2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting in New Orleans, LA

The 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting
February, 21-26 in New Orleans, LA
Cosponsored by AGU, ASLO, and TOS, the Ocean Sciences Meeting consist of a diverse program covering topics in all areas of the ocean sciences discipline.

MOM conference02


For the Ocean Sciences Meeting I was invited by Carolyn Scheurle, Education & Outreach Coordinator at the Observatoire Océanologique de Villefranche, France, to present “Short Stories About The Ocean, an Art Integrated Project Into the Elementary Curriculum, Using Shadow Theatre and Video”. I created this lesson about the consequences of human activities on the ocean for elementary grades and it can be adapted for higher grades. There is a contest for teachers to participate in. Carolyn presented the poster at the conference. We hope to get some good feedback from teachers who are doing the project with their class.

Here is the link for the call.

Here is the link to the folder in Google Drive to access all the documents necessary for the project.

photo Carolyn Scheurle


Short Stories About The Ocean, An Art Integrated Project Into The Elementary Curriculum, Using Shadow Theatre And Video

The holistic aspect of integrated learning reflects the way our world works: everything is interconnected. Integrated Learning connects students, teachers, academic content and the world. It creates bridges between disciplines, encourages invention, experimentation, and problem solving. In an art integrated lesson or project, the students learn in a creative way, exploring a given subject by working on an art project, individually or collectively, using an array of traditional techniques and technology tools.

Short Stories about the Ocean is anchored in the 4th and 5th grade curriculum, the art technique is the shadow theatre. The students videotape the performances for documentation and sharing.

After giving the students information about different types of human activities that have an impact on the ocean, and discussing them, the students form groups and choose a specific subject – for example over fishing or pipe spilling. They gather more information and create a story with a beginning, a development and an end. Prior to start the project, the teacher prepares a small shadow theatre made of simple material, with a template I provide. The teacher explains the basics in shadow theatre technique. The students work with paper and skewers to create the elements they need for their story. They find solutions to render proportions, movements, actions and timing.  Each group rehearses and then presents to the class a two/three minutes performance.

The students who watch give a positive critique. Each group takes the time to make changes if the story, the message or the elements need to be clearer.  Each group performs in front of the class again.

This collaborative work encourages decision making. The students have to define their idea and concept clearly, with enough details but not too many, so that their message is understood by the viewers. It is a challenge for the students to design the shapes they need for their story with minimal material and they must be creative to do it in an engaging way for the viewers.

During the presentations, an iPad is placed in front of the shadow theatre and the students videotape the stories. They edit the footage in iMovie and share with their school or a larger audience.

With MOM, I hope that many students around the world will do this project and will share videos of their short stories about the Ocean.