Professional Development Workshops for Educators

Embrace the power

of drama and

creative writing

across the curriculum to expand student perspective, deepen understanding,  

and build empathy.  

Arts Integration:

Construct and Demonstrate Understanding Through an Art Form 

 Respond to the needs of your community.

Mary Hall's rich depth of source material offers presenters opportunities for authentic connection across cultures and communities. 

  • Black Twitter Icon

Social and Emotional Learning

Strengthen Students' Skills Along with Curricular Content

Mary

Discover how to excite students about writing and deeper reading through multi-layered activities that  build empathy through imagination. 

Present a Workshop

Many workshops now available as online learning. Contact me with your interest. 

Standing in a Character’s Shoes: Deeper Meaning Through Monologues

Presented at the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education Annual Meeting, the Kennedy Center’s Changing Education Through the Arts, Harvard's Project Zero Classroom, and nationwide since 2010.

Explore ways to help students imagine, improvise, and write dramatic monologues that reveal the emotions beneath a character’s words—the subtext—and how those emotions change—the turning points. Look beyond the surface facts of a text, image, or event. Discover how questioning and inferring can enrich students’ empathy and deepen understanding of literary, historical, or imagined characters.

For teachers of Grades 3 – 5 and 6 - 12.      90 minute online or 1 3-hour in-person session. 

                                                                                                              

A Playful Approach to Writing

Presented at the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education Annual Meeting, the Kennedy Center’s Changing Education Through the Arts, and nationwide since 2001.

Playwriting offers a powerful way to interest students in writing or pre-writing. Participants playfully examine ways to help students develop stories and scripts—written or pictorial—that draw on their improvisations of characters and ideas. Excellent for English Language Learners.

For teachers of Grades K – 5.                     1 3-hour session.                                                                   

Going Global:  

Expanding Perspective Through Dramatic Monologues

Presented at Harvard’s Project Zero Classroom, the Kennedy Center’s Changing Education Through the Arts, and nationwide since 2015.

How can we encourage students to explore the perspectives of people whose beliefs, values, and experiences are different from their own?  How can we help students recognize their own perspectives? Through a process that integrates drama, social studies and journalism, participants take an empathetic journey into the lives of diverse characters and explore multiple perspectives around contemporary global issues.

For teachers of Grades 3 – 5 and 6 - 12.      1 3-hour session.  

Writing on Your Feet with Picasso

Presented at the National Gallery of Art, the Washington International School Summer Institute for Teachers and nationally and internationally since 2014.

Discover new tools to enrich student writing, inspired by Picasso’s mysterious painting, The Family of Saltimbanques. This interactive workshop uses close looking, drama, and creative writing to dive deeply into a visual text and emerge with multiple narrative possibilities and complex characters.  Discover imaginative ways to engage students in story and character creation before they ever sit down to write.

For teachers of Grades 5 - 12.      1 3-hour session.  

NEW:  90 minute online version of "Standing in a Character's Shoes" inspired by this painting.

New 2020-21 Online Workshops

Making Metaphors for Understanding and Well-being

Presented at the National Gallery of Art's Online Institute for Educators 2020 and the Washington International School's Online Summer Institute for Teachers, 2020.

How might close looking at a work of art and reflective journaling help our students respond to the complexities of the present moment? This workshop invites participants to become makers of meaning by exploring the power of metaphors, both visual and verbal, to help navigate their responses to the impact of current events on their lives. Participants will discover how creative writing, slow looking, and group reflection can deepen understanding of self and community and strengthen social and emotional skills during this and other times of challenge and change.

 

Best for teachers of grades 4-12.

Either a 60 minute or 75 minute session.

New 2020-21 Online Workshops

Animating The "Rectangle" for Play, Performance and Learning

Presented at the Washington International School's Online Summer Institute for Teachers, 2020.

How might we embrace the opportunity to exploit the play and performance power of the "rectangle" our students inhabit during virtual learning?  This high-energy interactive workshop introduces participants to drama and movement activities that bring online learning to life.  Discover how the rectangle can become a stage for non-verbal stories, a medium for exploring questions through movement, and a playful space for creating connection among your class. Liberate your students from their chairs through fun, engaging art-integrated activities. 

  

For teachers of all levels.

60 minutes.

Understanding Multilayered Stories In Writing and Art

Presented at the National Gallery of Art, the Washington International School Summer Institute for Teachers, and nationally since 2017.

How can we inspire students to imagine and write stories that are rich in plot, character, and detail?  This interactive workshop invites participants to step inside a work of art to explore the power of a multilayered narrative.  Participants will engage in close looking, multi-sensory word-sketching, and creative writing. Discover how multiple perspectives layer meaning into a narrative and its interpretation.

For teachers of Grades 7 - 12.      1 2.5-hour session.  

The Power of Place in Writing and Art

Presented at the National Gallery of Art, the Washington International School Summer Institute for Teachers and nationwide since 2014.

How can we encourage students to explore setting beyond just being the place where a story happens? This interactive workshop invites participants to step inside a work of art to explore the power and possibilities of setting as mood, meaning, and metaphor. Inspired by a Hudson River School or African American artist Hale Woodruff landscape or an Italian cityscape, participants will engage in close looking, word-sketching, and creative writing.  

For teachers of Grades 5 - 12.      90 minute online or

  3-hour in person session.

Where Do Stories Come From:
Imagining Characters' Journeys

For teachers of Grades 5 - 12.      1 3-hour session.

Presented at Harvard’s Project Zero Pittsburgh, the Kennedy Center’s Changing Education Through the Arts, and nationwide since 2015.

Invite students to imagine through drama how characters pursue a desire, encounter challenges, and make choices. This lively workshop asks participants to imagine character arcs (from safety to risk, from uncertainty to certainty) and then to create stories from multiple perspectives that are shaped by those arcs.  Learn tools for helping students deepen understanding of characters in fiction, in their own writing, and in the world around them.

Bellying Up to Bar Italia:
Expand Perspective and
Uncover Complexity

Presented at Smithsonian American Art Museum and

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, 2019.

Invite your students to step in to Paul Cadmus’s  painting Bar Italia to explore the complexity of perspective taking. Through a multi-stepped process, participants imagine multiple characters’ perspectives, and then demonstrate their understanding of the satirical painting through imagined, improvised, and shared dramatic monologues. Reflection focuses on how perceptions shift and expand through close-looking, deep questioning and empathy.

For teachers of Grades 5 - 12.      1 3-hour session.