Meet the Artist: Ilene Miller

Nov_IleneDuring my residency workshops with the fifth grade at the Taylor School, I am using high interest picture books to help students understand sequencing, summarizing and finding the main idea.

After I read the picture book, I ask the class to talk about the main idea and come up with what the author is trying to tel  l the reader. (the most important message.)

Teaching Artist Ilene Miller Reviews Student Work

It has been challenging for the classes, but each week I have seen great improvement. I first read the picture book and also tell a bit about what they will hear as I read. After the book is done, we analyze and discuss as a class, and then proceed to write down the most important events in sequential order. From those notes they then create a summary.

I have been impressed by the students’ enthusiasm in trying to accomplishActing Out a Poem such challenging tasks.

I also have been pairing the students, encouraging them to work together. I call this  “Think, Pair, Share” time. It gives the students time to talk about the events and help one another.

Irene_Nov1 As I model techniques I am also working in partnership with the classroom teachers supporting their individual needs. Mrs. Conte is especially helpful because she can translate to Creole for her Haitian students.

Each teacher has been able to have his or her students complete the work during the week and then they pass in the students’ work when they see me. They have the opportunity to incorporate techniques into their individual teaching styles between my visits.


-Ilene Miller

Teacher for 33 years in Brookline, 9 years with Troubadour 
Teaching Artist for Prose & Poetry


Troubadour is currently in residence at the Charles Taylor School, Mattapan, and at the Neighborhood House Charter School presenting a series of After School Staff Development workshops.

If you would like to preview our workshops, you can arrange a visit by contacting Victor Cockburn at


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