We may be just a few months into the new year, yet Story Tapestries has been moving full steam ahead with our programming. Story Tapestries Master Teaching Artist Debbi Arseneaux shared about such programming in a Story Tapestries blog post about her recent residency experience: “I am thoroughly enjoying these classes and the process of creation with these students. They are smart, funny, insightful, thoughtful and their enthusiasm each time I arrive is infectious.”
Debbi taught a five-session residency in two 6th grade classrooms at Washington Yu Ying, a Chinese immersion public charter school in Washington, D.C. In meeting with the classroom teachers prior to the residency, it was decided to focus some of their goals on creating a script from an existing story and connecting it to Chinese culture and history. The team chose Yeh-Shen: a Cinderella Story from China and Debbi led the students in creating tableaus to physically recreate the story as well as their own lines of dialogue and monologues based on the story.
Debbi then “combined all their ideas into one script, making almost no edits…this is THEIR script, no question.” The students then performed their script for fellow students, accomplishing another goal from the residency’s pre-planning: that students would gain experience in performing for peers.
So a journey that began with the click of a “donate” button ended in great success, as Debbi puts it: "I am so proud of the great work these students have been able to accomplish in such a short time. Their scripts are funny, bilingual, and demonstrate an understanding of key ideas and themes. I am certain that the teachers will be able to apply many of these techniques in future lessons and projects. I feel incredible satisfaction knowing that we will have accomplished all the goals we set for this process, and then some. And the students have clearly had a blast doing so."
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