Videos – What Can American Public Education Look Like?

Click on the titles below to view the videos:

1. Educating the Whole Child Sizzle Reel

A residency in arts integration became the entry point for Educate the Whole Child at PS/IS 18 in Manhattan.

Stephanie Welsh and her class of third, fourth and fifth graders, along with David Cabrera and his class of sixth, seventh and eighth graders— all trained in acting and performing arts skills intended to synergize with English Language Arts.

The sequence of these two sets of Whole Child demonstration lessons was documented by film-maker Praxis Fernandez.

In this first “Sizzle Reel,” Ms. Fernandez has condensed hours of Whole Child classroom instruction into about a minute of Pure Energy.

You will see teachers and students actively— joyously— participating in a learning community which has become a veritable gymnasium for the ELA curriculum.

Highlighted elements:

Mindfulness, Metacognition, Engagement, Fun, Rhythm, Self- Expression, Read Aloud, Acting Out, Voice Projection


2. Writing by Rhyme and Reason

Mr. Cabrera’s class used an expository writing technique called “Turn the Question Around” or TTQA. You’ll see the students engaged with structured writing activities based on a tongue twisting rhyme they learned to perform— “Betty Botter.” You’ll also see the students practicing mindfulness, voice projection, syntax arrangements, articulation skills, visualization and metacognition. Mr. Cabrera reflects on the effectiveness of teaching holistically.


3. Read Aloud Stories to Act Out: Rumpelstiltskin

Ms. Welsh’s class used a Read Aloud story as the jumping off point for integrating reading, writing and dramatic arts.You’ll see her students practicing mindfulness, composing dialog, reading with expression, thinking critically, structuring answers, creating dramatic tableaux and acting out scenes. You’ll hear Ms. Welsh model reading out loud dramatically, and reflect on how teaching the Whole Child inspired a remarkable boost in her students’ academic engagement.

The lessons demonstrated on this video use instructional materials especially created for classroom teachers, teaching artists, scout leaders and after school programs. The text of this story for dramatic reading, along with teaching strategies and activities for acting, directing, writing, and critical thinking can be found in Read Aloud Stories to Act Out: Rumpelstiltskin, available at

With thanks for support and encouragement from The Myrin Institute and Orion magazine.