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The Arts In Every Classroom: A Workshop for Elementary School Teachers

Watch the Program

(60 Minutes)

As you watch the program, challenge yourself and other participants to think about these focus questions:

  • How will you build on your previous awareness of the arts to develop your knowledge and skills in arts education?
  • How will you assess your understanding of the concepts presented in these programs?

Activities & Discussions (45 minutes)

Discussion (30 minutes)
In small groups, reflect on the lessons about theatre, music, dance, and visual art.

Discuss these questions:

  • What are the similarities and differences among the art forms?
  • How have the workshop leaders presented diverse styles and methods of instruction?
  • Which activities challenged your thinking the most? Why?
  • What questions do you have about teaching the lessons you’ve seen in this program?
  • What interdisciplinary connections can you make between these activities and your existing curriculum?

Share your findings with the group or keep a journal of your own ideas.

Reflection (15 minutes)

Explore the ideas in the last segment in this program, “Combining the Art Forms,” which introduces Quidam by Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun).

Facilitator: Share these facts about Cirque du Soleil and Quidam with the group:

Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun) is a world-renowned organization known for its striking, dramatic mix of the circus arts and street entertainment, featuring fantastical costumes, magical lighting, and original music. Its production of Quidam is a surrealistic and highly theatrical circus event that has been performed worldwide since 1996.

Quidam is the story of Zoe, a young girl whose world is meaningless until a headless stranger invites her on a journey through a fantastic world where gravity is irrelevant and the impossible is possible. Like Alice’s adventures in Wonderland and Dorothy’s quest through Oz, Zoe’s experiences with the strange and unreal change her everyday life, demonstrating the “enduring idea/understanding” for the unit modeled in Programs 1-4: Fantasy impacts our perception of reality.

Think back about the opening three minutes of Quidam and discuss these questions:

  • In what ways did Quidam meet the expectations you formed when you heard it described? What surprised you?
  • What kinds of movement did you see? Would you call this dance?
  • How did the music communicate an idea, feeling, or process?
  • How were dramatic and visual elements used to juxtapose reality and fantasy?
  • What are some big questions that you have about this work?
  • What is your understanding of the enduring idea/understanding that fantasy impacts our perception of reality?

Programs 2 and 3 will explore the topics of research, criticism, and historical precedents. You will discover how Cirque du Soleil has integrated the arts to create a unique contemporary art form all its own.

Workshops