The Art of Adaptation: How Puppets Can Break Down Barriers
Debbi Arseneaux, The Learning Alliance
Grades: K – 3
How can we authentically connect with students to support both social emotional and literacy skill development? How can teaching artists actively support classroom teachers through creative collaboration? This past year has reminded us all of the importance of adaptability, flexibility, and perseverance. It has brought forth new ways of working with old formats and introducing new tools to engage with familiar strategies. Teaching Artists have played a key role in this exploration and adaptation. Moonshot Academy is an after school and summer program run by The Learning Alliance in Vero Beach, Florida that supports struggling readers through an Enriched Literacy approach. In March 2020, to ensure that we would be able to continue to serve students, we started to create original, interactive video content with puppets that our teachers could use with students, whether on campus or online. Who doesn’t love puppets? We started with a single puppet reading stories and we now have a dynamic duo of characters that model lessons for teachers, engage students in reading, and explore the community, making literacy learning come alive everywhere. We knew we had a dynamic way to reach the students through the screen; we had no idea when we started just how much WE would learn from this journey. Come share in a bit of the magic we have created, the insights gained, and envision creative collaborations to support your own communities.