Creative Learning Packs

What do you need to do to create learning resources for your performing arts work? Libby Klysz takes you through what it takes to make a great creative learning pack.

If you have watched CircuitWest’s video on Creative Learning Packs here’s an overview of considerations:

Content ideas:
1. Does your show need one?
a. Know your audience. Is it directly aimed at, or appropriate for, school audiences? This needs to be specific. “It has music in it and students do music at school” isn’t the right way to think about the need for a pack
b. Make sure you can point to direct curriculum links- how are you helping teachers and students? This is the link to the curriculum website
c. Schools are time and cash poor, just like artists and producers. Don’t waste your time or theirs, think through the need for a pack.

2. History of learning packs

a. Education Packs made up of huge amounts of research and reading (that rarely got read)
b. Aimed at teachers (now you need to aim it at students)
c. Specific lesson plans and careful activity instructions (teachers know how to teach, nudge them into ideas)
d. Students learned through reading and writing a lot more (these days look to digital and interactive forms)
e. Creative Learning Resources are where it’s at now – a curation of ideas to explore, and provide an insight into YOUR process

3. What do teachers want? What can you provide that they can’t?
a. Really specific skills related to the show, like a short piece of choreography from the show they can teach the class; or a visual art technique; or 101 puppetry skills/ construction (teachers know how to host reflections, and get kids to write stories)
b. An insight into the process.. Videos and photos of rehearsals, interviews, warts and all. Sketches, drafts. Your research links. The Pinterest board you used!
c. A curation of further exploration for a variety of pathways- Thematic. Skill sets. Reading, Listening, Watching, Doing. Cater for a range of skills, preferences and subjects- broad overviews rather than didactic lesson plans
d. What is NOT Necessary: pages of bios. Cut and paste from Wikipedia, et al. Lengthy sponsor info. Just because it is relevant to the show/company, doesn’t mean it is for teachers or students. Just give the link to click on.

4. VIDEO: It is essential to provide video content. It does not mean production quality. iPhone rehearsal footage/ interviews. Sometimes the rougher the better- it feels like we are really providing an insight into the creative process, rather than the tidied-up version. Factor this into your rehearsal process. It’s too late after the show is made.

5. Outsource this task if you don’t have the time or skills contact someone who does. We recommend Libby Klysz