Bella's Story

Nov 12, 2019

With the understanding that not all children learn in the same way, Young Audiences of Northern California recently developed STEAM curriculum (learning about science, technology, engineering and math through the arts) to guide student inquiry, dialogue and critical thinking in the classroom:

Teaching Artist Manolo Davila combined percussion instruments and sounds to teach students about the water cycle. “What instrument makes a sound like boiling water?” he asks his students. Bella raises her hand and shakes her instrument, “This one!” she exclaims. The instrument is a shekere, a gourd with a net of beads around its body, and it makes a shaking and rattling noise as it moves. The class agrees, and Manolo asks, “So what part of the water cycle does this instrument and sound represent?” The students respond in unison, “Evaporation!” And so it goes until each stage of the water cycle has an instrument and sound associated with it. The class then goes on to sing a song together. Each verse contains lyrics relating to evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and so on. The students and Manolo play the instruments that correspond to each verse/stage of the water cycle.

This residency session integrates arts (music) with science (the water cycle) to produce a memorable, creative, engaging learning experience.

Bella’s mom talks about the transformation she saw in her child: “Bella couldn’t wait to go back to summer school this year so she could sing and play music while she was learning about science and math, too! I don’t think she really understands that she was learning because she was having so much fun, but I can tell there’s been a major change in her attitude towards school.”

Because of people like you, Young Audiences’ artists conduct hands-on arts learning in the classroom. With your investment, we will continue to create arts experiences that inspire, engage and expand learning for young people.

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