CLIMB Theater teaches Churchill students about interpersonal relationshipsAsk a roomful of elementary students to sit stock still for 45 minutes, and most any teacher will tell you you’re asking the impossible.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
Ask a roomful of elementary students to sit stock still for 45 minutes, and most any teacher will tell you you’re asking the impossible.
But that’s just what happens whenever the CLIMB Theater comes to town, and Tuesday was no exception.
An enterprising group of young people who helped write, produce and star in one of the popular nonprofit’s latest educational endeavors kept Churchill Elementary students riveted to their seats on the gymnasium floor – and their teachers right along with them.
CLIMB theater is a nationally recognized group based in Inver Grove Heights, Minn., that has provided educational programming for K-12 students for the past 32 years.
Youthful troupes of actors travel throughout the region to present original and impactful messages about such timely topics as bullying, self control, respect, drug use, and the environment.
But on Tuesday afternoon, the CLIMB Theater message represented a trip back to the basics. The three young presenters deftly educated the students about the very real basics of friendship.
Through drama, comedy and a good deal of exciting action, the three actors presented the tender – and heart-rending – side of what it’s like to be a friend (as well as what it’s like to be without one) and the difference between friendship and popularity.
Students in kindergarten through second grade were treated to a minidrama called “The Great Tooth Exchange.”
Money is what the Tooth Fairy wants to give, but friends are what Brodi wants to have. Ensuing negotiations result in the loan of two elves for Brodi to play with. As Brodi, Winola, and Edwin play, Brodi and the audience, with the help of six short songs, learn how to make and keep friends.
Students in grades three through six learned how to initiate friendships and be a good friend to others through the lessons taught in the CLIMB Theater skit, “Valentine’s Day.”
The minidrama demonstrated how three unlikely companions work their way their differences to become steadfast companions.
Following the presentation, teachers took the lessons back to the classroom, and students had the opportunity to talk about what they saw and heard – which was the whole point of what the CLIMB Theater presentations were all about.
Pine Journal Publisher/ reporter Wendy Johnson can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.