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Program

Creative Studies Workshop

We design creative studies workshops for children. we provide innovative arts education in safe spaces for at-risk youth. We start early in developing the art of imagination, with students as young as six, and continue to connect the arts to everything important in a child’s life through their high school graduation. We provide education through the arts to children from kindergarten through twelve through our partnership with local organizations. By building our curriculum at the intersection of arts education, academic achievement, and critical life skills, Homeland Africa workshops activate whole brain thinking, developing the creative potential of at-risk youth – empowering them to become innovative role models with meaningful careers

Collaboration/ Communication

Arts education provides students with a wide variety of collaborative projects, ranging from painting murals to acting out skits. These projects teach students how to work as a team, navigating each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They practice social tolerance and engage in active listening while learning how to interpret social cues and body language to create collaborative artwork.

Perseverance

Students in the arts receive constant, constructive feedback and understand that feedback is a tool for improvement. Artists persistently draft, practice or rehearse their work before its presentation. They develop the humility and grit to acknowledge criticism and adjust their art as needed. Grit and perseverance developed in arts education translate into other academic subjects and goes beyond secondary education.

Creativity/Innovation

At the center of arts education is a developing student creativity and innovation. In the arts, students are not confined by one answer. Instead, they are continually asked to try new things and seek alternatives. This kind of creative thinking is a key first step towards innovation, which is essential in an increasingly competitive world.

Confidence/ Leadership

The presentation of their work, through exhibit or performance, gives art students a sense of accomplishment. As a result, they develop a strong sense of identity and confidence in their ability to interpret and express their opinions, driving their ability to perform as leaders in their communities.

PAINTING/DRAWING

 

Children express and represent what they observe, think, imagine, and feel through two- and three-dimensional art

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Arts

  • Children pass through several stages as they progress in drawing and painting.
  •  These stages are related to early writing skills.
  • They begin with scribbles, random marks that go in many directions.

As their fine motor skills improve, they learn to control the tools of art—crayons, markers, paintbrushes—and make circles, lines, and zigzags, sometimes covering the whole paper.

  • Next come basic shapes such as crosses, squares, and rectangles.
  • A child at this stage might repeat the same shapes over and over.
  • Children then combine shapes, placing crosses inside circles or rectangles and making sun-like objects using circles and lines.
  • Soon children use shapes and lines to make figures that represent humans, animals, and trees.
  • As skills continue to grow, children’s artwork becomes more and more representational.
  • They can discuss both the process used to create their artwork and what it represents.
  • And, increasingly, they are able to plan what to create and determine what materials, tools, and techniques they need to carry out their plans.
  • Artistic skills are closely related to physical development.
  • Art experiences such as finger painting, sculpting with soft wire, or using clay allow children to use their senses to explore the properties of the materials, build fine motor skills, and practice eye-hand coordination.
  • Painting and drawing invite children to explore concepts—color, shape, size, cause and effect, and same and different.
  • They can make sense of experiences by creating physical representations of events, people, and objects.
  • By exploring a single idea in various media, such as drawing, painting, and sculpting a tree, children develop focus and deepen their level of understanding.
  • Art can help children build a sense of competence because there are no right or wrong ways to use materials, and all products are valued.
  • Another important part of this Domain Element is art appreciation.

Pre-schoolers can

  • observe,
  • compare, and
  • respond to the properties of artistic works.

With a teacher’s guidance they can discuss the artist’s use of color, shapes, texture, and more

  • Pre-schoolers can
    • learn to notice and appreciate the elements of art
    • color,
    • line,
    • shape, or pattern —
    • In everyday items, such as the colors of leaves, the brickwork of a nearby building, or a spider’s web.
  • Gains ability in using different art media and materials in a variety of ways for creative expression and representation.
  • Progresses in abilities to create drawings, paintings, models, and other art creations that are more detailed, creative, or realistic.
  • Develops growing abilities to plan, work independently, and demonstrate care and persistence in a variety of art projects.
  • Begins to understand and share opinions about artistic products and experiences.

