Education / Digging Up Arkansas
Bringing Digging up Arkansas to your school
The 2012 Digging up Arkansas tour has been scheduled. To request the play for your students in 2013 please email firstname.lastname@example.org. For technical information about the tour, click here.
About Digging Up Arkansas
When teachers said that engaging students in Arkansas history was difficult, Walton Arts Center worked to help. We knew that the arts could make the facts relevant, help students form enduring understandings, and inspire students to care about our state’s history. Walton Arts Center’s Learning team worked with Northwest Arkansas artists, playwright and educator Mike Thomas and Trike Theatre of Bentonville to create Digging up Arkansas, a play about three writers from the Federal Writer’s Project who invite students to explore and organize historical artifacts before President Roosevelt’s scheduled arrival in Arkansas. The writers unearth Arkansas mysteries and demonstrate how communication, cooperation, courage and culture have shaped our state history.
Digging up Arkansas is a state-wide effort to support student achievement through arts learning. In addition to providing performances for children in grades 3rd through 5th, the Digging up Arkansas project helps teachers improve the teaching of Arkansas history by providing online resources. In partnership with the Northwest Arkansas Writing Project, Digging up Arkansas lesson plans were developed. The lessons provide pre and post performance activities for teachers to implement in the classroom to deepen student understanding of Arkansas history and support student achievement in literacy.
This fall Digging up
Arkansas will play in schools throughout northwest, northeast,
central, south and southwest Arkansas, reaching 6,500 students. Throughout its
three years of touring, Digging Up
Arkansas has reached more than 30,000 students total. Plans are underway to
extend the tour in upcoming years.
Digging Up Arkansas Partners
Trike Theatre (www.triketheatre.org), Northwest Arkansas’ professional theatre for youth, was formed in 2008 to create extraordinary theatre experiences for young people and families to strengthen community, advance education through the arts and inspire young voices. Whether it's preparing students to see a professional theatre for youth performance at Walton Arts Center, expanding an Arkansas History lesson or visualizing essays from benchmark tests, Trike Theatre teaching artists use hands on collaborative learning activities to engage and connect students to core curriculum.
Arkansas playwright, Mike Thomas, teaches drama and Arkansas history at Ramay Junior High in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Mike says: “Writing a play about my home state has given me a new sense of pride in my beautiful surroundings. I’m re-discovering all the great things I’ve grown to take for granted.”
The National Writing Project (NWP), founded in 1974, focuses the knowledge, expertise, and leadership of our nation’s educators on sustained efforts to improve writing and learning for all learners. NWP is a national network of university-based sites serving all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands. Since 1997, the Northwest Arkansas Writing Project at the University of Arkansas, has addressed the writing instruction needs specific to our area. NWAWP offers courses and programs for teachers throughout the school year, provides inservice presentations at local school districts, and creates opportunities for students to experience a writing project-like atmosphere through youth programming. For more information about NWAWP, visit www.nwawp.org or contact our Director, Dr. Goering at email@example.com.