Sheila Kerrigan performs “The Scientific Mime, or, What’s Up With Gravity?” for children and “Mime Explains String Theory!” for adults. She wrote “The Performer’s Guide to the Collaborative Process;” teaches mime, juggling, communication, collaboration, and theater, and works with at-risk youth to create original performance. She taught Community-Based Performance at Duke, served on Alternate ROOTS’ Resources for Social Change, was a Fellow with A+ Schools, and is president of the SE Center for Arts Integration. ARTS-CURRICULUM INTEGRATION: (THEATRE) (MOVEMENT/SCIENCE) (LANGUAGE ARTS) (MIME)
GRADES: 2, 3, 4, & 5
I am creating a series of short videos designed for teachers to use to introduce concepts in 2nd-5th grades Physical Science standards. Start off a lesson about gravity with a 5-minute video of a mime struggling against gravity and weight. Or spark interest in moving air with a mime walking against the wind, juggling scarves, and playing with balloons. Other topics include: mass and inertia; sound waves; force, push and pull; simple machines; and friction.
The videos spark excitement about science and help concrete thinkers grasp abstract concepts. In them, I invite the audience to do sound-and-movement gestures for key vocabulary along with me. Why? Because students use visual, oral, auditory, and bodily learning pathways all at once. –see, say, hear, do—and that helps cement learning by storing information in four different areas of the brain. Plus, silliness is embedded, and brain research has shown that we remember better when we have an emotional connection to content.
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