To encourage children’s development in art

  • Provide a wide variety of open-ended materials and tools children can explore and use to create art.
  • Include periods of time in the daily schedule when children can choose what they want to do and what materials to use.
  • Offer sufficient space for creating and storing completed work and work-in-progress.
  • Designate an area where children can be messy; provide clean-up items and help children to use them.
  • Display children’s work, with their permission, at eye-level, in a variety of places throughout the classroom.
  • Encourage children to take art home to share with families.
  • Encourage children to talk about their art by commenting on colors, textures, techniques, and patterns and saying, “Tell me about your….” Ask questions about the process, “How did you make these shapes?”
  • Introduce new materials and techniques that children can use in their art, such as how to work with real potter’s clay.
  • Include various art forms, materials, and techniques representing children’s cultures.
  • Invite local artists to share and discuss with the children a work-in-progress or to display their work in your program.
  • As children explore movement, cognitive, social, and emotional development is also going on.
  • Movement experiences involve children in creating, representing, and expressing their interpretations of events, ideas, and feelings

Children’s thinking skills are activated when teachers ask ….

  • “How can you jump and land quietly?” or
  • “How might a family of ducks get across the street?”

Both questions require children to use what they already know to come up with several possible solutions.

  • Movement activities can foster cooperation and consideration of other people’s ideas.

Creative movement can help children

  • feel more competent and capable when their ideas are accepted and valued and
  • when experiences help them build physical skills used in other activities.
  • prompt vocabulary,
  • language, and
  • conceptual development.

Their vocabulary expands as they learn to …

  • “turn around,”
  • “twirl,” or
  • “rotate.”
  • Expresses through movement and dancing what is felt and heard in various musical tempos and styles.
  • Shows growth in moving in time to different patterns of beat and rhythm in music.
  • Incorporate dances from children’s cultures in the curriculum.
  • Ask families to share traditional music and dances from their cultures.
  • Once children know the basic steps, encourage variations so they can use their creativity.

To encourage creative movement

  • Provide an environment that supports movement.
  •  Offer open-ended props such as scarves, wrist bells, and foam balls that children can use on their own.
  • Provide an open area where children can move to music or just explore different ways to move their bodies.
  • When leading a small group activity, be sure to have enough materials for each child so nobody has to watch and wait.

Arts experiences allow children to convey their

  • ideas,
  • feelings,
  • and knowledge in visual forms.

Arts Individually and in groups, children use materials such as

  • crayons, paint, Play dough, clay, found objects,
  • glue, tape, and paper, along with tools such as
    • scissors,
    • brushes,
    • rolling pins,
    • cookie cutters, and more.

They explore the Arts processes of art using

  • materials, tools, and techniques
  • and create products such as …
    • drawings,
    • paintings,
    • sculptures,
    • mobiles, and
    • collage

MUSIC

Children express and represent what they observe, think, imagine, and feel through music.

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Music

Children’s experiences and associations with music begin in infancy. Some babies are comforted by the slow rhythms of lullabies, and others are excited by music with a lively beat. By the time they reach the toddler years, many children have favorite songs and musical pieces They listen attentively, sing along with a familiar chorus, and begin making their own music by shaking a tambourine or banging on a drum. As language skills grow, toddlers begin making up their own songs. If they have had many opportunities to listen to and talk about music, they can identify the sounds made by specific instruments—trumpet, drum, or violin. pre-schoolers

  • can recall enough of the words and tune of a simple song to sing along quite well.
  • can learn to listen and play along with music using rhythm instruments such as sand blocks.
  • can learn about basic musical concepts such as pitch, duration, tempo, and loudness, and
  • can understand and use musical vocabulary.
  • Their singing skills continue to grow, along with their ability to play rhythm instruments.
  •  An increased attention span allows pre-schoolers to listen to recorded music and talk about what they hear.

