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 

 Mary Hall works with presenters to respond to the needs of their communities. Her rich depth of source material offers 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  strengthen their empathy through imagination. 

Workshops

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.      1 3-hour 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.  

The Writing-Art Connection

The rich connection between how writers write and artists make art is

Mary Hall's speciality.  Her workshops for teachers inspired by the Writing-Art connection have been presented at conferences, in classrooms, and in museum across the US and abroad.

In a Museum

or Not

While museum-based workshops are exciting for students and teachers, museum-sourced projections make works of art accessible to all. And/or do you have a local museum or historic site you are eager to explore? 

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 multi-layered 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 landscape or an Italian cityscape, participants will engage in close looking, word-sketching, and creative writing.  

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