Gifts of the Griot

The “Secrets” Children Learn:

Gifts of the Griot is a seven-week residency designed for third grade which follows students who have experienced Secrets of the Heart™ , One World Drum Circles, and Dance in America. This residency takes place one day per week in a 45-minute workshop. The program is designed for four classes, with up to 30 students per class and can be expanded to include additional classes.

This program explores the traditions of West African storytellers called “griots.”

  • Professional Development and Parent Orientation: Provides an overview of what students experience during the residency and introduces teachers and parents to the concept of finding meaning and connection to the heroes in their midst.

  • Classroom Workshops: Children create original folklore through poetry and set it to music. They sing songs of Africa, dance, learn about African culture, and understand the meaning of being inspired.

    • Students identify instruments played in Africa, and write poetry that their Teaching Artist adapts to music and then composes and records the class’ original song. The process involves language skills, reading, spelling, art and music.

    • The residency culminates with an informal classroom performance for family and friends.