When young children take part in developmentally appropriate music experiences as part of their daily routines and activities, they can listen, identifying the sounds made by different instruments;

  • respond by clapping to the beat or marching around the room quickly or slowly in response to different kinds of music;
  • create (explore the sounds made by different keys on a thumb piano and make up a tune);
  • understand (determine whether a piece of music has a slow or fast beat);
  • make up (create a new song or a verse for a familiar song); and
  • play (shake maracas to accompany a song).
  • Experiments with a variety of musical instruments.
  • Participate with increasing interest and enjoyment in a variety of music activities, including listening, singing, finger plays, games, and performances.

To encourage musical expression and appreciation

  • Incorporate the music of children’s cultures and home languages in the curriculum.
  • Sing songs suggested by children’s families.
  • Sing along with a recorded version of a song until everyone learns the words.

Introduce real or homemade versions of instruments that are typical of children’s cultures. To encourage musical expression and appreciation

  • Share and discuss a variety of musical forms and styles.
  • Sing traditional and contemporary children’s songs and folk songs from our country and other countries.
  • Introduce different kinds of classical music—piano sonatas, lullabies, ballets, and operas.
  • Listen and move to jazz, reggae, and marches
  • Encourage children to share and compare their responses to different kinds of music—
  • how it makes them feel,
  • what they do or do not like about it,
  • how it is similar to and different from other music they have heard,

what instruments they hear in different pieces of music

  • Enjoy making and listening to music.
  • Most songs for pre-schoolers have a range of about five notes, so they are simple to sing.
  •  Learn new ones by listening to and singing along with recordings.
  • Share favorite kinds of music with children and let them catch the enthusiasm.
  • Provide an environment that supports making music and listening to music.
  • Include rhythm instruments, xylophones, bells, and materials for making instruments.
  • Provide a child-friendly tape player with a variety of music tapes and headphones.
  • Use music to enhance routines and activities.
  • For example, play the same piece of music to signal it is time to clean up and go outdoors.
  • Play music in the art area and encourage children to listen and paint according to the way the music makes them feel.

Music and Movement

  • Provide opportunities to practice social skills
  • Support phonemic awareness
  • Instil acts of kindness and cooperation
  • Calm and focus the mind
  • Encourage interaction in non-threatening ways
  • Children with a strong sense of beat are more likely to read well.
  • Music stimulates all the senses, helping children learn to recognize patterns and sequence.

Early music exposure helps children learn by promoting language, creativity, coordination, social interaction, self-esteem and memory.

  • Singing games support children’s need to socialize and play, instead of “pre-academic” skills.
  • Music helps “wire” the brain, supporting a higher level of thinking.

So sing, sing, sing to your baby. Recite nursery rhymes and poetry while rocking, so body and ear can work together and don’t forget that the changing table is a great place for rhymes and massage.

  • First of all, request to come in at a time when the kids are likely to be a bit settled – not after they’ve just had to sit still for story time or another lesson.
  • They’ll never pay any attention to you. Plan a mix of activities, so that when they get restless (as they inevitably will), you can get them up and moving a little bit.
  • Make sure that everything you have is large and brightly-colored, because it will catch their attention better.
  • Have plenty of interesting music for them to listen to, including some that is already familiar to them.
  • Don’t be afraid to get down on the floor and play with them.
  • They won’t understand what you’re trying to do with them unless you show them and do it, too. Once they do understand, they’ll likely be very good at their new skill.

Creative Movement –

  • Put on a classical piece that changes dynamic levels fairly often. Make sure that everything you have is large and brightly-colored, because it will catch their attention better.
  • Have plenty of interesting music for them to listen to, including some that is already familiar to them.
  • Don’t be afraid to get down on the floor and play with them.
  • They won’t understand what you’re trying to do with them unless you show them and do it, too. Once they do understand, they’ll likely be very good at their new skill.
  • Demonstrate for the children making yourself as small as you can when the music’s quiet, and as big as you can when the music’s loud.

Demonstrate “growing” with the music, then ask the children to do it. Talk to them as the music’s on, and “grow” and “shrink” with them. It will give them a sense of dynamics in the music

DANCE

Children express and represent what they observe, think, imagine, and feel through movement.

