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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, December 30, 2004

Toolkit creates teaching ideas

Advertiser Staff

Fueled by Hawai'i's ARTS FIRST coalition, two dozen of the state's top teaching artists have joined together to help reinvent the schools through creative learning activities.

Eight of the teachers recently completed the ARTS FIRST Essential Toolkit for Grades K-5, which provides standards-based lesson plans and practical ideas for classroom teachers to integrate drama, dance, music and visual arts into their curriculum.

Workshops on how to use the toolkit will be held on O'ahu, Kaua'i, Hawai'i and Maui in March and April.

Schools may request training for their elementary school teachers by contacting the education director at the Maui Arts & Culture Center at (808) 242-2787 ext. 234 or the Hawai'i Alliance for Arts Education at 533-2787.

TOYchallenge deadline nears

Students in grades 5 to 8 have until Jan. 7 to register for the TOYchallenge competition in which teams design their own toys or games.

Sponsored by Hasbro, scientific research society Sigma Xi, Smith College and Sally Ride Science, the competition aims to engage kids — especially girls — in engineering activities and motivate them to pursue engineering education and careers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up 11 percent of the engineering workforce. Although studies show girls and boys are equally good and interested in elementary math and science, more girls begin to drift away from these subjects as they move into middle school.

TOYchallenge aims to keep their interest. Boys are welcome to participate in the challenge, but at least half the members of each team must be girls.

The contest guidelines and registration forms are available at www.TOYchallenge.com.

Free programs for teachers

Video Placement Worldwide has two free teaching programs for qualified educators interested in teaching their students about the influence of Shakespeare's work and the historic, cultural and artistic significance of film.

"Shakespeare in American Communities" is a multimedia teacher's resource kit developed by the National Endowment for the Arts that educates high school students about Shakespeare's life, Elizabethan society and theater, Shakespeare's characters and the beauty of his language. It includes a video, an audio CD, a teachers guide with lesson plans and a timeline poster, and a DVD with interviews and recitations by actors.

"The Story of Movies" has been developed by The Film Foundation in partnership with IBM and Turner Classic Movies. Aimed at seventh- and eighth-graders, the students do an in-depth study of "To Kill a Mockingbird," learning about the narrative structure of film, film language and the filmmaking process. This program includes a teacher's guide with lesson plans and tests, a student activity booklet and two DVDs (one is the film).

To order either program or review other free programs, teachers can visit www.vpw.com, send a fax on school letterhead to (800) 358-5218 or write on school letterhead to Video Placement Worldwide, 25 Second St. N., Suite 120, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.