Teaching Roster

Laurie Melnik Allen

Contact Name: Laurie Melnik Allen

Email: Click to email

Phone: (423) 425-5210

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Laurie Melnik Allen, Lyndhurst Chair of Excellence in Arts Education, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC), is a nationally recognized teaching artist in theatre, sparking joy in arts-based assessments. She facilitates classroom residencies and professional development sessions integrating universal design for learning (UDL), social and emotional learning (SEL), and design thinking. Her work has resulted in a Concentration in Theatre Education at UTC, multiple arts integration programs, and many grant awards. Laurie has an MFA in Theatre with a Concentration in Theatre for Young Audiences from the University of Central Florida (UCF) and an MPA in Nonprofit Management from UTC.

Artist Work Samples

Sample Programs Offered

Program Title: Off the Digital Canvas: A Character Development Exercise

Program Type: Arts Curriculum

Program Description:

Visual art from digital museums can serve as great source material for character development while helping students strengthen visual literacy skills. This program can be facilitated as a teacher workshop where educators actively learn character development strategies based on a work of art or an artist residency that help upper elementary students further develop their craft. While this was developed with grades 3rd-5th in mind, this can be scaffolded her secondary students who may be new to acting. The sample lesson plan guides participants through a still image exercise based on George Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte (1884) where physical character choices (e.g. facial expression, gesture, pose, and posture) are practiced in isolation.

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

Program Title: Activating Poetry: A K-5 Strategy for Communicating and Interpreting Meaning Through Still-Image

Program Type: Arts Integration

Program Description:

This arts integration program can be delivered as a classroom residency or a professional development workshop. This program focuses on creative drama as an improvisational and process-centered form of theatre that focuses on expressing ideas and conveying meanings through guided explorations. These guided explorations take on many forms while encouraging students to contextualize their mind, body, and voice through a guided drama experience  based on a given situation or in response to selected literature. The sample lesson shares an example of integrating creative drama in poetry through the use of still images (aka frozen tableaus).

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

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