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rural Idalia, Colorado, 150 miles from Denver, two visiting artists work
with teachers to enhance learning at tiny Idalia School:
- Theatre artist Birgitta De Pree involves a kindergarten class in a
storytelling activity that engages the imagination while reinforcing
story structure skills.
- After learning that teacher Trudi Weiser would like her fourth-grade
students to build more colorful vocabularies, De Pree asks the children
to pick verbs that sound juicy, act them out, and then use
them in sentences.
- Musician Michael Stanwood works with students and their teachers
to write song lyrics that relate to their curriculum, then puts these
lyrics to music. Sandi Waitmans third-grade class explores Colorado
history through a song. And social studies teacher Jim Rittenhouse describes
the process Stanwood used to create an emotion-filled song about the
massacre of Plains Indians at nearby Sand Creek.
Young Audiences of Colorado sponsors workshops for artists to learn to
work with schools, and arranges their residencies. These same workshops
are open to teachers, who learn to work effectively with resident artists.
De Pree, who has worked with the school for several years, shares some
of her strategies
for successful residencies.