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Movement

includes …

dancing to music and moving in various ways to learn what the body can do or to express an idea or feeling. Children might imagine how an animal moves, then try to imitate it. They could focus on a specific feeling, such as joy or fear, and create movements to express the feeling. Movement facilitates spatial awareness and sensory integration, contributes to overall health and fitness, and promotes development of physical skills.

Movement includes …

  • dancing to music and moving in various ways…
    • to learn what the body can do or
    • to express an idea or feeling.

Children might imagine how an animal moves, then try to imitate it.

Dramatic play and drama involve make-believe.

Children take on roles such as …

  • mother, waiter, mail carrier, or doctor.

They put objects to imaginative uses—for example,

  • transforming a large box into a spaceship or cave

Dramatic play also offers a wide range of opportunities for children to use and expand their

  • cognitive,
  • language,
  • literacy, and
  • social skill.

need to focus on what it means to be creative.

  • Individuals are creative when they take existing objects or ideas and combine them in different ways for new purposes.
  • They use their ever-growing body of knowledge to generate new and useful solutions to everyday challenges.
  • Early childhood teachers are creative when they invent new ways to individualize the environment, curriculum, and interactions with young learners.

– should  understanding and recognizing the creative process—in themselves and in children.

  • should encourage learning through the creative arts by introducing children to excellent and varied examples of art forms.
  • should involve children in noticing, thinking about, and discussing artistic productions.
  • should use open-ended questions,
  • should invite children to
    • examine,
    • critique,
    • evaluate,

and develop their own aesthetic preferences

  • should provide raw materials, props, tools, and appropriate spaces so that children can create in their own ways.
  • should observe and respond to children in ways that communicate acceptance for creative expression.
  • should plan and offer integrated experiences to take advantage of the many ways creative arts support learning in other domains.

To support children’s development in the creative arts

  • Maintain a supportive atmosphere in which all forms of creative expression are encouraged, accepted and valued. Participation in any art activity should always be a choice. There is no wrong answer.
  • Plan a flexible environment that offers a sufficient range of materials, props, tools, and equipment for creative expression.

To support children’s development in the creative arts

  • Plan a variety of open-ended creative arts activities that foster children’s imaginative thinking, problem solving, and self-expression.
  • Adapt materials and experiences so children with disabilities can fully engage in the creative arts.

To support children’s development in the creative arts

  • Model their own creative thinking and expression by making up voices and sound effects and using gestures when reading or telling stories, by using recycled items for new purposes, and by thinking out loud when solving a problem.
  • Encourage children by making positive, specific comments     (“I see you’ve made a pattern—green, yellow,                     green, yellow”), rather than offering                                     broad general praise, such as “Good job.”

THEATER

Children express and represent what they observe, think, imagine, and feel through pretend play

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Theater

  • Pretend play begins to emerge even before children are two years old. Toddler
  • pick up an empty plastic cup, lift it to her mouth, and pretend to drink from it

Child

  • use a can or block to symbolize the cup.
  • A pre-schooler’s ability to create mental images—of objects, people, actions, clothing, conversation, and more— leads to rich dramatic play.
  • Children who are skilled in dramatic play use both their imagination and their knowledge of the world to recreate familiar experiences and create new ones.
  • They use social and cognitive skills such as negotiating and problem solving to plan and carry out complex scenarios.

Indeed, dramatic play and teacher-guided drama are attuned to the way in which young children learn.

  • Dramatic play and teacher-guided drama support development across Domains.
  • The links with language are evident.
  • Children learn language, in part, by practicing drama and dramatic play provide for the use of and practice of language in a natural and spontaneous environment.

Acting out a variety of roles gives young children the opportunity to experiment with various kinds and uses of language.

  • Children must listen and talk to each other in planning their play and carrying out their roles.
  • A drama session can be structured by a teacher to promote the specific language skills needed (Brown & Plydell 1999).
  • As children make signs for a store, read to dolls, or write a shopping list, they step into the world of literacy.
  • Many of their scenarios, whether child-initiated or teacher-directed, are retellings of familiar stories and recreations of known characters from literature.
  • When counting out change or measuring the width of an imaginary river, children also see mathematics in action.

