Scarlett students speak to UMS Board about interdisciplinary unit focused on Power Center show

Eleven students from Scarlett Middle School presented at the UMS K-12 Partnership Luncheon on Friday, April 26.

The students discussed the interdisciplinary unit that all Scarlett students participated in to prepare for the UMS school day performance of Camille A. Brown’s “ink” this winter.  The unit, which spanned three weeks during the month of January, included:
  • Fifteen 30-minute lessons about dance, self-expression, and how Camille A. Brown uses dance to tell narratives of the black experience
  • Two 45-minute pre and post-show workshops with UMS teaching artists Brendan Asante and Miryam Johnson
  • A field trip to the Power Center to see Camille A. Brown’s performance of “ink”
  • A full day reflection on the experience of attending a live dance performance
  • A school-wide assembly featuring student performances, art, and speeches inspired by Camille A. Brown’s performance of “ink”

The unit also served as a professional development opportunity for Scarlett teachers and staff.  The curriculum, written by Scarlett teachers Kimberly Harn and Evelyn Daugherty, featured strategies to make content accessible for English Learners. All Scarlett teachers participated in two Professional Learning Community (PLC) workshops focused on how to use ESL strategies while teaching the Camille A. Brown curriculum and how to incorporate these strategies into daily instruction across all content areas.
Several Scarlett teachers also showcased how to include the arts in interdisciplinary units.
Melissa Poli supported students who choreographed and performed their own dances.
Caitlin Huff illustrated how to incorporate art into the curriculum by having all 8th grade students create collages inspired by the set of Camille A. Brown’s “ink.”
Molly Lipton incorporated an extended unit on social dance into her Physical Education courses.
Student Council leaders Laura Morning and Leslie Baugh collaborated with students to plan and facilitate a school-wide assembly about the power of dance to inspire social justice movements.
The unit was also supported by the Mitchell-Scarlett Teaching and Learning Collaborative with the University of Michigan. Professors Cathy Reischl and Mary Schleppegrell taught 31 University of Michigan interns how to use the Camille A. Brown performance to teach academic reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills multilingual students. More than 100 multilingual students participated in small-group instruction led by University of Michigan student interns.
The opportunity to go to the Power Center to see Camille A. Brown, experience a three-week school-wide interdisciplinary unit, participate in workshops with UMS teaching artists, and provide professional development for Scarlett Teachers and University of Michigan student interns was made possible by several grants from:

The AAPS District News welcomes thoughtful comments, questions and feedback.

All comments will be screened and moderated.

In order for your comment to be approved:

  • You must use your full name
  • You must not use  profane or offensive language
  • Your comment must be on topic and relevant to the story

Please note: any comment that appears to be spam or attacks an individual will not be approved.


  1. The Scarlett students did an absolutely fabulous presentation! And all of Scarlett is to be congratulated for being “all in” on the Camille A. Brown dance performance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.