Upon hearing that a guest artist is coming to your school to teach a workshop, you would be right in expecting an interactive and creative experience for the students. What you might not have guessed is the subject matter. This month, ETC teaching artists led workshops at Barcroft Elementary in 4th grade Science and 2nd grade Social Studies. Many people think the arts and sciences live in opposition. But just think, what would the world be like if we encouraged more scientists to think creatively? Albert Einstein said, “The greatest scientists are artists as well.”
Earlier this month, I led two 4th grade classes in Earth Science workshops. The students were learning about the Sun, Moon, and the Earth and how they moved in Space. Here is something that takes a little imagination to envision. After all, we don’t feel the Earth moving.
Barcroft students leave their desks for interactive workshop
We did a quick physical warm up and the room buzzed with positive energy. Allowing the students to temporarily vacate their desks registered in the delight and surprise on their faces. I called on students to take on the roles of Sun, Moon, and Earth. Together, we learned a song detailing the orbits and rotations of our characters, which we sang as they acted out their scene of turning around one another.
Student playing Moon orbits student playing Earth
Next, we investigated what it would be like to walk on the moon. I asked students to draw on their own creativity to imagine how it would feel to walk on the moon. Would it feel different than walking on Earth? We talked about why, and then gave it a try!
Students act out putting on spacesuits and walking on the Moon
I believe learning should be engaging. I believe learning should be fun. Using theatre arts to teach subjects like science and social studies is a great way to encourage creativity and critical thinking while providing a way to connect with the material through a memorable experience.
Learning while working together and having fun? You can’t beat that.