-the-blank lyrics, counting, dramatic expression and humor. The students meet...

Around the World with Dinosaur O’Dell

Go on an adventure around the world! This geographical journey transports students to all seven continents and highlights details about each one.  Utilizing interactive music and stories, Dino sings of the world’s longest river, the tallest mountains and the largest...

Haitian Market Dance

Join award winning musician Rodney Lindor on a voyage to Haiti. Students will experience Rabordy, Djoumba and Contradance all set to the rhythms of the Haitian Drums. With an afternoon at a lively marketplace as the backdrop, students will explore the culture of Haiti...

Moving Through Science

Students learn from Sir Isaac Newton and his team of dancers how scientific principles affect human movement in this performance.  As students witness The Law of Motion Dancers perform a series of leaps, turns, and lifts, they discover how scientific knowledge can be...

Stories of West Afrika

This ensemble is eager to take students on a fun-filled excursion that is bound to leave a lasting impression on their hearts and minds. Learn about the customs and art of Mali and Guinea in West Africa through engaging drumming, song, and dance. Students will earn...

Africa to America

Beyond Measure Dance Theater delivers a dynamic performance involving the history, culture, language and creation of three dance styles: West African, Jazz Swing and Hip Hop. Through the use of song, dance and poetry written by the creator, Alicia “Sunshine” Gbaho,...

Using Storytelling to Motivate Student Research

Storytelling evokes curiosity; curiosity provokes learning. Teaching students to do research is often hampered by the fact that students don’t WANT to do research. It simply doesn’t seem relevant or interesting to them. BUT…these Pre K-high school storytelling...

Storytelling Classroom: Applications Across the Curriculum

This workshops provides a hands-on introduction to the art and its magical ability to engage students in learning. By its nature, storytelling is experiential, engaging, and involving. More classroom teachers are discovering what storytellers have always known: that...

Teaching Kids to Tell Stories

Teachers will learn effective methods for teaching students of all ages how to learn-and-re-tell or create-and-tell stories, thus improving both written and oral communication skills as well as impacting critical thinking skills, increasing poise and enhancing...

Storytelling: A Powerful Tool for Brain-Based Education

Through demonstrations, interactive instructional models and lively discussion, this training seminar will explore the ways in which storytelling and folktales can provide a meaningful matrix for learning which positively affects test scores and competencies....

Storytelling in the ESL Classroom

Storytelling offers many ways for an English language student to improve speaking and listening skills. When students listen to stories, they become more proficient in understanding the spoken words, improving vocabulary and fluency. When students tell stories, they...

Making Meaning: Turning Pictures Into Words

Visual literacy and visual literacy skills (looking, seeing, questioning, speculating, analyzing, fact-finding, and categorizing) are necessary for reading.  In teaching reading, we must aim to develop not only decoding skills, but more significantly mental pictures...

Exploring the Common Core

Storytelling is a powerful vehicle for integrating the reading, writing, listening, speaking and research standards of the Common Core Curriculum. Participants will take part in hands-on grade-level-appropriate lessons that address Language Arts, Social Studies and...

Creating a Storytelling Classroom

Through demonstrations, interactive instructional models and lively discussion, this training seminar will explore the ways in which storytelling and folktales can enliven and inform the character education classroom, thus awakening the “moral imagination.”...

Building Blocks to Literacy

Recent research provides new insights and perspectives on the ways storytelling helps lay the best possible foundation for learning in the early childhood classroom. Participants will explore relevant research and its practical applications, engaging in demonstrations...

Earth Tracks

Nature within the realm of science is a logical and beautiful metaphor to the arts. A casual nature walk can fill our senses with infinite shapes, sounds and esthetic beauty. Many of our greatest artists have been influenced by the natural world, whether they are...

Wright Rhythms for Small Hands

While scraping, shaking and striking a wide variety of instruments, the enthusiasm of Glen “Papa” Wright energizes the classroom as he leads students through a creative musical adventure. Instruments are amusingly introduced to demonstrate basic rhythms, sound effects...

