About the Authors

Carrie Lobman and Matthew Lundquist are the Authors of Unscripted Learning: Using Improv Activities Across the K-8 Curriculum.

Carrie Lobman, EdD is Assistant Professor of Education at The Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University. She is the director of the Developing Teachers Fellowship Program at the East Side Institute. Send an email to Carrie

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Did you know there was a National Museum of Play?

Well there is, and its in Rochester, NY. They even have a Toy Hall of Fame. In it are such toys as the Slinky, Legos, Candyland, Lincoln Logs, and Mr. Potato Head. But, my favorite is that last year they inducted the Cardboard Box into the Hall of Fame. Very cool.

I was at the museum because they co-sponsored a conference called "Play Matters", co-sponsored by The Association for the Study of Play and the International Play Association. Once again I did a presentation on the Developing Teachers Fellowship Program and the use of improv in the classroom. The audience was made up of other play researchers, teachers, social workers, and playworkers (apparently a career in the United Kingdom). I had the luxury of having over an hour for my session so in addition to presenting on the methodology of the program and the work of the Fellows in their classrooms, we played several games from Unscripted Learning. We played several rounds of Yes, and and went on an Emotional Bus ride. One of the participants said that she had been feeling a little depressed at the conference until she heard about the work of the teachers.

I attended a couple of really interesting sessions. One of them was organized by Ana Marjanovic Shane and Beth Ferholt. Beth was discussing the Playworld project that she is studying. I've been a big fan of this program for several years now and try to hear Beth talk about it whenever I can. Playworlds is an international project for early childhood classrooms where the teachers take books and bring them to life in the classroom. For example, in Beth's case the teacher and researchers brought the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe to life in a first grade classroom on an army base in San Diego. Its amazing work that allows the children to improvise with the script of the books, but also creates an incredibly intimate environment between teachers and children. Ana showed a film from arts based camps for refugee children during the war in the former Yugoslavia. The films are wonderful and I have been encouraging Ana to get the out to more places. Finally, I attended a session led by Fraser Brown who does playwork with Romanian orphans. Again, if you can every get a chance to hear him speak--do so. It is truly inspiring work.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Sounds interesting. Do you have any video clips?