CPS Curriculum

In Chicago's Public Schools

Time and money are the root of the issue
Children need more ARTS and more hands-on SCIENCE
but there aren't enough class time hours or dollars in the budget to do both.

Green Scene digs deep by cross-pollinating
Science, Literacy and Theater Arts
and aligning with core standards
Green Scene offers a "From Seed to Fruit" arts residency through which students grow flower and vegetable seedlings indoors in late winter, then transfer them outside in the spring. In tandem to learning about botany and horticultural practices, students draw connections between plant growth and our human experience by exploring analogies with creative writing, improvisation, dramatic play and sound/movement exercises. Green Scene also offers a workshop for an abbreviated version of this programming.

Our "From Seed to Fruit" arts residency
stems from the goals of the teachers.

The teaching artist meets with the science, ELA, and homeroom teachers to align programming with current units of study. Concentrations can cover but are not limited to:


Seed germination
Seed to fruit development
Pollination and saving pollinators
Nutrition in soil, plants, humans
Role of worms and bees
Energy Transfer
Food Chains

Free writing
Dialogue writing
Point of view writing
Metaphor writing
Reading for Information
Reading fiction and non fiction
Reading & writing poetry
Developing student inquiry

Theater Arts

Yoga warm ups
Improvisation & collaboration
Role playing and character
Creative movement experiments
Sound making experiments
Scene development
Exquisite pressure devising
Student written scenes acted

In the classroom or out on your school's grounds
you will see students

  • With their hands in soil bags, planting
  • Examining roots and leaves, driving an inquiry
  • Up on feet playing theater games
  • Experimenting with body centers to convey character
  • Quietly writing reflections
  • Reading fiction, non-fiction, and seed packages 
  • Experimenting with sound- choral and instruments
  • Executing yoga stretches with botanical imagery
  • Reading aloud from their journals
  • Sampling the food they grow
  • GROWING - socially and emotionally

Potential Texts Used                                                        Farm to Table and Beyond, Botany on Your Plate, Growing Food, The Reason for Flower, Seeds of Change -Learning From the Garden, Seedfolks, The Circulatory System, Worms Eat My Garbage, Theater Games for the Classroom

Principal Heidkamp of Greene Elementary comments on the Spring 2016 Residency at his school:

“Ms. Sanders worked overtime to ensure the success of the partnership.  She was in school early, even on weekends, in order to make sure that all materials were ready and that students were able to get as much hands on experience with the planting phase as possible. She was very well organized and “learned on the job” taking feedback and being willing to make adjustments when it served the needs of the children and their learning.  Ms. Sanders maintained consistent contact with teachers and administration through weekly check-in and weekly emails.  She brought great positive energy to the work and was able to thoughtfully integrate the arts into science so that students were genuinely engaged in the drama-based activities but also so that students were able to deepen their understanding of the science content and concepts by being exposed to new avenues of learning.”

Greene Elementary students grew plants from seed during March, then transferred them into their raised school garden beds in May. For the final culminating event of the 2016 Green Scene residency, the students presented a play to the school community in their school garden. 

Green Scene's Arts Residency and Workshops
are an elegant fit with 4th & 5th Grade Standards

Common Core State Standards
English Language Arts

Reading:  Literature, Information, Foundation 
RL 4.3/ 4.5/ 5.4  RI 4.2/ 4.3/ 4.9/ 5.2/ 5.3/ 5.9 RF 4.4B

Writing: Text Types/Purposes, Research to Build/Present 
W 4.1/ 4.3 / 4.3B / 4.3D/ 4.7/ 4.9/ 4.9A/ 4.10/ 5.1/ 5.3/ 5.3B/ 5.3D 5.7/ 5.9/ 5.9A/ 5.10

Speaking and Listening Comprehension and Collaboration 
SL.4.1/ 4.2/ 5.1/ 5.2           

Speaking and Listening Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
SL.4.4/ 5.4
Language L4.5/ 5.5

Next Generation Science Standards 
Energy 4-PS3.2, 5-PS3.1, 5-PS3.D, 5-LS1.C
Structure, Function, and Information Processing 4-LS1.1
Molecules to Organisms: Structures & Processes 5-LS1.1, 5-LS1.C
Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, Dynamics 5-LS2.A, 5-LS2.

Illinois Learning Standards
Fine Arts - Late Elementary

State Goal 25 and 26

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