Harmonica and the Blues

From the Civil War to the Great Depression to the present day, participants explore the history of the harmonica and the blues with Sandy Weltman, one of the Midwest’s foremost harmonica players. Each participant receives a harmonica, a practice tape and a music...

Twice Upon A Time

Students join this storyteller and jazz musician for a blend of trickster, pourquoi, and heroic tales. Students become more engaged and analytical listeners as they are actively engaged in stories rich in humor, wise lessons, and memorable patterns. As they retell the...

Dramatic Play Through Puppetry

Guided by puppeteer Paul Vandivort, students in this program learn to use puppets to enter imaginary worlds and to act out stories. In small groups, students practice cooperation while playing games that teach math, phonics and public speaking skills. Creating their...

Heart of the Story

Students learn the many ways a story can be told in this innovative program taught by storyteller and puppeteer Daniel Romano.  Each week they will be engaged in a folktale through storytelling, read-alouds, role plays, and/or puppet shows, comparing and contrasting...

I am a Storyteller

Bring out the natural storyteller in your students in this performance/literacy program! Students are immersed in folktales, written and oral, from Anansi trickster tales to tall tales of John Henry and Paul Bunyan.  They then select, adapt, and learn a story to...

Mission Improvable

Discover the creative world of improvisational dramatics. While constructing a short play based on a classroom theme, children experience the improvisation arts of pantomime, storytelling and spontaneous character. Ed Reggi chooses from more than 50 improvisation...

Messages in the Media

Ed Reggi leads a variety of theater games, hands-on projects and video presentations where students analyze the effects of media messages on their community’s attitudes and sharpen their own media literacy skills. Each student creates a mini-commercial in the form of...

Character Travel

For children, it’s amazing how fun fabrics, interesting props, music and movement can create a whole new world of characters. Ed Reggi facilitates this discovery as students use theatrical improvisation to try on new languages, customs and cultures. This workshop...

Language of Creative Movement

Bring the concepts and stories of your curriculum to life through the kinesthetic intelligence with a veteran dancer and primary grades educator.  In this program, the elements of creative movement are the vehicle for exploring curricular content which is chosen by...

Young Voices

Students experiment with visualization, drama skills and storytelling techniques to act and “tell” their way through the process of writing a story. The classroom teacher selects a theme; Sherry then tells a story based on that theme and dissects its structure for...

Tellin’ Tales

This fast-paced, participatory workshop involves verbal and physical response, singing, dancing and problem solving. Children learn and re-tell a folktale in their own words, enhancing oral language, sequencing and conceptualization skills. Also available for virtual...

Re-Tell Me a Story

In each thirty minute residency session, children will hear and actively participate in a variety of curriculum-themed stories that strengthen their listening skills and stretch their attention spans – AND within each session, children will dramatize and re-tell...

Hear It! Tell It! Learn It!

Listening, speaking, reading and writing are the cornerstones of literacy and all four are combined in this action-packed residency. Students will hear stories and then become storytellers themselves…repeating the stories in large groups, small groups and...

Be an Instant Storyteller!

In this workshop, the dynamic Sherry Norfolk will immerse students in the artistic process of storytelling. They hear stories, create their own tales and then immediately tell the new story to a classmate. This is an excellent way to kick off a creative writing unit...

Dance to the Drum, Drum to the Dance

Join Kunama Mtendaji on an exciting journey exploring the rhythmic textures of African percussion through music and dance. This program will focus on either the folklore of the United States, or areas in West Africa, Haiti, and Cuba, and will emphasize the languages,...

Voices of the American Dream: The Ellis Island Story

What would cause thousands of people to give up a way of life, leaving their homelands and, sometimes, their family members behind to come to foreign shores? Students will find out with Dianne Moran by dressing in turn of the century clothing, showing personal...

Revolutionary War, An American View

The battlegrounds of Valley Forge, Trenton, and others stand witness to the Revolutionary War. However little is known of the battle of Ft. San Carlos, fought on May26, 1780 at Fourth and Walnut streets, right here in St. Louis. Students learn why the colonists...

