William Paterson University Faculty, Students and Paterson School 12 Third Graders Join Together for Integrated Lessons in Ecology

Third graders from School 12 ask questions of puppet characters

William Paterson University College of Education faculty, students and third graders from Paterson School 12 joined together in Shea Center for an ecology-inspired theater production, “The Rejuvenary River Circus” presented by Arm of the Sea Theater, after a series of art, literacy, and science lessons given by teachers-in-training to the children in the partner school.

“This was an incredible opportunity for William Paterson education faculty to engage with students at several levels at this event,” says Julie Rosenthal, professor of elementary and early childhood education. “Our future educators witnessed first-hand the children’s excitement at the enrichment provided, and it was also a mentoring experience for incoming freshman to learn from juniors and seniors.”

Thirty-two children from School 12 attended the performance. They were joined by William Paterson students who participated in cooperative field work with the partner school. Three William Paterson classes -- freshmen in the “Educating the Imagination” Learning Community, juniors in the field-based literary methods course, and seniors in the science and arts integration course -- all participated in teaching the children about ecology.

Following the performance, the children interacted with the mask and puppet characters. William Paterson students and third graders also joined together for a discussion about the production.