Education students help University Musical Society
DEARBORN---Students in two of education Prof. Julie Taylor's classes
are influencing curriculums in schools before setting foot in the classroom.
Since last spring, Taylor's "social studies methods" and "multicultural
education" classes in the School
of Education have developed lessons plans for teacher
resource guides distributed to educators attending special youth performances
sponsored by Ann Arbor's University Musical
performance program features live performances designed for K-12 audiences,
with relevant resource materials supplied to educators as a means of integrating
concepts from each performance into the daily curriculum.
Taylor got involved in the project after serving on the UMS teachers'
advisory committee, where the group discussed the need for additional
lesson plans coinciding with the youth performances. Taylor's students
devise lesson plans as part of their regular coursework anyway, so she
put together a proposal for incorporating their work into the guides.
"I think it's an exciting project for the students because what
they're working on is being used in schools within a matter of months,"
Of the seven performances scheduled for UMS' 2003-2004 Youth Performance
Series, Taylor's students will contribute to resource guides for five
This fall, the students created lesson plans for the U Theatre: The
Sound of Ocean performance in September and Doudou N'Diaye Rose
and Les Rosettes in November.
The students also developed lesson plans for the upcoming youth performance
of Children of Uganda Feb. 17 and Feb. 18 at the Power Center in
Ann Arbor. Taylor's classes are currently working on plans for Girls
Choir of Harlem, slated for April 16 at Ann Arbor's Michigan Theater.
UMS creates the first half of the resource guides, but Taylor's students
research additional material to add lesson plans to the guides and spend
an average of six in-class hours on each project. The students determine
the grade level of the material, compile support material such as maps
and other graphics, and then present the projects to the class. Taylor's
students also produce Power Point presentations of their lessons. Then,
the projects are sent to Rowyn Baker, UMS youth education manager, who
creates the guides and determines which lesson plans are used.
"The lesson plans have been extremely helpful in the fact that it
cuts my preparation time down immensely," according to Baker, who
spends at least a month or more preparing each study guide. "The
teachers who receive the study guides have commented on the usefulness
of the Power Point presentations accompanying the guides. I just would
not have time to develop those myself, so the information the UM-Dearborn
students provide to UMS is immensely helpful."
For the U Theatre: The Sound of Ocean performance in September,
one of the plans Taylor's students created was a geography lesson in which
7th and 8th grade social studies students could compare their hometown
with Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, where U Theatre is based. (View the
entire study guide as a PDF here.)
For November's Doudou N'Diaye Rose and Les Rosettes guide, Taylor's
students devised a lesson comparing American and African currency. (View
the entire study guide as a PDF here.)
"The students' work is a community service, plus it's being published and distributed," Taylor said. "It adds relevance to what they're doing. Some students won't do their student teaching until later, so it's rewarding for them to see their work published and used in classrooms."