Artist in the Schools

Isaac is available as an artist in the schools.

At The Village School I did a lesson on graphic design for a zoology report. I suggested kids make exciting badges on their pages, and put titles in bubble lettering. Some students asked me for help drawing their animals, I never drew on their page, but drew the animal on a separate piece of paper, talking them through. I suggested they draw LARGE, in color and plan their pages in light pencil before doing their final draft.

Slideshow #1 student zoology covers (1)

The first drawings of Moose were made by me as an example. The next page is an Emu, Chicken, and Dolphin with exciting letters as examples of what their pages could look like. Drawing in chalk is a little difficult for me, but I like the challenge.
Isaac Paris, is able to teach lessons on Improv Comedy, Live Comics Performance, Zine production, Filmmaking, songwriting and electronic music.

Grades 4-8 preferred, available for all.
“I began performing at a young age and I can help kids develop their own voice. I can introduce new ways for students to express themselves they may have never seen: Improv, Action Comics and Zines. Improv teaches diction, projection, confidence, co-operation, listening, comprehension. Through comics students will carry a project from concept to finished product through storyboarding, penciling, inking, coloring and lettering. The students will rehearse and then perform. Zines help kids see that they can produce work and share it quickly and cheaply. The students will be confident of the finished product. They will have a book of their collective material to give to friends, mail to relatives and show their family. I can also make podcasts or films with students, or be a constructive critic for editing and revision, as I have professional experience in radio. I believe Media Literacy is important today, we will create mock advertisements that demonstrate that students understand the psychology of ads. Satire is an appropriate tool to fight corporate propaganda, and with creativity and irony we can point out the hypocrisy and ridiculousness of modern advertisements.”


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I have made movies with students at Barnette’s after school program. I played improv games with students at Barnette, and Pearl Creek in their after school programs. I played improv games with students at Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre’s Fledglings camp and at the Alaska Summer Research Acadamy. I volunteered at Tanana Middle School and did improv games with Carly Sween’s 7th and 8th grade drama class. I incorporated improv into lessons with 5 and 6 year old children on the Autism spectrum at the Synapse Institute In Palo Alto, California. I taught Michael Schaeffer’s West Valley Drama Class Improv games in October 2012. I did a radio drama in Moira O Malley’s first grade class at Watershed and in Sarah Finnel’s second grade class at Pearl Creek.
I have performed Action Comics at performances at the Tanana Valley Fair and Trapper Creek Music fest. I demonstrated these comics at Jamie Smith’s cartooning class at UAF and at events at the Literacy Council of Alaska.
I did “Make a Zine” with Colleen Smith’s extended learning program. I have worked improv games into the classroom while subbing for 2nd through 12th grades for four years: having students act out what they just read, in science, history and literature classes.
I did “Educational Songs” With Joy Grubis’ Psychology students at West Valley in October 2012.

Improv Comedy-( 4-12 grade)
I introduce ideas of improv comedy. I teach the students some games, we practice and then perform for another class or parents. The games and structure I will use will depend on the age group and skill of the kids, and the amount of time I have with them. To read about some of the games I know, click on the “improv games” link above.

These activities teach diction, singing, creative problem solving, projection, confidence, co-operation, listening, comprehension. Improv can improve student’s writing and fight writers block. Students who have done improv will be better prepared for scripted acting, more open minded to “out of the box thinking” and will see the value of rehearsal and self-discipline.

Radio Drama-(k-3 grade)
Students explore and experiment with Instruments and noisemakers. On a large sheet of paper we write down all the instruments we have. Students brainstorm what objects could be represented by the sounds.

I’ll talk a little about plot structure and we will brainstorm ideas for stories involving the elements the students suggested. We will collaboratively write a play, casting students as characters and having one student play the role of “conductor.” Everyone has a role or a sound effect, or both. We rehearse our play and then perform it for another class or parents. This project can be tied to the curriculum the students are learning.

This activity encourages creativity, use of metaphor, and teaches story structure. The kids each get to be a part of an ensemble and practice appropriate audience skills.
Kamishibai at Clucking Blossom
Action Comics (4-12th grade)
Action comics (or kamishibai) is a storytelling technique that involves turning the pages of a large comic while an actor narrates, provides sound effects and plays all the roles. This is a unique genre that has a long history in Japan, but only a few examples in the West. If students already have short stories, poems or songs that have been peer edited- we can jump right to this step. I’ll listen to their pieces and suggest bullet points to be illustrated. This project can be tied to the curriculum the students are currently learning.
I’ll discuss the process of creating comics- storyboarding, and the separate jobs for penciler, inker, colorist and letterer.
We plan a storyboard, I’ll look them over, then have the students get to work making their books. The students will rehearse and then perform for another class or for parents.

I also have experience editing video and sound for self produced projects and for professional radio. Action Comics could be turned into a “lo fi music video,” if video camera and editing technology are available.

Make a Zine (k-12)
Students will see examples of zines that I will bring in. Students will collaborate, having responsibility for two pages each, they could contribute an essay, a comic, a puzzle, a fake ad, a poem, a joke, an interview, an illustration, a photograph or other 2-D elements. A student who shows skills in leadership will take on the role of editor, compiling the contributions, determining an appropriate order, and composing a table of contents. This project can be tied to the curriculum the students are learning.

This activity teaches desktop publishing skills. Students use new and familiar tools and processes to create their content. Design, marketing, journalism, research and editing skills will be utilized. The students will be confident of the finished product. They will have a book of their collective material to give to friends, mail to relatives and show their family.


cat battle

Media Literacy
As students are exposed to more ads than ever through media and the internet, it’s of vital importance that students are media literate. All of these projects can include “mock advertisements.” I think students today need education in the psychology of ads in order to become more media literate. I can lecture about the ways advertisers manipulate their audience and students can make their own ads. In doing so, they can be aware when they are being manipulated, and “own” the process of their manipulation. Satire and mockery are appropriate tools to fight corporate propaganda, and with creativity and irony we can point out the hypocrisy and ridiculousness of modern advertisements, and, I hope, resist manipulation.

Educational Songs
(4-12 students write their own songs, K-3 the class writes a song together)

Students write and record their own original songs about a topic of their choosing. Studies show that students learn more if they are engaged, while writing and recording these songs and poems students were laughing out loud. If a student feels they are only doing something for a grade, they will be regurgitating facts, they wont be using both lobes. By asking the kids to rhyme they have to research with more active engagement. Students may forget things they researched for a paper, but the subjects they researched for a song will stay with them longer- as they laughed while doing it and used both their intellectual and creative brains!
Often high school students feel disconnected from their work with an attitude of “when am I ever going to use this?” Some toss their papers or projects in the trash after they are graded. Some students refuse to let their parents see their finished work. I have had kids record songs they composed about Psychology and then eagerly share their work with students in other classes, and telling me they couldn’t wait to email them to friends.

Electronic Music (4-12)
I can introduce students to methods of making music electronically. I have experience with drum machines, synthesizers, MIDI keyboards and controllers, sequencers and recording software. I have brought my Theremin to classrooms and demonstrated how it is played to students of all ages. I also can bring any number of my personal equipment and help students to record songs and learn how to record their own. This can help demystify the magic of creating electronic music that they are familiar with from the radio. People of all ages are usually impressed with a demonstration of the seemingly magical Theremin, an instrument you play without touching, producing a haunting tone reminiscent of b-horror films. I have made the Theremin into a demonstration of resistors and conductors.

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