Workshops and Consultations for Educators

I facilitate workshops for educators in using visual art and creative writing activities to support and enhance academic study in the Massachusetts public elementary and secondary school curriculum.  My workshops are designed for museums, libraries, nature/environmental centers and community colleges which are often registered providers of district-based in-service programs for teachers that fulfill PDP requirements. I also give workshops on incorporating visual art and creative writing projects in the classroom at professional education conferences and seminars.

I design my workshops for all grade-levels and can focus on a particular area of study, such as history, science, foreign languages or English, or on a general academic application.  I use age-appropriate examples of visual art and writing throughout history to illustrate creative ways art can be used to facilitate learning in various academic subject-areas, and I suggest art projects and activities based on these examples. In every workshop, I provide an opportunity for educators to take part in one or two short visual art exercises which they can later develop and adapt for their classes.

For educators and administrators in public after-school and summer-school programs, I offer consultation services in developing arts-based activities in the curriculum. I design theme-based group visual art projects and individual art and creative writing activities that teachers in any academic field can use in their classes, and I work directly with the teachers on an on-going basis as they implement these projects and activities with their students. I advise on every aspect of these projects, from scheduling to ordering supplies, and I visit each class in rotation on a regular basis to work directly with the students and their teachers.

In a 2003 project sponsored by the Hitchcock Center for the Environment in Amherst, Massachusetts, children in first- through third-grade at the Montague Center School, Montague, Massachusetts, learned about the natural environment by researching and drawing plant and animal life found in and around the nearby Sawmill River to create this alphabet. I drew the initial letters and images and the children contributed their drawings for each letter.  

This is an example of what I think of as a "contemplative" nature journal--it incorporates actual found objects from nature, personal photos and art work with journal entries, poems, facts, memories...whatever is meaningful to the individual. This is a great project to do with an inter-generational group where experiences and abilities will differ widely. Instructors can offer suggestions for entries (for example, find a picture of yourself as a child taken outdoors, and re-create the memory in a collage of words, drawings and found objects from nature) or allow individuals to proceed with their own ideas.