ElemENTARY Inspiration

In arts Integration

with Dr. Gennie Pfannenstiel

Dr. Gennie Pfannenstiel is an educator and arts integration specialist. For many years she has worked at Locust Street Elementary (formerly Lee Elementary) in the Columbia Public School system in central Missouri.

Gennie Pfannenstiel, Integration Arts Specialist at Locust Street Expressive Arts School with Director Stefan Freund for the Columbia Civic Orchestra in a conversation about arts integration and the role it played for collaborating a visual interpretation, projected on the screen for a score, from Music of the Stage and Screen performed by the orchestra, February 2020.


Reflections of an Arts Integration Specialist

Looking Back

A 2021 New Year’s Resolution--Revisit my Writing!

By Gennie Pfannenstiel, Ph.D.

As I do my morning routine with the Moving Five Elements, a Tai Chi form, in my backyard, watching the leaves fall in between my steps, I think of the students last year (before COVID) in need of movement for Social Emotional Learning. We went to where the sidewalk ends and the woods surrounding our view and did the Moving Five Elements for earth, wind, fire, water, air. Then we talked about what birds, animals and plant life we saw, what the sky looked like...the clouds and so on...intermingled with bits and pieces of memories from our daily lives. We walked back to school feeling refreshed and ready for what was to come.

It was the first graders who showed me the importance of Where the Sidewalk Ends from that very poem by Shel Silverstein. In 2019 and early 2020 we visited that spot often, drawing, writing, painting what we saw, what we felt, what we wondered. Each time we traipsed on the sidewalk to our destination, I would hear voices clamoring, “It feels like we are going on vacation!” Such was the beginning of a podcast about a sense of place that continued on into the following school year with another first grade class.

Collaboration with Columbia Civic Orchestra - 2018

4th Graders at Locust Street Expressive Arts School

Mural creation in response to Ravel's Mother Goose Suite.