Missouri, Eyes to the West

The realities of the wagon train migrations to the west were exciting but filled with struggles of people searching for a better life. Lewis and Clark opened the West, but it would be another 40 years after the expedition ended before great numbers of pioneers would...

Lewis and Clark’s Sacagawea

Learn about the life of Sacagawea, the Shoshone woman who became immortalized because of her journey accompanying the Corps of Discovery in 1804-1806. Sacagawea recounts the story of her amazing life and adventures. In Shoshone dress, with articles for her survival,...

Earth Woman Stories

Join Living History presenter Dianne Moran as she leads your students back to a time when hundreds of Native Americans lived as one with nature. In the Residency, students will learn the importance of tribal storytelling, the lessons they taught and dress in Native...

Colonial Peasant Woman

Colonial life in the Midwestern woodlands is resurrected as Dianne appears in period dress to tell true stories of the wilderness and village life. She answers questions including — Who were they? Why did they move here? What did they do at home? What games did the...

Civil War Diary

Explore the life of a woman during the Civil War with storyteller and historian Dianne Moran. What was life like during the war? Did women participate in any of the fighting? Dianne plays her mountain dulcimer, spins a few tales and shows relics from the battles. She...

Amazing Creatures!

Join veteran zoo naturalist Dianne Moran as she engages students to join her on a journey into the wild realm of animals! Live animals, animal bio facts (skins, skulls and uniquely preserved specimens) along with lots of student participation highlight this fun and...

Carnaval! Brazilian Percussion

Moacyr Marchini, a native of Brazil, invites students to experience the heartbeat of his native country. The classroom will be filled with students playing tambourines, shakers, rain sticks, cowbells and traditional Brazilian instruments such as the pandeiros, the...

Brazilian Percussion

Take an exciting getaway to Brazil! After seeing the sights in a short videotape and a demonstration on how to play Brazilian national instruments, students warm-up with theater games and play music with a South American flair. Available for after school. Audience:...

Discovering the World Around Us

Students will hear tales of discovery — woods and streams, creatures large and small, changing seasons, and the mysteries emerging from a variety of ecosystems.  Supported by a Missouri Master Naturalist, they will have the opportunity to experience nature in their...

Moving Through Math

This interactive lecture-demonstration is a fun and lively program using music and dance to bring elementary math and geometry to life. The performance catalyzes children’s capacity to grasp mathematical concepts by simultaneously stimulating visual, auditory and...

Care-full Stories

Young children learn to care for the people in their daily lives with children’s librarian Marilyn Lane. From Goldilocks who returns to apologize to the Three Bears, to the forest animals who snuggle with the bear to stay warm, students’ visualization skills are...

Stories of Cooperation and Connection

Ms. Madonna weaves together storytelling, music, and role play as students travel around the world through story. Students hear and act out stories that broaden their understanding of themselves and foster peaceful relationships with one another and the larger...

West African Drum Orchestra and Culture

Students in this program learn how to play West African drums and other percussion instruments. As they sit in a drum circle each week, where the focus is on their fellow students’ work, they learn to listen. Lessons about rhythm and improvisation are interspersed...

Play by Play Shakespeare

Students participate in interactive exercises designed to introduce them to Shakespeare’s poetry. They physically respond to lines of dialogue, perform scenes and play with the bard’s words; exploring word order, rhythm and emphasis. Throughout the workshop, they...

Alphabet Adventures: Phonics Fun

Pre-writing and pre-reading skills are introduced to young learners through the excitement of music, movement, story and visual art. Each session, with children’s book author and illustrator Sandra Griffin, focuses on a vowel or one of the common consonants. Hearing,...

Picture Bookmaking

This program introduces children to the joy of writing, illustrating and reading aloud their own original stories.  A published author/illustrator of children's books, Sandra Griffin shares with students the process and rewards of creating illustrated books. Students...

