VTA Series: Homeschool in the Theatre


Teagan, Paul Nicklen and Makenna

Teagan, Paul Nicklen and Makenna

As I have shared before, one of the best parts about homeschooling is the ability to find and create learning in almost any environment. A trip to the doctor for an annual check up – a chance to explain vaccinations for Health and History. A visit to the children’s museum – a pop quiz on animal taxonomy and an experiment with magnets for Science. A night out at the theatre – a lesson in oceanography for Science and photography for Art…wait, what?

One of the many reasons I wanted to help the Victoria Theatre Association spread the word about their many fantastic programs is that I knew I could work in some homeschooling lessons for Makenna. Our first experience with the National Geographic series was certainly that. Paul Nicklen proved to be not only an amazing story teller and a learned biologist and photographer, but very funny and engaging – even for a 9 yo and an 11 yo. Makenna and her cousin, Teagan, enjoyed hearing about his experiences with leopard seals, polar bears and narwhals. And his photos were spectacular.

They really appreciated his taking the time after the show to talk with them about photojournalism while giving them autographs and posing for a photo. It was a fantastic experience. But don’t take my word for it! Here’s an excerpt from the paper Makenna had to write for school.

“Going to see Paul Nicklen at the Victoria helped me learn about how bad pollution and the melting of the polar ice caps could be. He is a National Geographic photographer and spends most of his time in the artic circles. He sees every day how the melting ice is affecting the seals, polar bears and narwhals. He has photographed polar bears that have been stranded and have to swim 600+ miles to get to food. He also explained how the loss of ice tears down an entire ecosystem breaking down the necessary food chain to keep those animals there alive. He was very funny and I loved his pictures. I also like that he took time to talk to me and my cousin after the show. That was very nice.”

So, why am I telling you all of this after the fact?! Because you still have time to experience these amazing National Geographic speakers with your family! The next speaker, Bryan Smith, an adventure filmmaker, is coming to the Victoria on Monday. Smith will share stories about gripping moments like kayaking in India from his assignments to document extreme feats and high adventure in the world’s most challenging environments. Makenna and I can’t wait to hear all about it! Hope to see you there!

Adventure Filmmaker BRYAN SMITH headlines the second event of the 2013-2014 FIFTH THIRD BANK NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LIVE SERIES on March 24 at 7 p.m. in the historic Victoria Theatre. This thrilling event is presented by Victoria Theatre Association and Five Rivers MetroParks. Tickets are available at the Ticket Center Stage Box Office, by phone at 937-228-3630, 888-228-3630 or online at http://www.ticketcenterstage.com.

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