Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Education

May 8, 2014

Montessori students revisit past through 'Arts Are Our Voices'

Montessori students tap the arts to revisit the past

Andover School of Montessori students became part of history last week as they shared the stories of three important eras in the nation’s past through the creation of living tableaux.

As part of the grant-funded “Arts Are Our Voices” initiative, the school’s fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders investigated the daily life and culture of those living in the Middle Ages in Europe, Native Americans during the colonization of America, and slaves during the nation’s early Colonial days.

The students and their teachers worked with visiting theater teaching artist Joy Lamberton-Arcolano of Playhouse Education to develop the performance. After researching the eras, they created monologues from the point of view of a member of the society they were studying with the idea of sharing the stories with the greater school community, including their parents, Head of School Joanna DeStefanis said in a release.

The performance held last Friday featured “snapshots” capturing the life and work of each time period, with historical music and movement used to transition from one era to the next.

The performance was funded in part by a Massachusetts Cultural Council STARS grant, which provides money for a visiting artist, scholar or scientist to have a long-term interaction with students while collaborating with their classroom teachers to enrich, extend or deepen the curriculum through the arts and sciences.

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