Inspiring Your Story” workshop uses the live performance “Fa(r)ther” as a jumping off point for students to begin writing their own narratives. Students will engage in theatre activities such as improvisation, role-playing, character building, sense memory and imagination exercises to generate setting and circumstance, characters, plot points and sensory language for their own written narratives. All writing will be done in individual student journals that can be kept as inspiration and material for future writing assignments.
Fa(r)ther is a powerful and moving solo performance that reveals the inner life and childhood memories of a young woman on the edge between self-destruction and self-actualization. Students will have viewed Fa(r)ther earlier in the day.
This assembly program shows the range of Hughes’ styles and themes through poetry, song, and movement. The students will perform the poems, helping the students discover their own dreams, how those dreams can be deferred and how, ultimately, they can be fulfilled. The principal texts are from “The Dream Keeper” and other poems, illustrated by Brian Pickney. Additional texts include poems by Gwendolyn Brooks, Sam Allen, and Eloise Greenfield, as well as song lyrics by Sam Cook and Curtis Mayfield.
A writing workshop includes two to three writing prompts based upon Langston’s poems “Dream,” “Poem,” and “Motto.” The workshop can be offered as a stand-alone workshop, or a post-assembly workshop.
During this creative program students use a combination process of traditional and digital illustration techniques to develop a page for a graphic novel. Teaching artist Augusto Bordelois demonstrates and teaches students ways to digitally manipulate images to create unique backgrounds and characters using Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator software and google images. While having fun learning the amazing power of these digital design software, students will also learn basic storytelling elements such as the importance of background setting, camera angle, character development, facial expressions and body language to communicate visually. After the artist demonstration, students start sketching, researching and developing a simple stick-figure storyboard where they flesh out the main traits of their characters, their actions and story backgrounds. Then students will research images or take selfies to be manipulated using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Finally, using the manipulated images students will start creating the frames for their graphic novel.
This program requires access to Adobe Illustrator software or any other vector illustration software and internet connection.
What happened to the Golden Rule? This one-actor performance demonstrates to children and families the important role manners and kindness play in how we relate to the people around us. Through theatrical spectacle, including magic, storytelling, music, dance, and hieroglyphics, the performer guides the audience in finding clues to the lost Temple of Ma’at, dedicated to the Egyptian goddess of truth, justice, and civility.
Complementary workshops exploring Egyptian hieroglyphics and the ancient art form, Frontalism, are available to accompany a performance. This program is best suited for children ages 4-12 and families.
This program is an introduction to folk music and folk musicians, including audience participation and sing-alongs to folk music and fairy tales. Children will be introduced to the guitar, including the parts of the instrument and how it can be played (strumming versus finger picking). Children will hear stories with musical components (piano/forte) and will sing and use hand signals to reinforce lyrics and melodies. Songs and stories will feature fantasy creatures, such as dragons and unicorns and a musical trip on a bear hunt.
Performer and choreographer Lisa Yanofsky will lead students through the creation and performance of an original scene that explores the identities of historical or literary figures. Drawing from topics the students have already studied or from works of fiction the students have already read, Lisa will guide students’ exploration of character identities using movement, dialogue, monologue, and music. Students will choose a character or historical figure and draw from their life, context, personality and actions to craft and perform as their character in a “living portrait”.
The residency begins with exercises in writing. Students will be asked to pull text from the novel, if they are playing a fictional character, or quotes from the historical figure, if they are playing a non-fiction character. From the gathered source material, students will extrapolate personality, opinions, context and emotions and use these to write from the point of view of their character. Using their writing and research as a foundation, students will work together to help each other create movement for their character. Throughout the process of creating the movement and text, Lisa will act as a director, fitting the pieces of each character’s arc together and guiding collaboration between students. Depending on student interest, the “living portraits” can be performed with music or original songs or raps that give more information on the figure.
Students begin by creating an original work of poetry and finish by making it into a dramatic performance. They will learn PIPES (Projection, Inflection, Pace, Eye Contact, Stance) skills needed for performance poetry and culminate with a spoken word reading, teaching them to transform their work into an artistic tool for self-expression. Teaching artist Ali McClain will expose students to various writing prompts (poetry, movie/TV clips, news, pop culture, etc.) for inspiration. Students will have the opportunity to provide critical feedback during the spoken word readings in an effort to improve performance techniques such as adding gestures for meaning, PIPES and overall content. Ali McClain will emphasize the importance of writing for oneself in order to have a voice in their community and even the world. In addition, students will be exposed to national young spoken word poets, local open mic venues and other resources for encouragement to continue writing.
As a group, students begin by reading passages from selected works by James Baldwin. Students will critically analyze the texts in order to create original persona poems complete with considerable historical imagination. They will learn PIPES (Projection, Inflection, Pace, Eye Contact and Stance) skills for poetry performance. Poetry reading will be recorded and uploaded to a classroom YouTube channel. The workshop will conclude with a live performance of students performing their individual persona poems.
During your unit on Shakespeare or Emily Dickinson, your students may complain and ask, “Why do they talk so funny?” To appreciate the language of Shakespeare or Emily Dickinson, students need to understand poetic meter. In this program, students will learn about meter and rhyme in the poetry of Shakespeare and/or Emily Dickinson by reading their poems as well as more recent and accessible examples of poetic verse. They will discuss the themes and structure of the model poems, and then write their own poem in meter to experiment with the form.
Lake Erie Ink also offers poetry workshops in spoken word, figurative language, and much more, and can customize a program to meet your students’ needs.
Reading and writing plays is motivating to students of all abilities. Writing and performing your own play not only gives students experience with dialogue and action but also develops reading and writing fluency and confidence. Play writing also helps students break out of the habit of writing fast summaries of their stories instead of real “showing writing,” including scene and character development. Students will learn how character and conflict interact to create drama in a short play. LEI will lead students through the writing process, from developing a main character and dramatic conflict, through complicating the conflict with other obstacles, to resolving the play as a tragedy or comedy. Students will learn the basic elements of play writing including dialogue and stage directions and may perform their play at the end of the project.
Lake Erie Ink also offers play writing adaptation workshops of fairy tales, folk tales, and myths or can create a customized program to provide experience and understanding of a variety of fictional genres.
Comics motivate reluctant writers and provide a structure for student writing and presentation. Creating a nonfiction comic also teaches students how to put things into their own words and avoid plagiarism. In this project, students of all ages will learn how to use comics to their research on a content area topic (This project is especially useful for science and social studies topics).
Lake Erie Ink will motivate your students to research a topic and use image and text to translate their research into their own vision and words in an informational comic. Research notecards become comic panels, demonstrating the value of good note taking, as students synthesize what they have learned about a topic and translate their learning into their own nonfiction comic. Younger students can acquire their research through listening and interviewing. Older students can use multiple sources for their research. For a one day workshop, all research should be conducted prior to visit or provided as a handout, and students will need time to finish their comics after the visit. Projects can be differentiated for different abilities by requiring more or fewer facts/notecards.
Lake Erie Ink also uses comics to teach students how to write personal and fictional narratives.
Compliment a Poetry Journey performance with Playful Poetry, a residency or workshop that allows students to learn presentation and speech skills through theater games and writing activities focusing on rhyme, imagery, figurative language and narrative.