Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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  Connecting With The Arts Home   A Teaching Practices Library, 6-8
  Exploring Our Town
  Watching the Video
  Connecting to your Teaching
  Addtional Resources
  About the School
  Q and A with Teachers
  Program at a Glance
  School: Hilltown Cooperative Charter School
  Location: Haydenville, MA
  Grades: 7, 8

Visual Art

Social Studies

Language Arts

  Description: Students delve into Thornton Wilder's play Our Town.

Watching the Video

Students applying plaster for facial masksBefore You Watch
Respond to the following questions.

  • How do you go about selecting pieces of literature, art, dance, music, or theatre as elements of a unit of study? What makes a work a strong candidate?
  • Would you rather work with a historical play or a historical novel in your curriculum? What are benefits or drawbacks to each?
  • How might studying a play lend itself to an interdisciplinary unit of study? What purposes might integrating the study of a historical play into your curriculum serve?

Watch the Program

As you watch, note how the themes in Our Town surface in each discipline. Write down what you find interesting, surprising, or especially important about the teaching, learning, and collaboration you see in this unit. Consider these questions as you watch:

  • How does each art form deepen students’ understanding of the historical context of the play?
  • How does the unit help students relate to the time period and setting of the play? In what ways are students making connections between the play and their own lives?
  • How do the culture and resources of this particular school help support the type of instruction shown?
  • How did the collaboration between teachers make this unit possible?

Reflect on the Program

  • How did the key teacher connect with so many other arts and non-arts subject areas? Could you accomplish this? Why or why not?
  • What parts of the teaching stood out for you as especially strong?
  • Which parts are, for any reasons, not compatible with your own teaching approaches?

NEXT: Connecting to Your Teaching



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