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School Matiness of American History Magic Lantern Show

 School Matinees -- Educational Objectives:

We can do any of our shows as school matinees, either in theaters, or in the schools themselves. Our most popular educational show, the "Patriotic American History Show" has three educational objectives:

  1. To give students, in story and song, a framework of American History.
  2. To give students a specific historical understanding of how the magic-lantern is the ancestor of the cinema, and how it "taught the movies to move."
  3. To help students enjoy some of the classic literature and songs of the 19th century
Announcing School Matinees of the American Magic-Lantern Theater

 School Matinee Format:

We change both the content and form of our school matinees to adapt to different grade levels and circumstances, and have three versions appropriate for K-2, 3-6, 6-12. All are high-energy, fun and educational.

We provide pre- and post-show curriculum materials, and send the music for the shows to the school music teacher so that, if desired, the students can participate as "part of a national traveling theater company." We can also do workshops in which students make their own lantern slides or discuss in detail the ideas from Dr. Terry Borton's new book, Cinema Before Film.

Terry, AMLT's lead performer, is the former Editor in Chief of Weekly Reader, the national children's newspaper, and so has had extensive experience in schools.
School Matinee Workshop of the  Magic-Lantern Traveling Theater
Families at a workshop at Princeton University delight in seeing their own slides projected, though the widow shades were hardly the best screen. They made the slides with magic-markers after hearing a poem read to them.

 Recommendations for our School Matinees:

AMLT has performed its school matinees at all grade levels, for many different kinds of populations, with block bookings ranging all over the country from CT, NY and MA, to TX. Ninety-five percent of the K-5 teachers in a recent, multi-town booking said they would recommend our shows to others.

Typical comments:

Grade K: "Wonderful! Your ability to intersperse story, song, audience participation and observing -- all appropriate to kindergarten -- was terrific!"

Grade 1: "It was wonderful!"

Grade 2: "Educational for me too!"
Grade 3: "Fantastic -- what a wonderful way to experience history and patriotism."
Grade 4: "You cover in an hour what it takes us all year to cover."
Grade 5: "I've been here 20 years and this is the best program I've seen."
Grade 6: "If you can hold 6th graders, you can hold anybody!"
Grade 7: "A perfect fit for the 5th and 7th grade U. S. History curriculum. Outstanding!"

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