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For Grades Pre-K - 5:​​​​​​​​​​​


Songs and Poems for Young Ears

(Pre-K, Kindergarten, Grade 1 ) Accomplished singer/songwriter and poet, Aspen Black, will come into your classroom to perform a variety of original songs and poems that will engage your students in echo speaking, rhyming, choral singing, and acting out the content of the piece.  Active listening, group participation, following directions, and oral expression skills will all be practiced in this program.  Additionally, Aspen will ask the students to make basic predictions, identify repetitive sounds, and connect pictures with words. A take-home craft, that the students use as a prop to act out one of the poems, rounds outs this fun and engaging presentation. (Session length: 20-45 minutes, or one standard class period)


Optional extension activity: A guided poetry-writing session can follow.


Coordinating VA Standards of Learning: K.1a,b; 1.1c,d, (optional 1.4b).  If you are in a state other than VA, similar standards will be applicable for your state.


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The Poetic Theater 

(Grade 2)  Award-winning poet, Aspen Black, will come into your classroom to perform an original poem, dramatically, (complete with costume, props, and voices).  She will then lead students to participate in dramatizing one of her original poems in a reader's theater skit format.  Once familiar with the format, Aspen will guide students to create their own script based on one of her original musical poems, paying special attention to setting, action, characterization, main idea, and supporting details.  To conclude the program. students will present their creation in a reader's theater format.  (Session length: 45 minutes or one standard class period)


Optional extension activity: Aspen will guide students to present their skit to other grades, or the whole school, complete with props and basic costuming.


Coordinating VA Standard of Learning: 2.1.  If you are in a state other than VA, similar standards will be applicable for your state.


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Stories in Poem and Song

(Grades 1, 2, 3)  Performing poet and songwriter, Aspen Black, will come into your classroom to perform, then lead a detailed analysis on the content and structure of, a variety of original songs and poems.  Students will identify and discuss character, setting, main idea, oral rhythm that helps convey meaning, author's purpose, words or phrases that convey feeling or appeal to the senses, and the use of intonation to deepen expression.  Older students will also compare and contrast characters, settings, events, make predictions, draw conclusions, and discuss the author's craft and purpose with the original author.  (Session length: 45 minutes or one standard class period)


Optional extension activity: Aspen will guide students to rewrite one of the poems, either by changing the events to create a new ending, or changing a basic component such as characterization or setting, to appeal to a different audience and/or bring new understanding.


Coordinating VA Standards of Learning: 1.9, 1.13, 2.8, 3.5.  If you are in a state other than VA, similar standards will be applicable for your state.


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Poetic Wordplay


(Grades 2 & 3) Performing poet and songwriter, Aspen Black, will come into your classroom, present original poems and/or songs, then guide your students in a detailed analysis and changing of each work.   Students will be led to identify, create, or change words using: homophones, synonyms, antonyms, prefixes, suffixes, and compound words.  Vocabulary will be increased by identifying difficult words and decoding them using root words and affixes, as well as context clues. Lastly, students will become word detectives, unveiling a funny poem by substituting synonyms, antonyms, homophones, compound or simple words, and words with affixes in place of words that don't fit into the rhyme and meter of the original example. (Session length: 45 minutes or one standard class period)


Coordinating VA Standards of Learning: 2.7, 3.4.  If you are in a state other than VA, similar standards will be applicable for your state.

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The Messages in Media 

(Grades 4 & 5) Performing songwriter, Aspen Black, will come into your classroom to give first-hand insight on authorship, format (elements), audience, content (visible and embedded), and purpose of songs in today's world of media.  Aspen will perform examples from a variety of original songs, engaging students in discussion.  The auditory and visual formats will both be explored, linking songs with video. Lastly, students will be put into groups to create, and act in, an A/B roll "music video" clip to Aspen's original songs.  Aspen will record video footage in your classroom (with backdrops she provides).  After the session (within a week, or less) Aspen will process the video clips and send the final videos to you to share in the classroom and/or beyond.  (Session length: 1 hour or one standard class period)


Coordinating VA Standards of Learning: 4.3, 5.3.  If you are in a state other than VA, similar standards will be applicable for your state.


