We have just completed the most amazing Arts Integrated learning project “Maine to Alaska, Swapping Fish Tales”. It was a two-year process involving two schools and two opposite ends of the country, Deer Isle Maine and Juneau Alaska.
- Practiced various ways to tell a story through digital media
- Became proficient in the use of Garage Band to record many voices and interviews
- Explored new geographical locations through research and interviews
- Talked to students in Alaska using Skype and other online technologies
- Became an investigative journalist and asked probing questions
- Practiced portraying characters described in a text
- Learned to infer information from a text
- Learned exciting ways to use sculptural techniques to tell a story
- Created sculptures and became sculptures themselves through the process of Tableau
Both Deer Isle, and Juneau have a long tradition of fishing in their communities. Fishing, many would agree, is not just a way to make a living, but a way of life. Students in Deer Isle and Juneau conducted interviews with fishermen and women, recording stories about fishing life, fishing families, and the ups and downs of life on the sea.
Playwright, Dave Hunsaker, then compiled these stories into “Dear Fish” an original production. Over 350 community members and the entire school community saw students performing the roles of the various fishermen and women. Over fifty students from both the Elementary School and High School were involved in some aspect of the final production.
The student-artists of Deer Isle and Juneau took the leadership roles in this project. They created the questions for the fishermen; they led the interviews; they initiated the process of turning fishermen’s transcribed words on a page into performed words and movement on a stage. They’ve created props and digital projections, and they worked diligently in rehearsals to create a spectacular performance.