MISSOULA – We headed over to Russell Elementary School for this Arts and Education report where history is coming alive.
The fifth grade class has been performing Lewis and Clark the Musical with music teacher Kristin Zschaecchner using the arts integration model with the students.
That means that not only are they learning about Lewis and Clark’s adventure in the classroom, but also through music and art as well.
“The whole arts and integration model is such that, when the kids are performing it and they put it in their bodies, it really sticks with them,” Zschaechner said.
“And that information they are learning about history just sticks with them so much longer, because not only are they hearing it, but they are writing about it and singing about it, and they are moving to it and in some ways becoming like one of those people that made the expedition,” Zschaechner added.
Making history and learning come alive through drama and singing or other art forms creates and excitement for these kids and rekindles a desire to learn. It’s one reason why Zschaechner is continuing to use art in other aspects of the school curriculum as well.
“As the music teacher here I have been really trying to use more of this music integration model. So I will go talk with a certain grade level and see what they are working on in the classroom and I’ll try to use that as a model for my programs and it is a lot more educationally relevant for these kids,” Zschaechner said.