Curriculum Connections: Social Studies/Culture

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Dance as Joy

In this program, we center the Self and community as we explore dance styles from around the world. Here choreography is a tool for expression and learning, and joy is always the measure! The teaching artist will guide students in a warm up incorporating movement from...

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...

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 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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

Born in Iran in 1966, Farshid Soltanshahi started playing guitar at the age of 16. Later, Farshid turned to his native Persian music, especially the setar (a Persian lute). In 1996, in collaboration with jazz guitarist Pascal Scheaffer and bassist Bruno Barge, he...

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

Charlie Pfeffer has sung and played the guitar and mandolin in a variety of traditional American musical styles for 33 years. Charlie has performed with Springboard since 1981. He also performs with the St. Louis based folk group The Flying Mules. Join Charlie on the...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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:...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...