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Teacher of the Year Inspires Excellence
The daughter of a teacher/minister who taught service to others by example, the 2007 National Teacher of the Year Andrea Peterson became a music teacher dedicated to helping her students appreciate music and reach their potential.

Art On Trial (A Mock-Court Activity)
Diane Fogler, who teaches at Lincoln Academy of Integrated Arts in Davenport, Iowa, submitted this lesson in which students take on different roles as they determine which work of art will be constructed in their community park. (Grades 3-12)

Keeping Art Alive Under NCLB
While nothing in the No Child Left Behind Act says schools must eliminate the arts to concentrate on math and reading, arts instruction is shrinking or vanishing in many schools. Arts advocates say the arts are critical to a complete education.

MUSE-ical Sessions
Bennett Park Montessori School is preparing to host its second annual intergenerational drumming and dancing workshops. In addition, with the help of a local organization of musicians the entire student population will produce an Italian opera.

O, Say, Does Your Class Know the National Anthem?
For years, students learned "The Star-Spangled Banner" and other patriotic songs in music class. Budget cuts, though, have forced many schools to eliminate music, so the National Association for Music Education is urging people to learn and sing the anthem.

Improv Team Acts to Curb Violent Behavior
Imagine being able to freeze the action in a dispute, step out of the "scene," and get feedback on your next move. The Urban Improv troupe lets students do that, and helps them see the non-violent approaches to resolving conflict.

A Travel Journal for Homer's Odyssey
Students select their favorite excerpts from The Odyssey, type a first-hand account of the story, and add graphics and music from the Internet. This lesson uses Apple's Pages program and includes a completed sample for viewing.

An Attitude of Gratitude
Middle-school students think "outside the box" to identify unusual things they're thankful for, and then use digital content (audio, images, movies) to represent those things on a PowerPoint slide. Students' slides are combined into a class slide show.

No Place Like Home
Students learn to "read" digital content as they analyze photographs of high plains sod homes and read accompanying narratives. They then choose one photograph and identify characteristics, points, differences, and questions they find in that photograph.

Four Days in Paris
In this foreign language or social studies lesson for grades 4-6, students research a travel destination, set up a four-day itinerary, and then use iWork's Pages program to create an illustrated travel journal detailing their "experiences."

 

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