West African Dance

Students explore dances from West Africa dance and the music, culture, and history associated with it. They acquire new vocabularies which they put to use as they perform and choreograph dances such as the Diansa and Mendianie.  The program may culminate in...

Hip Hop Dance

Students explore Hip hop dance and the music and history associated with it. New vocabularies are acquired and put to use as students learn basic break dance steps and recognize routines from everyday life that inspire dances.  The program culminates with students...

All That Jazz!

With dancer/choreographer Alicia Gbaho, students explore Jazz Swing dance and the music and history associated with it. Vocabularies increase and confidence is strengthened as students learn partner dances such as the Lindy Hop, Charleston, and Jitterbug.  The program...

All That Dance!

What do Jazz, Modern, West African and Hip Hop dance have in common? Your students will make the connection after spending three weeks exploring each dance style and learning about their history and music.  An optional end of the semester school performance can show...

Creative Movement Exploration

Creative Movement Exploration introduces students to creative concepts of dance, body-spatial awareness and expression through performance. Students will explore movement to music, while joyfully focusing their energy and stimulating their imagination. The program...

Gathering the Village: West African Song

DeBorah Ahmed of Rhythms in Anoa will introduce your students to West African culture in this exciting and fun-filled workshop. Students will learn about the traditions of the Manding cultures of West Africa through rhythms, songs, choreography, and discussions of the...

St. Louis and the Great Fire of 1849

The City of St. Louis nearly disappeared from the map the night of May 17, 1849. While docked on the Mighty Mississippi, a small fire started on the steamboat White Cloud. The flames quickly spread to the loading docks and soon destroyed 15 blocks of the city. Through...

Life and Times of Absalom Grimes, Civil War Spy

Students will relive the experiences of Absalom Grimes, one of Gratiot Street Prison's former inmates, as the hardships of prison life and the absurdities of Civil War era justice as related by actor, Barnes Bradshaw. Twice sentenced to death by the federal...

Lightning Multiplication and Division Tricks

Students will learn secrets of lightning calculation, focusing on multiplication and division.  They will learn to mentally multiply a variety of 2 digit x 2 digit problems; to divide numbers circled on a calendar using mental division; to add 10 audience-generated...

Geometricks: Learning Geometry with Magic

Students will deepen their knowledge of geometry in a fun way as magic meets math.  Perform magic with 5 different types of triangles!  Demonstrate amazing properties of circles when they are stretched to their limits!  Speed calculate the area of a rectangle!  Each...

Adding and Subtracting by Magic

Students will learn to do a variety of math magic tricks. To successfully pull off the tricks, they must perform mental addition or subtraction.  When they show family and friends their new tricks from each session they will also be honing their mental math skills! ...

Blast Off to Health

Join award-winning musician and master storyteller Dino O'Dell for a dose of healthy fun. Dino introduces students to a cowboy, a space alien and five singing carrots in a show that teaches nutrition, healthy activities, the "crash" of eating junk food, and the...

Songs Can Change the World

During this sing-along for little folks, young children build community and experience joy as they keep the tradition of American folk music alive. This residency includes singing and movement and emphasizes themes of family and friendship, diversity, the environment,...

FIRE DOG Roll

FIRE DOG engages students in an entertaining and interactive performance that shares songs and stories in creative ways.  Students take a rock and roll journey where they meet Missouri’s endangered “Hellbender” Salamander, take an airplane to the Amazon, walk with the...

What I Said! – Writing the Story and Telling It

In this original monologue writing class for kids, student authors/performers engage in verbal and physical activities designed to liberate and excavate the imagination. Led by award-winning actor and playwright Branislav Tomich, this residency provides...

We Are the World

Students travel each week to a different country with storyteller Linda Kram. Students learn the differences and similarities between cultures as they greet each other and learn to count in another country’s language, explore its artifacts, and participate in music...

On Your Toes: Exploring Story Through Ballet

This program introduces students to the art of classical ballet. In the first half of the residency, they focus on the discipline and technique of ballet, learning proper posture and numerous ballet steps, the French words for the steps and their meaning in English....