The start of an out-of-this-world experience

The Intergalactic Nemesis, A Live-Action Graphic Novel may not arrive at the Center until March, but for a group of educators the preparation has already begun.

This out-of-this-world experience started with Tuning into Reading with Radio Drama, a Classroom Connections workshop led by Kennedy Center teaching artist Lenore Blank Kelner. In this workshop, 25 educators learned the benefits of incorporating radio drama into lessons on reading.

Karie Mindock, who teaches reading at Fox Valley Lutheran High School said that the principles taught through radio drama apply to any age level.

“The idea that radio drama gives students a reason to reread text is exciting! Students must reread text to build fluency and comprehension, but most students dislike repeated readings. This is a wonderful way to encourage students to review text for a purpose,” Mindock said. “Most students will also find the idea of inventing sound effects with the microphone fun and engaging. There is room for every level of reader to help produce and perform a radio drama.”

Mindock also hopes to bring her class to the Bemis Company Education Series performance of The Intergalactic Nemesis A Live-Action Graphic Novel and enhance a unit she is already teaching in the classroom.

“I have an existing unit on graphic novels that students love. I was hoping to use the performance as the culminating activity,” Mindock said. “Students read and respond to the novels using graphic organizers, which has a great carry over into the content areas as well.”

She said that the Classroom Connections workshop gave her a wealth of material that she could use in the classroom, and also tips on where to find many related materials that educators can access for free.
As the year goes on, Mindock and other educators who choose to bring their classes to The Intergalactic Nemesis will also receive a Center-created Study Guide, presenting topics, activities and information to enhance their educational experience at the Center.

“By providing key information that can help educators prepare their students for a performance, we hope to help create a well-rounded enjoyable arts experience for each student and teacher,” said education coordinator Cassie Schroeder. “These study guides help generate ideas that can be altered to fit individual classrooms and also start the conversation about how lessons from the performance apply directly back to the classroom.”

Mindock, who has brought other classes to education performances said she knows she is in for a quality performance and a well-rounded approach to the material that will enrich her lesson plans and classroom experience.

“I am always astounded that the Fox Cities P.A.C. can offer world class shows that are available to all students at such a low cost! It really speaks volumes to the amazing sponsors in our area that value education and arts for all.” Mindock said. “The idea that our community takes such an interest in young people and in their enrichment is wonderful. Students from all over the area joining together for a common experience is valuable in bridging the differences between them. Shared experiences can be so crucial to finding common ground.”

“We hope that by providing opportunities like the Classroom Connections teacher workshops and the resource materials, educators feel confident in sharing the themes and lessons found in each Education Series performance,” Schroeder said. “We know for Intergalactic Nemesis, the learning opportunities are truly out-of-this-world.”

The Intergalactic Nemesis, A Live-Action Graphic Novel, has an Education Series performance on March 16, but the public can see it first on Wednesday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m. The show, which is radio drama meets graphic novel, is appropriate for all ages.
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