by Geoff Larcom, Published March 26, 2010
DETROIT — Students have long discovered the magic that goes into producing America’s Thanksgiving Parade® during Parade Studio tours. Now those tours will be educational, more interactive and, best of all, their teachers will get credit for them.
In partnership with The Parade Company, producers of Detroit’s most cherished holiday traditions, Eastern Michigan University’s College of Education created a new school curriculum for grades PreK-5 with activities to conduct before, during and after a studio trip. All activities are aligned with the Michigan Grade Level Core Expectations, and include references and resources to be used in the classroom. EMU Assistant Professor Brigid Beaubien developed curriculum packets to combine the functionality of learning with the fun of a parade. The packets can now be downloaded at theparade.org.
“We toured the studio and looked at what they did,” Beaubien said. “We created and tied lessons into the curriculum standards. The challenge was narrowing the lessons.”
In addition to learning fun facts about The Parade Company and America’s Thanksgiving Parade®, children can gain valuable lessons in math, English language arts, social studies and science through a variety of floats - from the inventions of Thomas Edison and Louis Latimer on the “Energy Innovators” float to the importance of conservation with the “It’s a Michigan Thing” float.
To introduce teachers to the new curriculum, The Parade Company and EMU will host the Fun in the Classroom Educator Open House 3:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 15, at The Parade Company Studio located at 9500 Mt. Elliott, Studio A in Detroit. It will include raffles, prizes, tours and food. Call 313.923.8368 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
“We are very excited to be a partner with EMU,” said Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Company. “It’s great to showcase our parade as not only a world-class national parade, but as educational, too.”
Founded in 1984, The Parade Company is a not-for-profit organization governed by the Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation, whose board of directors is comprised of key civic and corporate leaders in the greater Detroit region. Celebrating 83 years, its mission is to create the best family events in metro Detroit. Its staff, board of directors and thousands of parade volunteers work year-round to bring a wide variety of events to the City of Detroit each year, including the Target Fireworks, River Days and America's Thanksgiving Parade®.