Written by: Amber Price, Edison School of the Arts #47 Arts Liaison, firstname.lastname@example.org
“Tableau is better than worksheets,” a common phrase you will hear from students at Edison School of the Arts. Edison School of the Arts is a kindergarten through eighth grade IPS Innovation school for the arts. This year, as one of the nine Any Given Child Indy pilot schools, Edison School of the Arts chose to integrate drama in all core academic and arts classes through the strategy of tableau. A tableau is a “frozen picture.”
This year Edison established a partnership with the Clowes Memorial Hall Education department on the campus of Butler University. With the help of Donna Rund, Education Manager at Butler Arts Center, Clowes Memorial Hall, the Edison staff receives monthly arts integration professional development workshops learning about tableaus and how to integrate them with other subjects. With our focus on tableaus teachers have learned to incorporate what we call the “actor’s toolbox” in their daily lessons. The “actor’s toolbox” is a term coined by Kennedy Center arts integration specialist, Sean Layne. With the use of their “actor’s toolbox,” students have learned to use their body, voice, imagination, concentration and collaborate with others.
Edison students have enjoyed integrating tableau in all classes. Fabiola, 6th grader said, “You are actually not just sitting in your seat and writing, you are actually having fun with your friends and doing creative stuff.”
Lailah, a student at Edison remarked, “It lets us get out of our seats and do group work, and you get to work with people you wouldn’t usually choose.”
Another student reported, “It helps you imagine the story better and what is going on in the story.”
Justin, a middle school student stated, “You get to reenact things from books and stories, and make it visual.”
Javenai, 6th grade student commented, “ You get to bring the arts class and what you learn in the arts, into the regular classroom instead of just doing worksheets.”
Along with our partnership with Clowes Memorial Hall education department, Edison staff has participated in other professional development opportunities presented by the Kennedy Center. We took a team of 10 staff members to Washington D. C. this past summer for the annual arts integration conference. Also, through the Any Given Child program, Kennedy Center Arts Integration Specialist, Lenore Blank Kelner came to our school and presented a “character interview workshop” to the teachers, and held a classroom lab demonstration with one of our 4th grade classes.
Edison School of the Arts is excited to be a part of Any Given Child Indy. We are enjoying our journey with integrating tableau in all classes and cannot wait to see what the future of arts integration brings the students of Edison School of the Arts.