The Creative Arts and Sciences Committee (CASC) implements curricular-related enrichment programs in the elementary and middle schools throughout Newton. These programs are solely funded by the PTO in each school. Each program aligns with Newton curricula, Massachusetts’ curricular frameworks, system-wide goals, and core values. Programs enhance art, English, language arts, history, social sciences, music, physical education, and the sciences curricula. To learn more visit the NPS website or view these CASC posters.
If you have any questions about the programs at Cabot, please contact our CASC co-chairs, Anna Sicam & Ginny Richmond. Each year, about 3 CASC programs occur per grade, and one city-wide program is presented to all students. Here is a list of programs scheduled for our school this year to-date:
Grade 1 – Len Cabral – Grade 1 – October 16
Mr. Cabral has been enchanting Newton student audiences for years. He presents African and original folktales with a spellbinding style that includes audience participation, movement and dramatic flair. He has authored two books, Anansi’s Narrow Waist and Len Cabral’s Storytelling Book. Throughout the performance, Len sprinkles in the important lessons learned by collecting stories from grandparents and the Elders.
Full School CAS Program – Voci Angelica Trio – October 22
Passages: Exploring the Migration of Music is an interactive educational performance of world folk music from 9 countries and 6 continents. Through dialogue, colorful maps, and songs, the trio traces the migration of early humans across the globe using the cello, djembe, claves, cuatro, maracas, shell shaker, tambourine stick, finger cymbals, doumbek and their voices. Students become part of the experience by accompanying the trio with sound effects, clapping, movement and answering questions about geography throughout the program.
Grade 5 – Blacksnake Woman – October 24
This program gives participants hands-on experience with artifacts made and used by native people from the 1700’s to more recent times. There are tools, musical instruments, jewelry, a war club, and trade goods from the European culture. Black Snake Woman and Traveling Medicine Dog are descendants of Native Americans. They are articulate teachers of the native culture who teach respect for all people and their differences. They present information that breaks down stereotypes of Native Americans, and provide information about native cultures and traditions.
Grade 3 – Eric Olson: The Canopy Guy – November 6
As the “canopy guy,” Eric puts on his tree climbing gear and uses props and puppets to give a “tour” of the New England and Costa Rican treetops. Key topics developed during this presentation include how trees make a living from soil, air, and light, how trees consist of both below ground and above ground parts, and how different trees carry their seeds far away with either winged or fleshy fruits.
Grade 2 – Giles Laroche – January 11, 2019
Mr. LaRoche is a cut paper collage artist and author. He shares his beautiful original artwork with students, talks about the materials used to create his art, and the subjects of his art which range from animals to landscapes, to cityscapes. Mr. Laroche gives a careful demonstration on how to make their own cut paper collage art with nothing more than paper, scissors, and glue.
Grade 3 – Native American Programs – January 24, 2019
Black Snake Woman and Traveling Medicine Dog are descendants of Native Americans. They are articulate teachers of the native culture. Black Snake and Traveling Medicine Dog teach respect for all people and their differences. They present information that breaks down stereotypes of Native Americans, and provide information about native cultures and traditions.
Introduction to American Indian Studies: This workshop is the first contact that Black Snake Woman and Traveling Medicine Dog have with a school. This introduction gives participants hands-on experience with artifacts made and used by native people from the 1700’s to more recent times. More than 30 items can be presented. There are tools, musical instruments, jewelry, a war club, and trade goods from the European culture. The group sits “in-council” on the floor. After a brief introduction students are invited to ask a question about native life or to choose an object that they would like to learn about.
This session focuses on Native American communication. Participants will study various signs and will interpret those signs based on historic messages. They create their own stories from the pictographs learned. During this session they will dispel the myth that native peoples were “ignorant savages.” The program shows that natives had a written language. Students will explore how pictographs differ from oral communication.
Grade 2 CAS program – Shaw-Pong Liu – March 6
With a European violin in one hand and a Chinese violin (erhu) in the other, master teacher and violinist Shaw Pong Liu takes students on an adventure of cross-cultural communication, connecting the language of music to the tonal language of Mandarin. Drawing on her travels as a Chinese-American studying in Beijing, Shaw Pong uses her instruments, singing voice, looping pedal, and multilingual skills to demonstrate the variety of ways in which people use linguistic and musical tones to communicate. While exploring facets of Chinese culture, students will learn to sing and physically demonstrate the four tones of Mandarin—skills that help both in learning languages and learning music.
Kindergarten CAS Program – Emily Boon – March 19
Emilie Boon has written and illustrated more than twenty books for young children and is best known for her beguiling depictions of animal characters. Her interactive presentation will include a short talk interspersed with numerous examples of her artwork, a reading from one of her books, and a drawing demonstration. Then, in a hands-on project, the students are given a simple accordion book to illustrate using Emilie’s signature technique, crayon and watercolor.
Grade 4 CAS Program – Gregory Mone – Author – March 20
Gregory Mone is the author of four published novels and scientific articles for magazines including Popular Science, Atlantic Monthly, Wired and Scientific American. He recently adapted The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown, for young readers. The presentation takes students through the entire process of writing a book – from the initial idea or inspiration through the planning, the creative writing, the revisions, and on to the final, finished, published work.
Grade 3 CAS program – Kevin Hawkes – Author/Illustrator – March 28
Using sketches, dummy books, original paintings, and proofs, Kevin Hawkes walks students through the steps of creating a picture book. He covers everything from how to get ideas for stories to how to help students’ create more interesting illustrations. Students also learn how to draw their ideas and edit them. During the presentation, Kevin will make drawings that he leaves at the school. Mr. Hawkes’ humorous presentation is very interactive. Don’t miss his website! It will give you a sense of his expansive imagination, use of vivid colors, and his playful humor.
Mr. Hawkes is the author and illustrator of the Wicked Big Toddlah. He has illustrated many books including Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen, Weslandia by Paul Fleischman and Velman Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly by Alan Madison. The latter includes butterfly migration and metamorphosis.
Grade 2 – A Day in Ghana – April 12, 2019
Joe Galeota is an associate professor at Berklee College of Music who lived in Ghana for many years. His wife, Vida, grew up in Ghana. This program brings the students to Vida’s village for a day. The day includes the family’s morning chores, the marketplace, the school day program and the family’s evening activities. Throughout the program, Joe and Vida present artifacts, music, games, and proverbs.
Kindergarten – Bugworks, Maire Anne Diamond – April 24, 2019
The Bugworks science program is a hands-on experience designed to teach students new ways to observe, understand, and appreciate insects and other invertebrates. Using live animals as examples, science concepts such as anatomy, life cycles, habitats, predator-prey interactions, adaptations, and defense strategies are discussed (using age-appropriate language). The program also contrasts and compares insects with other invertebrates such as millipedes, arachnids, and crustaceans.
Kindergarten – Wingmasters, Jim Parks – May 28, 2019
North American Birds of Prey: The group includes eagles, hawks, falcons, ospreys, and owls. This program concentrates on our native raptor species, incorporating five live birds from different raptor categories. Using a wealth of specially designed visual aids, an overview of North American birds of prey is provided, explaining the birds’ environment, their different hunting adaptations and their status in a rapidly changing world. Wingmasters brings raptors that are all native to Newton and explains the characteristics of different raptor groups.