Curriculum Connections: Social Studies/Culture

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Mexican Folk Dance – ¡Olé!

Mexican folk dance is an exciting and colorful art form. Each dance is an emotional expression that preserves traditions so that it does not become a lost art. Dance helps to improve a child's flexibility and balance, engage all the muscle groups, and increase their...

Act It Out!

This comprehensive drama program is designed to immerse students in the foundational elements of theater arts. Participants will gain a deep understanding of the key components that make up a dramatic work, including plot, characters, settings, theme, dialogue,...

The Shape of Afro Cuban Rhythms

The goal of this program is to create an ear training for kids to identify the most important instruments in Afro Cuban music. Through the use of certain apps and live percussion playing, students will be able to folllow (using hands by clapping along), sing out...

West African Dance

This African dance program, taught by professional dancer and instructor Diadié Bathily, introduces students to the basic movement of West African dance. Through African dance, elementary, middle and high school students increase physical fitness, improve coordination...

Joia Passport: Rhythms Around the World

This fifty-minute interactive concert will take students on a journey around the world through rhythm! Students stamp their passports, get on an airplane, and away they go to Brazil, Africa, Cuba, The Caribbean, and Japan. They also learn hand-clapping rhythms so they...

Team Building Through World Percussion

This residency is a hands-on percussion experience. Students use authentic percussion instruments to learn to build community and teams during a rhythmic journey around the world. The rhythms of Brazil, Africa, the Caribbean, Cuba, and Japan are designed to explore...

Samba Blast!

A hands-on, team-building rocket blast to Brazil! With authentic instruments, students will build a satisfying musical ensemble in only fifty minutes. This workshop is fast-paced, powerful, and a joy for students. Great for International days or a one-time amazing...

Baby Artsplay!™

Springboard offers children ages birth to three years, along with their teachers, parents and caregivers, the opportunity to take part in a Baby Artsplay!™ residency program in their community.  The goal of a Baby Artsplay! Classroom-Based Residency is to provide...

Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts

Springboard to Learning is the only Missouri affiliate of the National Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts. The Wolf Trap professional development model helps to prepare young children for a lifetime of learning by educating, modeling, and coaching...

Capoeira Angola: Movement and Music

Capoeira serves as an introduction to Afro-Brazilian Cultures. Students are also introduced to cultural concepts of Brazil, Brazilian history, and the Portuguese language. Classes are taught over a period of 8 weeks. Classes are divided into four parts: 1) Stretching...

Latin Dance Excursion

Explore the music and history associated with Latin Dance. Students learn Salsa, Bachata and other dance moves with teaching artist Carmen Guynn, and are introduced to different styles of music and musical instrumentation, opening their minds to a plethora of...

Stories with Drums

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...

Ethnic Percussion

This cross-disciplinary program builds students’ self-esteem, increases their concentration and problem-solving abilities, and fosters their belief in both the importance of their work as an individual and their role in the community.  In this way, it correlates very...

Rhythms and Folklore of Africa

Kenya's signature program highlights cultural diversity through stories and illustrates African culture in an entertaining way. It is ideal for schools, festivals, theater and community events. And it can be adapted to either indoor or outdoor venues. Audience...

Dance as Joy

In this program, South Indian movement artist Aparna Tara shares her multicultural dance experience to encourage students to create movement practices that work best for them. Students explore styles from around the world, ranging from Indian dance, yoga, West African...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 Curriculum Connections: Social Studies/Culture,...

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 Curriculum Connections: Science, English/Language Arts, Social...

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 Curriculum Connections: Social Studies/Culture, English/Language Arts Teaching...

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 and Engineer Bobby Norfolk will magically transport you on their from 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 cultures...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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....

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...

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:...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...