The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

One of the most amazing resources we have in our community is the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on the University of Illinois campus. My students were able to go to a few performances at the Krannert Center last year, but we haven’t had as many opportunities to go to the Krannert Center this year, but we’ve been fortunate to have guests from the Center come to Wiley.

A few weeks before we started ISAT testing, I was chatting with the engagement director from Krannert and mentioned that the fourth grade was interested in a part-day field trip to Krannert to maybe see a show or something. He brought it up with me a few times over the past couple of months, but we never planned anything out specifically.

All this changed two weeks ago, while the fourth grade was in Springfield. The engagement director came up with a plan to take the fourth grade to the Krannert Center with the fifth grade teachers to tour the facilities and have some brief workshops with some of the graduate students who work with him. We quickly got our permission slips together and distributed, and started making plans for the fourth grade preview of the KCPA!

We left our school a little before 9 am and spent about two hours and fifteen minutes at the Center. The students from both classes stayed together as they were given a guided tour of the Foellinger Great Hall, where most concerts are performed, the Tryon Festival Theatre, where many plays and operas are performed, and the Colwell Playhouse, where other plays and musicals are performed. The students learned a brief history of the Krannert Center and were given opportunities to ask questions.

The second half of the tour was participating in performing arts workshops. We divided our two classes for the workshops. While my students participated in the workshops, I took pictures. Due to the low lighting, the quality isn’t the best, but I wanted to share them anyway.

The first seven photos are from our second workshop, where the students created “frozen moments” as a group to tell a story about something that could happen at the Krannert Center. Some students formed the frozen moment, and then other students told a story based on the body positions of the students in the middle.








After our first workshop, we had to wait out in the hall while our guide went around to unlock the Colwell Playhouse doors from the other side.


The last six pictures are from our first workshop, where the students made living “sound machines” to express themselves.







Finally, I took a video of one of the sound machines the students made.


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