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Program Summary

Arts for Learning’s International Geographic Tour

residency invited the 2015 5th grade Northeast

Explorers to take part in a cultural journey across

North and South America. This residency coincided

with the music teacher’s lesson plans to teach the

students rhythms from around the world. The

residency lasted for 6 weeks, one 45-minute session

per week. The children learned about the rhythms

and culture from all around the world while also

learning about the rhythms that are present in

poetry and other forms of writing. 


The Creative Team

Teaching artists Carol Tharp-Perrin, Larry

Gindhart, Lawrence Clark III, and Tony Artist along

with intern Kristin Stephens and music teacher

Mrs. Sally Aikin.


Guiding Questions

The questions and activities were presented by the

artist to guide the students’ thinking about how all

of the different cultures feed into the modern day

world. They were to provoke thoughts about sound

and color as well as writing.


About the art form:

  1. What are some everyday examples of recurrent color and form?

  2. Think of shapes and color in nature.

  3. What are the different emotional values of bright and dark colors?


About the rhythms:

  1. What are the different emotional values of high-pitched and fast tempo sounds versus low-pitched and slow tempo       sounds?

  2. What are examples of when you have improvised something that you liken?

  3. Listen to world music.


About the writing:

  1. Plan a time for students to pause and ponder, to observe and reflect nonverbally.

  2. Ask them to write in a journal about their day.


The Creative & Learning Process

  • Days 1 & 2:

    • The residency started with an introduction to the rhythms of the Native Americans and Call and Response. While they created those rhythms with their drums they painted to the rhythms. The writing aspect taught poetry to the rhythms that they had learned and integrated the idea of call and response with poetry.

  • Days 3 & 4:

    • These days they learned about the African American rhythms that came about due to the slave trade and once again painted to these rhythms. The children once again wrote poetry but they delved deeper into forming rhythms in their poetry.

  • Day 5 and 6:

    • For the last sessions they learned about Jazz and its origins in storytelling. They learned to improvise and create their own rhythms but at the same time to respect their peer’s rhythms. In the writing component they touched on the concept of memoir and wrote their own stories that they would never want to forget.


Closing Thought

I think they were much more engaged because of the culture and music. When you ask kids to write they always groan and complain. But if you ask them to write about things that they enjoy or things that excite them, they get to relive that experience. Because they loved Carol and Larry they found it so easy to write about it. They really enjoyed talking and writing about their experience.

International Geographic Tour

Northeast Elementary

Afterschool program

Spring semester 2015