Zeiterion Theatre Performance Field Trip

BY Amy Renna

Center School

Goals, objectives, and activities

The 2nd Grade staff at Center School is requesting funds to be used toward the purchase of theater tickets for our students, in order to experience a live performance of the children’s book, “Miss Nelson Is Missing”, at the Zeiterion Theatre in New Bedford, MA on Thursday January 29, 2015. The performance will be held at 10:00 am, and is an hour long in duration. We plan to take two school buses to accommodate 68 students and 11 teachers/chaperones, directly to and from the theater. The performance uses live actors to bring the best-selling children’s book to life.

The mission of the Zeiterion Theatre is “to provide New Bedford and the region with performing arts programming of excellence that inspires, educates, engages and entertains… (To) engage and enrich young people and the community’s participation, experience and understanding of the world, the arts and creativity; (To) actively participate in the revitalization of downtown New Bedford; and provide a welcoming home to resident companies and community groups.” (http://www.zeiterion.org)

Students will not only get to experience the excitement of a live performance specifically created to target their age range, but will also get to explore one of the many cultural offerings that are accessible to them and their families in the neighboring city of New Bedford. Exposing young children to a wide range of literacy-based experiences is essential in fostering a passion for reading. We feel that this field trip would be exciting, engaging and academically beneficial to Center School’s 2nd Grade students.

How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)

Student learning and project success will be measured by the continual progression and monitoring of individual reading levels, as well as by the completion of comprehension quizzes and activities that will accompany the “Miss Nelson is Missing” unit lesson. Students will be expected to share their favorite part of the experience with one another, discuss comprehension questions related to the story and complete the activities that are provided by the Zeiterion study guide and grade-level curricula. All of these supporting activities will further literacy skills, an indispensable element of 2nd Grade education.

Positive student feedback will also be a large factor in gauging success. Allowing students the opportunity to be audience members of the Zeiterion Theatre’s live performance of “Miss Nelson Is Missing” will deepen and develop student curiosity and connection to literature. Experiencing the book in a theatrical context will engage and excite students in the learning process.

Benefit to the students and the school

The proposed field trip to the Zeiterion Theatre will directly benefit students by fostering a deeper love of literacy, culture, and the performing arts. Because the 2nd Grade uses the book, “Miss Nelson is Missing” within our literacy program as a guided reading book, as well as to discuss fictional story elements, we feel that this trip uniquely accommodates our established curriculum. As a grade level team, the 2nd Grade staff strongly feels that a live theater performance of a familiar book will deepen a passion for literacy. Seeing the characters of the story “come to life” in this way not only builds an enthusiasm for the arts, it also fosters a love of reading.

In addition to the book-based performance already being aligned with our curriculum, the Zeiterion Theatre’s website offers a study guide specifically designed around the play to be implemented before coming to the show. The free guide will be used as supplemental materials during our literacy block. The age-appropriate curriculum guide provides a wealth of resources aligned with the performance (and book) including discussion topics, interactive activities, an author study of the book’s author Harry G. Allard Jr., as well as an explanation of theater etiquette. Having this resource to accompany the performance will enhance our curriculum and make the story more meaningful for each student.

Budget (Please detail how funding will be used. Itemize as appropriate.)

Tickets cost $8.00 each, with every one free adult ticket for every ten student tickets purchased.

$8.00 x 68 students=  $544.00

6 free adult tickets=        $0.00

$8.00 x 5 adults =         $40.00

Total amount for tickets=$584.00

We are asking the Cape Cod Five Foundation for $500.00 to offset the total cost of $584.00 in ticket purchases.

Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable.)

The field trip would take place on Thursday January 29, 2015. Tickets will be purchased through the Zeiterion Theatre website upon confirmation of the grant. The performance is at 10:00 am. Two buses will arrive at Center School at 9:00 am to accommodate 68 students and 11 staff member and parent volunteers. The buses would remain at the theater for the duration of the hour long performance and return all students and staff back to school post-performance.