In dramatic play, they have many reasons to use language, literacy, and mathematics – reasons that matter to them.

 

  • Dramatic play and teacher-guided drama promote all elements of the social and emotional Domain and help children gain greater understanding of themselves, their peers, and their families.
  • In the symbolic world of make-believe, children often express thoughts and concerns that might otherwise go undiscovered or remain repressed.
  • Within the world of play that they themselves control, children are able to cope with fears and matters that trouble them.
  • Positive approaches to learning also develop as children engage in dramatic play and drama.
  • These experiences can stir a child’s …
    • curiosity,
    • provoke questions,
    • and develop initiative, persistence, reasoning and problem solving .
  • Research suggests that dramatic play is good for children in all these ways, but it also tells us that many children have very limited dramatic play skills (Smilanksy & Sheftaya 1990).
  • They have had few experiences with make-believe and lack the skills to build a play episode and keep it going.
  • English language learners may not want to participate in dramatic play until they are more comfortable with the dominant language.
  • To help these children become capable players and gain the many benefits of dramatic play, at times adults will need to join them in their play to model behaviors just beyond their present level.
  • Participates in a variety of dramatic play activities that become more extended and complex.
  • Shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations.

To promote dramatic play …

  • Dramatize stories from children’s cultures.
  • Ask families to share traditional stories from their cultures.
  • Create a flexible environment that stimulates children’s imaginations with appropriate and varied …
  • props,
  • furniture,
  • materials and
  • enough space and time for children to get fully involved.
  • Provide props of varying realism to meet the needs of both inexperienced and capable players, including realistic props (cash register, stethoscopes, dolls, coins, and a variety of dress-up clothes) and open-ended objects (cardboard tubes, unit blocks, or pieces of cloth).

 

Strategies

  • Observe children’s play to learn what they might need to enhance their play—additional props, a suggested action for one of the players, or a subtle comment to take the play to the next level.
  • Observe children to determine what they might need to join in the play.

To promote dramatic play

  • Help children identify emotions or problems that are surfacing in their dramatic play or drama work.
  • Encourage recall and sequencing skills by asking them to tell you what happened in their drama: “How did the story start?” “What happened next?”
  • In teacher-guided drama, ask questions that encourage problem solving such as, “How can we get past the cave without waking up the bear?”

To promote dramatic play

Use scaffolding to provide just the right amount of support. For example, teachers can (Davidson 1996):

      • model how to pretend or act out a part through words and actions;
      • model how to use a prop;

Use scaffolding to provide just the right amount of support. For example, teachers can (Davidson 1996):

Allow children to create their own ending for a story; “How do you think the cap seller got those monkeys to give him back his cap?  Show me!”

 

This encourages creativity.

Many adults wish their teachers had provided more opportunities for self-expression through music, art, movement, drama, and dramatic play. These experiences are fun and engaging ways for children to build language, numeracy, and literacy skills; to learn about their own and other cultures; and to develop social skills. They also set the stage for using the creative arts to solve problems, express ideas, and gain self-knowledge in the school years and beyond.

Many adults wish their teachers had provided more opportunities for …

  • self-expression through
    • music,
    • art,
    • movement,
    • drama, and
    • dramatic play.
  • These experiences are fun and engaging ways for children to build
    • language,
    • numeracy, and
    • literacy skills;
      • to learn about their own and other cultures;
      • and to develop social skills.
    • They also set the stage for using the creative arts to…
      • solve problems,
      • express ideas,

and gain self-knowledge in the school years and beyond

Dramatic Play Activities for

Pre-schoolers

  • When pre-schoolers pretend by engaging in dramatic play, they are actually developing a variety of skills.
  • Dramatic play allows kids cognitive opportunities for thinking through problems creatively, planning and organizing, and using language effectively.
  • Socially, dramatic play is important because kids learn to cooperate and interact appropriately with others.

Both large and small motor skills are enhanced through all sorts of dramatic play.

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