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In last week’s blog post, I summarized the results of our recent conversations with teachers and parents regarding the challenges they face turning teens and tweens on to history. Their comments fell into one of three categories:
It isn’t easy for young people to comprehend time in the distant past.
The way history is presented can be dry and dull,
which makes it difficult to learn.
Young people don’t appreciate how history influences their lives today.
Over at Time Traveler Tours & Tales, we’re building a publishing imprint with the express goal of overcoming these challenges. Our primary mission is to provide a fun way into history. Our operating mantra is:
Make History Relevant. Make History Personal. Make History Real.
This is perhaps best expressed in the latest release from the product suite of our award-winning debut title and case study: the Beware Madame La Guillotine Curriculum Handbook, by Marcie Colleen.
Here’s Marcie on the making of this dramatically-new teacher guide:
Marcie’s Curriculum Handbook is a veritable time travel machine. Used in collaboration with my eponymous story, it takes students and teachers by the hand and transports them to the tumultuous streets of the Reign of Terror, making history real. It allows them to view this pivotal historical moment through the eyes of someone who lived it, making history personal. It introduces young people to the roots of democratic society, and compels them to ponder such big-picture questions as, Is violence ever justified?, making history relevant.
Get your FREE copies of both Beware Madame la Guillotine
AND Marcie’s complementary Curriculum Handbook
in exchange for your honest feedback.
Let’s make history together!
* * *
Want to know more about the making of the BMLG Curriculum Handbook?
Don’t miss this 14 minute video chat between me and Marcie Colleen.
Turning kids on to history?
Sarah Towle speaks with Marcie Colleen, Curriculum Developer for Time Traveler Tours & Tales, about curriculum writing, Process Drama, and her all-new Curriculum Handbook for Beware Madame la Guillotine.
Coming September 2014, just in time for Back to School, it’s perfect for Social Studies, History, English Language Arts as well as Dramatic Arts classrooms, and an excellent complement to European and World History curricula.
But the fun doesn't stop there.
To test and distribute this dramatically-new teaching and learning tool, Sarah and Marcie are opening the doors to authors and educators worldwide dedicated to turning kids on to history.
Join TTT&T’s Teacher Vanguard today! Get both curriculum guide and book FREE in exchange for your feedback. Become part of an international discussion on immersive teaching practice.
Don't wish to join the Vanguard?
But still want access to the BMLG Curriculum Handbook?
Pre-order your copy at the low introductory rate of just $9.99.
Available for pdf download by 15 Sept 2014.
Time Traveler Tours & Tales’ dramatically new Curriculum Handbook for Beware Madame la Guillotine is nearly here! Developed by theater educator and children’s author, Marcie Colleen, our debut Curriculum Handbook uses Process Drama to bring Revolutionary Paris to life within the classroom walls. It is “interactivity” at its very best. And bound to bring your STEM classroom to a roiling boil!
Process drama does not require a dramatic arts teacher. It does not use familiar theater devices, such as scripts, costumes, actors, and stage crew. Rather, it is a creative instructional method that offers teachers and students the experience of an event, a place, or a time period through facilitated improvisation.
According to theater scholar and educator, Cecily O’Neill, process drama begins with “a task to be undertaken, a decision to be made, or a place to be explored.” Working from this prompt, the teacher and students create an imaginary world and work to address the challenges and opportunities of that world through dramatic interpretation.
There is no written script. The “drama” is not presented on a stage. Nor is there need of an audience. The drama is “set” in a classroom. It might extend over the course of an hour, several days, or even weeks. And it involves all students. The drama unfolds at the hands of these student-actor-researchers as they explore and become part of a particular moment, breakthrough, or event in historical time.
With Marcie’s brilliant complement to Beware Madame la Guillotine the interactive tale (available at Amazon and on the iBookstore), students time travel to the French Revolution and bear witness to it first hand. They walk in the shoes of protagonist, Charlotte Corday. They experience the tremendous social and political upheaval of the time through her eyes. They absorb the ins and outs of this dense historical period in an immersive, play-like way. They take it all in and make sense through their 21st century lens. They make history relevant to today.
Process drama can play a powerful role in any classroom, even in science. But it is particularly well matched to language arts, history, and social studies curricula, especially when teaching literary genre, social concepts, or history far removed from students’ own lives. Through improvised dramas, students experience content personally, providing a deeper connection to the material, thus gaining a higher order understanding of the subject being taught. It all turns on empathy.
Process drama is a complex tool, yes, but one that offers teachers depth and breadth across the curriculum. Marcie’s example stands as an excellent illustration that turns an otherwise dense and potentially tedious historical subject for young people into a luminous and textured tale of scandal and passion, intrigue and treachery.
Turning kids on to history?
Join Marcie and me and our growing community of educatiors
at The TTT&T Teacher Vanguard today!
For more information on Process Drama, we recommend this article from Kennedy Center's ArtsEdge.
Just in Time for Back-2-School! Marcie Colleen’s Curriculum Handbook for Beware Madame la Guillotine is Now Available
Today's guest post is by Marcie Colleen, Curriculum Developer for Time Traveler Tours & Tales, who has just completed the first of what we all hope will be a series of Curriculum Handbooks for our future titles suites. With the Beware Madame la Guillotine Curriculum Handbook, Marcie has managed to extract all the juicy goodness from the story, and then make it ever better!
Thank you, Marcie! Now, take it away...