for Educators and their Students
Soulful Landscape Educators Training: Inspiring a Passion for Place
For writers and non-writers alike and all levels of experience.
Restore your own "sense of wonder" while gaining practical tools and experiences you can use to inspire your students to do the same. You'll uplifted and recharged, and take away tools and fresh ideas to keep yourself inspired, and to help inspire your students.
During this two part, five-step process you'll learn ways to discover, develop and deliver your stories of place and belonging, and gain tools to inspire that connection in your students. When you are connected to your passion for place you can help inspire that passion in others.
Part one explores the role of the arts in land conservation and provides tools and experiences to foster self-expression. You will generates writings and ideas which can be used to express your personal sense of place. These can be used in your personal or professional work. Outcomes can be creating songs, stories, essay, poems, visual art and more.
Part two will generate ideas and plans for taking what you've learned back to the classroom. Workbook and/or worksheets for continued exploration provided. Also included is an opportunity to create a group “song on the spot” with Erica.
During a Soulful Landscape Educators Training you will:
- Gain an integrative method of writing that connects people and place.
- Discover and express your stories of place and belonging. (Even if you think you’re not the creative type.)
- Learn ways to integrate a curriculum that includes science, nature, history and the arts.
- Experience a supportive atmosphere for exploring your sense of place.
- Learn a step-by-step process to bring back to the classroom.
"Place-based educator and author David Orr often writes that the ecological crisis is not a technical crisis, but rather a spiritual crisis. In a world where we often fail to connect our heads and our hearts, where we often rely so heavily on the deeply rational and scientific that we loose sight of our collective humanity, Erica helps us to bridge these spaces. Her songs weave together metaphors that speak to what we can learn from nature, and they encourage us to look closely at the world around us to discover what roots us to the places we love."Torrey McMillan, Director of the Center for Sustainability at Hathaway Brown School
Why the Soulful Landscape?
Many influential conservationists were both scientists and creative artists. Learning how to combine information and knowledge with personal experience is at the heart of this training. At the heart of this training is learning how to integrate personal experience with academic knowledge to cultivate and express ones sense of place, to inspire the kind of connection and caring that leads to stewardship.
Introductory, half-day or full-day program:
- Begins with a presentation of place-based arts to inspire personal interpretation of place.
- A series of writing exercises to awaken the creative voice, even if you're not the creative type!
- Supportive feedback, brainstorming and discussion.
- Demonstration: I usually creates a "song on the spot" from participants writings to demonstrate our lives and our places are interrelated.
- Additional writing prompts, group sharing, outdoor reflective activities as time and setting allow.
- Time to implement new skills and practices and to develop lesson plans.
- Workbook and other supportive resources provided for further exploration.
You can also bring me in for a Keynote performance. This educational and entertaining program will restore your passion for your work. You'll experience a journey through story and song which explores ways people connect to places, and the role of the arts in stewardship. More keynote info here
Programs for your Students
Customized educational programs for all age groups, grade through graduate. They can be formatting to fit one class period, up to a half, full or multiple day program. A performance/lecture will inspire students to think about their own stories of place and belonging. A workshop/seminar will empower with them tools and experiences to craft and express what sense of place means to them.
"After three writing prompts,Wheeler asked for volunteers to share their writing. As she listened attentively to several students words, Ms Wheeler quickly scribbled notes on paper. Then within seconds she magically turned each students poetry into a folk song which she sang beautifully and spontaneously in the classroom. Students sat in awe, staring incredulously, and applauding after each song she created. Students were mesmerized by her talent and eagerly shared their creative writing in the class. For a week after Ms. Wheeler's visit, seventh and eight grade language arts students continued to write creatively about themes of nature inspired by her music." [Students created and revised poems to submit to the River of Words contest.] All Saints Episcopal Day School, Carmel, CA
What Students are saying
- Your music inspired me to write. Your workshop allowed me to open my mind and put my feelings on paper. Your visit helped me realize the connection between nature, music and writing.
- You opened a new dimension of poetry to me. I learned to open my mind and express my feelings in paper. I loved the way you turned our ideas into songs. It gave me many ideas of different ways to write poetry.
- We learned valuable lessons about writing and poetry. I now feel inspired to write about things like nature. I truly appreciate the landscape around us.
- Thank you again for coming to our class. You really inspired me to put my inner thoughts on paper and made me realize how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place
For Your Students: Performances, Lectures, Workshops, Seminars
INTERESTED IN PROGRAMS FOR YOUR CLASSROOM? More info here
Educational performances, lectures, workshops and residencies: Integrative and empowering, helps students bridge their academic knowledge with their personal experiences to communicate why places matter to them in their lives and beyond.
Bring Erica to your school so students can learn directly from her, and experience how an award-winning singer/songwriter with a background in natural science combines her passions to inspire engagement in stewardship and sustainability.
Students will experience:
- A program that bridges a curriculum in natural science, sustainability, history, writing, art and music.
- Exploring the role of the arts in stewardship and sustainability.
- A method of writing songs, stories and more that integrates academic knowledge and personal experience.
- A step-by-step process to help uncover and express their sense of place.
Performance/Lectures for Students
Students will experience a journey across the American landscape through story and song that explores the ways people connect to places. Evokes in students their own stories of place and belonging and how the arts can be used to inspire stewardship. Students are often inspired by my own stewardship journey and the way I've created a career out of the passions I developed in school and throughout my life. Time is provided for Q & A.
Workshop/Seminars for Students
Begins with a presentation of "place-based" songs, stories, poems, and visual arts to empower the creative voice within. Students are encouraged, through writing prompts and other activities, to discover the connection between themselves and the places that have meaning in their lives. They are given tools to discover and craft their stories of connection. As a demonstration, I often create a “song on the spot,” drawing lines from student writings. This process mirrors back to students the power of their own words and often helps them to really "get" the sense of place concept. Opportunities for group sharing and instructor feedback are provided, as time allows, as well as additional support for developing writings and ideas generated during the workshop.