A Final Reflection: Arts & UDL in the Classroom, Part 7 | Richard Jenkins

Having arrived at the end of this residency, I was still struck by the broad diversity of learners who participated in these activities. The students’ needs required a heavy amount of observation, planning, and responsiveness on my part. With three special needs students with a variety of learning challenges, seven non-English speaking students, and twelve […]

Outer Space Immigrant Stories: Arts & UDL in the Classroom, Part Six / Richard Jenkins

Part Six: Creating Fictional Narratives As I shared in my last post, an improvisation activity with my classroom of third graders proved to be a highly engaging and productive tool. During this activity the students eagerly shared observations, ideas, and suggestions for additional character actions and dialog. These were then transcribed onto boards to be […]

Outer Space Improv: Arts & UDL in the Classroom, Part Five | Richard Jenkins

Part Five: Generating Dialog and Actions for Fictional Characters Building on the students’ growing confidence with acting, I was eager to employ dramatic improvisation as a “writing” activity. Or as a colleague of mine puts it, “writing on our feet.” In addition to writing and drawing, improvisation would provide another way for the students to […]

Outer Space Customs: Arts & UDL in the Classroom, Part Four | Richard Jenkins

Part Four: Assigning Traits and Cultural Customs to Characters With the success of our initial cartooning activity, I was eager to see the students’ characters come to life through the use of improvisation and theater processes. On this fifth day of our residency, I would guide the students through the creation of fictional customary greetings for […]

Outer Space Immigrants: Arts & UDL in the Classroom, Part Three | Richard Jenkins

Having learned about the specific strengths and needs of these diverse students, I now had an intentionally designed learning plan that I hoped would be more likely to deeply engage them in their learning. For this residency, I would meet the students once a week for twelve weeks. I would be guiding them through four […]

Engaging Diverse Learners: Arts & UDL in the Classroom, Part Two

I found myself in a classroom with nineteen ESL learners in South Boston.  Our task was to guide the students through the creation of fictional characters with individualized traits and customs and, finally, to create fictional narratives about these characters.  Seven of these children were not yet fluent in speaking or understanding English.  Also present […]

Arts & UDL in the Classroom, Part One: Meeting Diverse Learners | Richard Jenkins

In the fall of 2009 I found myself in a 3rd grade ESL (English as Second Language) classroom in South Boston. I work as a cartoonist and visual storyteller and I was contracted to guide the students through a cartooning and story making activity. I was excited but also nervous about effectively reaching and engaging […]