Performing Childhood

Children's Literature Association Annual Conference

June 9 - 12, 2005 | Winnipeg | Manitoba | Canada


Post-Conference Program
(Local Educators Day)

Note: The new location for the Post-Conference is the
Inn at the Forks

Scheduled for Sunday, June 12, 2005, in conjunction with the annual conference of the international Children’s Literature Association, these workshops are aimed particularly at classroom teachers of language arts and literature. Many conference participants have agreed to extend their stay in order to faciltitate or coordinate workshops. Local educators are warmly welcomed to register for just the (free) post-conference or the full conference, which will include three days of academic and scholarly papers and exchanges.

Morning Workshops 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Afternoon Workshops 1:30-4:00 p.m.

For more information contact Karen Krasny, ChLA 2005 Conference Committee.

Repeat with a Difference: (Re)Telling Tales of/for Anti-oppressive Education

Audrey Hill, PhD (candidate),

Faculty of Education, University of Regina

Lace Marie Brogden,

Seconded Faculty Member, Faculty of Education, University of Regina
Photo Credits: University of Regina, AV Services

How do schools privilege certain groups and identities while marginalizing others?
How are harmful histories repeated?
How might educators rework practice to disrupt divisive categories?

Using expository and performance texts, the presenters will draw on Kumishiro’s (2000) four models of anti-oppressive education, inviting participants to question notions around oppression and change.

The workshop design recognizes that teaching involves unknowability, that learning involves multiple ways of reading texts and contexts, and that strategies to bring about change are locally situated. Working in small groups, workshop participants will examine strengths and weaknesses of current practices. The second half of the workshop will call on participants to reconceptualize anti-oppressive education by engaging in a creative performance of children’s literature - repeating common practice with a difference.

Kevin K Kumashiro. Toward a theory of anti-oppressive education Review of Educational Research. Washington: Spring 2000. Vol. 70, Iss. 1; p. 25 (29 pages) Available on U of Winnipeg campus or other Proquest subscriber library.


Critical Literacy Through Theatre

Rosemary Johnston


Director, Centre for Research and Education in the Arts, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.

Critical literacy refers to reading with a knowledge of the workings of a language, reading with an awareness of what and how a text is making you feel (and/or trying to make you feel), and reading with the ability to discern the ideas and attitudes and assumptions behind the text.
Drama and theatre are powerful media through which to understand critical literacy, and to develop those aspects of literacy pertaining to speaking and listening. They also generate teaching and learning experiences that relate to Gardner's theory of mulitple intelligences,
including the significant intelligence he calls “intrapersonal intelligence” - the “ability to access one's own feeling life.” This workshop introduces practical and do-able ideas for classroom teachers to use dramatic strategies in the classroom in productive, creative and exciting ways.


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Reading Inside and Outside the Book

Margaret Mackey

Professor, Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta.

Today’s children and adolescents meet fictional worlds in all kinds of media, not just print. What is the role of reading for pleasure in this era of proliferating media technologies? How do other media and new technologies co-exist with print reading? What are the priorities of today’s young people? What are the priorities of adults who work with them? What is good practice when it comes to working with young avid readers, non-readers, and occasional readers? This workshop will address some perplexing literacy issues of our fast-changing times. Participants will explore materials in a variety of media, including print texts that feature multimedia extensions.

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Poetry and Literacy: Beginning in the Heart

Glenna Sloan

Professor, Queens College, CUNY

“If we can get teachers to read poetry, lots of it, out loud to children, we’ll develop a generation of poetry readers. We may even have some poetry writers. But the main thing, we’ll have language appreciators.”

So said children’s poet and teacher, Eve Merriam.

Her words state the premise that guides Poetry and Literacy, a class I have taught for years in the teacher education master’s program at Queens College, CUNY. Literacy begins in hearts, not heads. Unless children take an early and keen interest in written words, they are unlikely to make the considerable effort it takes to read and write them. Our classroom research has shown us that a fascination with the wonderful things words can be made to do does develop through experience with poetry, not just any experience but the best.

In this workshop, you will discover through participation effective ways teachers have found to use poetry in the classroom. Guided by teachers’ accounts of their successful poetry studies, kindergarten through ninth grade, you will practice tested methods for selecting, presenting, performing, and writing poetry. Learn how to lighten up when you guide children as they experience poetry as readers, listeners, and writers.

Poet and painter Douglas Florian ( Foreword, Give Them Poetry! Teachers College Press, 2003) offers these tips:

For starters, take a poem home. Cook it dinner. Feed the meter. Just Don’t use too much basal. Sing for it. Dance with it. It’s already got rhythm. Immerse yourself in verse. Chant to your children Play with words in a wordplayground. You’re allowed to! Be verboast! Invent new words. Reinvent new words. Your students do it every day, pun-knowingly….

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A Performing Art: Interpreting Literature with Readers Theatre

Tony Manna

Professor, College of Education and Department of English, Kent State University

Readers theatre is a powerful learning strategy for supporting students’ active interpretation of literary texts. A collaborative reading strategy, readers theatre positions students as creative agents involved in transforming a literary work into a script with multiple voices, voices based on the characters revealed in the text. In this hands-on, participatory workshop, we’ll explore the value and power of readers theatre through our involvement in the scripting process. We will examine presentation techniques, guidelines for selecting literary works for readers theatre presentations, and assessment strategies based on national theater arts standards. Literature comes alive for students of all ages with readers theatre!

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Poetry Games

Lissa Paul

Professor, Education, University of New Brunswick

This is an interactive workshop for teachers K-12, in which we will play poetry games. Each game is designed to offer pleasure and intellectual insight into a particular aspect poetic structure or form. We’ll play with metrical variations, poetic forms and other aspects of prosody. So as not to give the games away, I’ll not say much more here, except that no experience is necessary, the games are applicable across a wide grade-range, and that you will leave with a larger repertoire of knowledge about poems, poets and poetry.  Please note: haiku is not on the agenda.

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Quelle est la place et le rôle de l'Histoire en littérature de jeunesse?

Session to be conducted in French

Suzanne Pouliot

Professor, Département d’enseignement au préscolaire et au primarire, Faculté d’education, Université de Sherbrooke

Cet atelier dominical examinera, sous différents angles, la place et le rôle occupé et joué par l’Histoire en littérature de jeunesse. Pour ce faire, nous examinerons et comparerons entre eux le roman historique, le roman de mémoire et le roman rétrospectif, depuis trente ans. Nous distinguerons dans la première catégorie (le roman historique), le roman ayant L’Histoire comme cadre de récit, puis celui dont le passé est garant de l’avenir pour nous attarder au roman biographique, au roman social et, au dernier venu en littérature de jeunesse, le roman de guerre. Chacune de ces catégories sera illustrée et commentée. En dernier lieu, nous nous attarderons aux retombées de ces romans en classe pour le dernier cycle du primaire et le début du secondaire et nous proposerons quelques interventions didactiques appropriées.

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Performing the Novel

Peter Reynolds

Peter Reynolds is the Creative Director at the National Theatre.

Philip Pullman's epic trilogy His Dark Materials was adapted for performance by Nicholas Wright as two three hour plays and staged at the British National Theatre in 2003-05. This two hour practical workshop, led by Peter Reynolds of Roehampton University and Education associate of the National Theatre, will focus on ways in which the languages of performance can create a visceral dramatic text from a novel. Participants should come prepared to walk as well as talk.

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