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Comprehending Poetry

(Grades 4 & 5) Accomplished performing poet and singer/songwriter, Aspen Black, will come into your classroom to perform, and analyze, a variety of original songs and poems.  Students will discuss: author's purpose, language choice, setting, characters, main idea, supporting details, events, conflict and solution, sensory words, inferences, conclusions, cause and effect, and predictions.  Students will identify words, phrases, settings, and events that they are unfamiliar with and be led through strategies to uncover the correct meanings. Aspen will lead students in a discussion about how each piece would change if key elements, such as character, setting, or plot was changed. Lastly, students will use the rhyme and meter of one of Aspen's original poems as a template to begin writing their own poem that demonstrates proper usage of three, or more, topics discussed in the body of the program.


Coordinating VA Standards of Learning: 4.5, 5.5.  If you are in a state other than VA, similar standards will be applicable for your state.











Pre-Guitar:

(Pre-K, 1, 2)  Aspen Black provides a classroom set of  30 specially-marked, specially-tuned ukuleles, teaching the basics of guitar playing in one session.  Students play their first song in five minutes and continue to build on skills learned, making chords, changing chords, and singing along to their own playing.  This easy method is a great way to introduce children to the joy of playing guitar and reinforce a variety of music standards.


For Grades 3 - 8:

Guitar for Students:

(Grades 3-8) Aspen Black provides up to 30 classroom sized guitars per session, teaching the basics of guitar.  These specially-marked instruments make beginning guitar easy to learn.  Students play their first song in five minutes then build on skills to make chords, change chords, and sing along to their playing. This is an excellent addition to any music program and reinforces a variety of practical and performance standards.


Ukulele for Students:

​(Grades 3 - 8) Aspen Black provides up to 30 ukuleles per session, teaching students the basics of playing ukulele.  These specially marked instruments make learning to play the ukulele easy.  Students play their first song in five minutes, then build skills by making and changing chords and singing along to their own playing.  



Why is music and live performance important to learning?

  • Engagement!  Students cannot easily "tune-out" (no pun intended) the topic.
  • ​Understanding! Students who repeat words, sing along, discuss, or are involved in a topic are more likely to connect concept with real-life examples
  • Excitement!  Music and live performance "spices up" the information and keeps interest level high throughout.
  • Accomplishment!  Students, even those who think they are un-musical or un-talented, meet with success by participating in performances and/or creating songs or poems.
  • Improved Retention - Research has proven that facts and ideas are easier to remember in a rhyming song or poem format, and students who are engaged in a lesson, with examples, retain more.



BRING ASPEN BLACK TO YOUR SCHOOL:

It's very easy to book Aspen Black's sessions.  Just fill in the form below for a quote.























Fill in the form below with your school's name, location, grade level(s) to be served, preferred date range (specific or broad), and program choice(s).



PRICING-

​Aspen strives to make her programs affordable to ALL schools. A single classroom program is $100, plus travel.  Packages range from approximately $400 - $600 for a half day (plus travel), with full day programs in the $800 - $1200 range (plus travel).  Depending on your location in comparison to tour routing on your chosen date(s), a minimum fee may or may not apply.  


RESIDENCIES -  Want to create an intensive study program? Aspen offers 2, 3, 4, and 5-day school residencies in the $1,500 - $5,000 range.



"You are amazing!"  Kayla, PTO Rep., Ozona Public Schools, Ozona, TX

Expect a same-day response in most cases.

Standards-Based Presentations for Elementary Classrooms


​Aspen Black is no stranger to the classroom. Before embarking on her career as a teaching artist and presenter, she worked in the Franklin County, VA public school system as an RtI (remediation) instructor for 3rd-5th grade and SIS (Student Intervention Specialist), gaining excellent references from principals, teachers, parents, and students.

Aspen Black

"Thanks so much for coming.  These kids rarely ever get stuff like this. They really opened up and learned a lot and, most importantly, they saw that they could accomplish something!"  A. Teer, Teacher, Roanoke Valley Juvenile Detention Center



"Aspen is like the Energizer Bunny - just plug her in and let her go!"  A. Hall, 3rd Grade Teacher, Sontag Elementary

TEACHING ARTIST & PERFORMER