Zen Shorts introduces readers to a panda named Stillwater who moves into an unsuspecting neighborhood and, through the retelling of short stories, brings three children together in friendship. This module invites an exploration of Asian culture, including the art of sumi-e, a traditional Japanese painting style. Students will be guided through storytelling experiences to help them find their own stillness and zen in the midst of adolescence.
Before you begin...
Each Artful Reading Module is flexibly designed for a 2-3 week duration. Lessons are marked for Before-, During-, or After-Reading to guide your planning. We have added a sample of a Before Reading lesson entitled Zen Paintings and Haikus for you to preview. Each lesson is designed in an easy to read format, with standards, materials needed, and step-by-step directions to ensure you are fully prepared when it’s time to deliver.
This module contains the following lessons:
- What is Zen?
- Zen Painting
- Haiku Cubes
- Zen Paintings and Haikus
- Short Films
- Zen Shorts
- Dramatic Zen Shorts
o Script Analysis
- Zen Gallery
The summative writing tasks will invite students into a PBL experience. While
conducting self and group initiated research, the compelling question
students will explore is How can we create zenful experiences for our
community? Optional Extension Tasks are also available to stretch the module further.
This module is aligned to National Literacy standards and National Arts Anchor standards. For your reference, we have added images of the standards matrix for this module.
Zen, Stillness, Perspective, Meditation, Sumi-e, Haiku, Mindfulness, Theme,
Cast of Characters, Act or Scene Markers, Setting, Dialogue, Stage
Directions, Chop, Artist Statement