The SolarSPELL is an offline, ruggedized, digital library, created by Dr. Laura Hosman for the U.S. Peace Corps. It has thousands of pieces of educational content that can be accessed through a self-contained Wi-Fi hotspot on the device itself. Currently, there are more than 200 deployed in several Pacific Island nations. After visiting one of these nations, Tonga, in December of 2016, I learned that almost all of the Peace Corps volunteers stationed around the Pacific Islands suffered from a lack of resources due to a variety of reasons. While the SolarSPELL helps to remedy that, the device is lacking classroom activities and resources for creative work and educational drama. Furthermore, for many students in these environments, schools are for learning information and producing high scores on exams, not for learning about creative strengths and identity. After researching curriculum development and the use of drama in an educational setting, I compiled over 50 pieces of content to include on the SolarSPELL involving art, drama, music, movement, and most importantly, imagination. These resources will allow Peace Corps volunteers to explore additional ways to teach English in their schools, while also creating a classroom environment that allows for creative expression. All the content is compiled into one folder as "Teaching Resources", and is then broken down into seven sub- categories. In the first sub-category, Art Projects, there is a collection of several hands-on projects, many of which involve recyclable or readily available materials. These projects will allow for a greater understanding of conservation and "green" living, concepts that are crucial to the stability of these island nations. The next 5 categories are Drama Readings, Music, Movement, and Video, Group Exercises, Creative Writing, and Worksheets. The second sub- category is a collection of beginner-level "Reader's Theater" scripts. The third sub-category involves music and video to engage students in movement activities. The fourth sub-category is a compilation of group games and activities to help students express themselves and learn social skills. The fifth sub-category includes a collection of activities such as fill-in-the-blank story worksheets and journal prompts which will aid in creative thinking and the practice of the English language. The sixth sub-category involves a collection of worksheets that mainly focus on self-reflection and identity. The seventh and final sub-category, Content Guide and Information, works to explain the benefits of using of drama and creative play in the classroom, as well as strategies teachers can implement in order to further engage their students in dramatic learning and play. Overall, these pieces of content are meant to be used as resources for the Peace Corps volunteers in order to provide alternative ways to practice reading, writing, and speaking the English language, a critical part of education in the Pacific Islands.
- Putting a Ding in the Universe: Creative Arts and the SolarSPELL
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