Deep Roots Program

A New Environmental Program for Students K-3rd Grade

Developed and Written by
Jackie Flanagan, Louise Kelly, Jean Kent


A dynamic, 45-minute presentation leaving students with a greater connection to the land that we live on here in Illinois: The Prairie!

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What if people in Illinois considered themselves as People of the Prairie? What if we experienced belonging to this land as deeply as the roots of prairie plants belong in the ground? With more than 95% of our original prairie gone, we need more prairie restoration.  As the climate changes, storms become more severe. We need more prairies, more tall grasses with deep roots, to soak up the water.

First let's learn about the prairie and the deep roots of the prairie plants. The Deep Roots Program experience will fan the flam of childrens' innate connection to the natural world through music, imagination, dance and storytelling.   

THE DEEP ROOTS PROGRAM

Children ages K-3rd grade will be delighted by Eagle and Owl as they:

  • Educate about prairie plants and animals

  • Engage through song and dance

  • Inspire students through the collective creation of a (musical) prairie

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WEBSITE Owl Headshot.jpg
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From this interactive, musical experience children will develop empathy for living creatures and the land herself.

This Deep Roots video is shared with educators a week before the Program and plants the seeds for the live educational experience. Students will be introduced to the plants and animals of the prairie in a fun, animated format.  

"Deep Roots" was written by Louise Kelly, produced by Daniel Oldham, and animated by Kelsey Boncato. Partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. 

Deep Roots is interactive
Deep Roots is interactive

Children love to learn about the plants and animals of the prairie!

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I Love the Beautiful Earth
I Love the Beautiful Earth

Eagle teaches children the ASL (American Sign Language) with the song "Earth, Earth, Earth, I Love the Beautiful Earth"

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Deep Roots
Deep Roots

Louise Kelly started to write a song that teaches about prairie, our natural habitat, when she for the first time watched it unfold in spring of 2020.

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Deep Roots is interactive
Deep Roots is interactive

Children love to learn about the plants and animals of the prairie!

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Bring Deep Roots to your Community

This performance can take a number of shapes and forms, from workshops and residency programs for elementary schools, to park districts and forest preserves. 

The intended audience is early elementary school, from kindergarten to 3rd grade.

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Illinois: The Prairie State

"Deep Roots" teaches Illinois children about the deep roots of prairie plants, encouraging them to grow their own deep roots into this land we live on.

 

The program is grateful for partial support by the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and is born from a  collaboration between Louise Kelly, musician/ singer-songwriter/ educator, and SCARCE, an award-winning sustainability center.