Monday, September 19, 2016
Teaching Theatre is my Happiness!
Puppets in Class
So...I thought it would be a great idea to have my students do a puppet show! I used to love puppets when I was a kid. This ought'ta be great!
I spent a little fortune on puppets (or rather my principal came up with the $) at the end of last year, so I could start a puppet unit this year. Puppets are not cheap (well, some are...at least cheaply made) and to buy enough for 30-35 students to each have one was costly. (A note: Do not buy puppets from Oriental Trading if you plan to use them!)
At any rate...my students have been working hard (or hardly) for a week and a day now to get their puppet shows ready for performance. I can't wait to see them! I do have some super fun, imaginative students!
The groups were assigned (yes, I know...mean teacher), and the sacks of puppets were handed out! The crowd went wild! And I do mean wild! Good thing I have a microphone.
It became apparent we needed some rules for safe puppet handling (and these rules are not just mere guidelines):
No hitting each other with the puppets, do not put them in your mouth, you can not play football with them, no, you must use the puppets in your sack only...no trading. I do not want to see one more puppet flying through the air!
So, they brainstormed, completed a storyboard (or were supposed to) and then wrote a script for their puppets. Meanwhile, I made two puppet Theatres out of donated washer and dryer boxes. A parent also brought in some faux (fake) corrugated cardboard that looks like wood and bricks! Fantastic! I put that on the outside of the boxes, cut a big hole, used lots and lots of duct tape (some also donated, yea!) and found some old black fabric for the curtains. (Originally, the students were going to make scenery, but we found out it takes longer to write a script as a group than expected, if you are in 6th and 7th grade.)
Then, I watched, and provided paperclips, staples, erasers, paper, tape, opinions, and more paper and tape. I refereed, threatened, cajoled, and praised! (A couple of kids opted for time out.)
We learned about projecting, (why can they when I don't want them to, and can't when I want them to?) enunciation, and characterization in voice. They understand how not to turn their puppets to the floor (because your audience is not laying on the floor) and that you need to be careful not to knock over the puppet Theatre while you are performing.
Now, tomorrow! The performances! We are anticipating, aliens, weddings, Willy Wonka, murder mysteries, kidnappings, evil villains, super heroes, romances, sword fights, and hungry people-eating T-Rexes!
I can't wait!
Caveat! My students ROCK! I WILL do this assignment again! Performances were so much fun!