Education Classes and Workshops

Poetry Workshops

Workshops can be scheduled virtually or in an outside location on your school campus. Please email for more information or to sign up.

Marcus Amaker is Charleston, South Carolina’s first poet laureate, the Charleston Gaillard Center’s Artist-in-Residence, and an Academy of American Poets fellow. In addition to poetry, Marcus is an award-winning graphic designer and musician. He’s published nine poetry books and has been recognized by NPR, the Kennedy Center, The Washington National Opera, PBS Newshour, and more. Learn more about Marcus here.

Self-Portrait Poems (Grades 9–12)
Poet Laureate and Artist-in-Residence Marcus Amaker will teach students a poetry lesson that shines a light on each student’s personal story. During the lesson, students will learn the impact of the written word, and realize that their voice matters. During the experience, they will write two poems using guided prompts. At the end of the lesson, students will have the opportunity to share their work.

Write About What You See! (Grades 6-9)
Ekphrastic poems are a common tool used by poets to make their poems come alive. Poet Laureate and Artist-in-Residence Marcus Amaker will use various images – famous paintings, album artwork, video game images, and more – to guide students in writing poems that are vivid descriptions of a scene.

All About Alliteration (Grades 3-5)
Poet Laureate and Artist-in-Residence Marcus Amaker will teach students all about one of the most-used figurative language tools: alliteration. During the lesson, Amaker will show examples of alliteration in well-known poems and lead the students in writing their own fun and impactful pieces.

Music Poems (Grades 5-9)
Poet Laureate and Artist-in-Residence Marcus Amaker will use figurative language tools (alliteration, rhyme and repetition) to guide students in writing poems inspired by music. Students will hear examples of spoken word and be given the tools they need to write their own!

Metaphors!(Grades 5-9)
Poet Laureate and Artist-in-Residence Marcus Amaker will guide students on a deep understanding of metaphors and how to use them in their writing.

Dance.Laugh.Learn Workshops

The Charleston Gaillard Center’s Education and Community Program presents Dance.Laugh.Learn in-school workshops (held outside on school grounds to accommodate COVID-19 protocols). Our teaching artist will come to your school/class for a four-part dance initiative spread out throughout your school year. Please email Stephanie Lancaster at and

Dance.Laugh.Learn HipKidz is a jazz-based dance class focused on cultivating rhythm, musicality, and expression through music while also introducing students to different music and movement styles. Music is an essential element to a DLL HipKidz class, each class will use popular, appropriate music that the students relate to. It provides an interactive approach to learning about weight and flow, interpretive movement, and musicality through hip-hop movement all for the early childhood classroom.

CD and K will use a narrative groove story to teach movement and encourage imagination and creativity.

1st and 2nd will use more traditional modes of teaching movement and choreography. More specific hip-hop movements will be taught (top rock, 6-step, isolations, etc…)

All workshops will encourage students to work collaboratively with their peers, learn dance vocabulary, connect choreography, and use their individual creativity and problem-solving skills. Each class will meet four times throughout the school year culminating in a recorded performance available for parents to view. We will also provide pre-recorded Dance.Laugh.Learn video workshops to bridge the learning. The program correlates with SC Anchor Standards in dance and physical education.

SC Anchor Standards:

  1. I can use movement exploration to discover and create artistic ideas and works
  2. I can choreograph a dance
  3. I can perform movements using the dance elements
  4. I can perform movement skills and techniques
  5. I can describe, analyze, and evaluate a dance
    (Number 6 will not be covered)
  6. I can relate dance to other arts disciplines, content areas, and careers
  7. I can identify and apply healthful practices related to dance

The Strands of Learning in Dance (NY State Standards) that are met are:

  1. Dance Making:
    Developing skills and techniques, improvise and choreograph
  2. Developing Dance Literacy:
    Understanding dance as a means of expression and communication,
    Apply dance vocabulary terminology and symbols,
    Analyze, critique, and communicate about dance
  3. Making Connections
    Connect dance to other arts and disciplines
    Connect dance to health and well-being

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