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On the blog: Passage back to school

August 7, 2013
by Anna Huntington, community arts coordinator for The Sculpture Project

Award winning Rapid City High School arts and language teacher Gabrielle Seeley has developed an extraordinary set of lessons linked to The Sculpture Project: Passage of Wind and Water for use in Rapid City public schools. The totally unique curricula incorporate vanguard educational theory and are available for the first time this year.

These are not art lessons. Instead, they use an important, local work of public art as a catalyst to build students’ engagement with their school day and to create deeper understandings across disciplines.

Six of the lessons are aimed at Grades 6-12 and range in subject from poetry to geology to Lakota culture. A Field Trip Module appropriate for students K-12 is also included. Each lesson ties back to Passage of Wind and Water as a way to make meaning and forge connections across subjects.

(Photo at right shows Mrs. Seeley at the kids' art table she organized for the Art and Wine Festival at Main Street Square earlier this summer.)

Built on the principles of observation, reflection and original thinking, the lessons are designed to reach every student in different ways and to increase capacities for imagination and innovation — critical components of college and career readiness.

Each lesson, including the Field Trip Module, addresses specific Common Core State Standards for language arts. Information from other content areas is included.

Several of the lessons also address South Dakota Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards, which were developed in 2011 and contain essential learning about Lakota, Dakota and Nakota culture for all South Dakotans.

Mrs. Seeley is the 2012 Rapid City Public Schools Foundation Golden Apple Award winner and two-time winner of the Rapid City Academy Teacher of the Year Award. She is a member of the Sculpture Project Advisory Committee and also sits on the Rapid City Arts Council Board of Directors.

The lessons are available for review and download under the Education tab. Please ask your child’s teachers about including the curricula in lesson plans. If you are a teacher, please take advantage of this cutting edge work.

For more information or to arrange a field trip to The Sculpture Project: Passage of Wind and Water contact Anna Huntington, community arts coordinator, at

South Dakota Arts Council funds were provided for the curricula project with funds from the State of South Dakota, through the Department of Tourism, and the National Endowment for the Arts.



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