Wisconsin Folks is an award-winning website written for upper elementary students. Its rich interactive content features Wisconsin folk artists, their work and related cultural traditions. Teacher resources link the content to Wisconsin academic standards and offer extension materials. Hiring information on more than 70 individuals artists and performing groups allows schools and agencies to directly contact these artists for programs. The artists include musicians, dancers, visual artists, cooks and regional specialists.
Wisconsin Weather Stories website provides K-12 units on the science and stories of Wisconsin weather. This interdisciplinary curriculum was produced through a partnership between WAB, UW-Madison atmospheric scientists and folklorists, and five classroom teachers from across the state.
The Kids' Guide to Local Culture (PDF 2.5M) provides elementary students with kid-friendly strategies for investigating the cultural content of their own communities. It opens by exploring basic cultural concepts such as how to observe culture and understanding the relation between history and living culture. Then it goes through tools and techniques kids can use. The bulk of the guide explores different cultural elements such as power, aesthetics, beliefs, and occupations. It closes with ideas on how to present their findings. This resource was co-produced by WAB, the Madison Children's Museum, the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures, and Mark Wagler of Randall School in Madison.
The Teachers' Guide to Local Culture (PDF 660K) is the companion to the Kids Guide. After a detailed introduction that covers topics from pedagogy to practical matters, the Guide gives several lesson plans on such topics as home remedies, rites of passage, storytelling and foodways. This resource was written by Mark Wagler & published by the Madison Childrens Museum.
WAB partnered with the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures (CSUMC) and Randall Elementary School in 2001-02 to develop a four-day cultural tour for Mark Wagler's 4th/5th grade class. The resultant website provides student essays and photos, along with practical advice on "How We Did It."
In 2002-03, the three partners from the Dane County Cultural Tour joined with the Madison Children's Museum to study Hmong culture in Wisconsin, in preparation for MCM's touring exhibit, "Hmong at Heart."
In 2003-2004, Mark Wagler's 4th/5th grade class at Randall School studied a street in south Madison, the main thoroughfare near Randall School.
SERVICES TO THE FIELD
Anne Pryor, WABs Folk Arts Education Specialist, provides planning assistance to educators and community organizers on folk arts education projects and can assist on the execution of some projects. See some of those types of teacher projects at the Wisconsin Teachers of Local Culture site. She regularly presents at professional education conferences around the state, and makes community-based presentations upon request, such as Elderhostel in Green Lake.
She has led workshops with students, in-services with teachers, and has offered teacher training institutes. For example, see the website produced from the 2002 Midwest Folklife Festival Teacher Institute at Folklore Village, Dodgeville, WI.
Listen to Doug Miller of Folklore Village and Anne Pryor of Wisconsin Arts Board talk with host and listeners of Wisconsin Public Radio about traditions in our lives, and how we create, celebrate and maintain them. (Download the MP3 File)
The Wisconsin Arts Board offers annual Creative Communities project grants with both a 'Folk & Traditional Arts' and 'Arts in Education' category.