26. Simile Theater Exploration
Another great example of ARTS INTEGRATED EDUCATION is what is called Simile Theater Exploration. It has been demonstrated in the Human Body School and Math-a-magic performing arts programs with profound, eye-opening, inspiring results. It’s also really enjoyable. After all the word simile anagrams to I smile!
The way it works is simple. It goes beautifully with the idea of the 3D Blackboard (or Whiteboard, as the case may be). That is, instead of diagramming something on the board (in 2 dimensions), “diagram it” with your students in the center of your teaching space. Make a 3D diagram with living, moving parts!
That’s the 3D Blackboard. The idea of Simile Theater Enactment Exploration goes a step further. Here’s a description of what we did in the Human Body School to ‘teach’ the circulatory and respiratory systems:
Imagine a group of forty children moving in a large figure 8 pattern in a large space. At the center of the 8 are eight children forming the heart. One lateral half of the figure 8 represents the RED arterial blood receiving oxygen from the lungs. The other lateral half of the figure 8 represents BLUE venal blood releasing carbon dioxide through the lungs.
There’s more to it. The red blood people are marching with the red side of a reversible cap showing. The blue blood people are moving in a swimming motion with the blue side of the cap showing. All the children are singing the Red – Blue Song.
There’s more to it still. Adjacent to one half of the figure 8 are children who represent the lungs, doing their respiration dance! Another two groups of children are going in and out of the lungs because they represent the air!
It is quite amazing to see the whole thing. It’s all part of a Body Opera called The Human Body School. As a result the children understand the circulatory and respiratory systems in an integrated way. They can assimilate the knowledge of the blood because they’ve ‘been’ the blood, they’ve acted it out! This is visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning combined with holographic simile representation.
Arts Integrated Education goes beyond the blackboard, the textbook and the lecture into real live human theater. The great adventure beckons you to give it a try!