episode 31 small voices, Lady Who Loved Cats - Play
Just before Spring break we finished the annual drama project. This year I introduced a book , The Little Old Ladies Who Liked Cats by Carol Greene. Our Media Specialist ordered me a used copy from Amazon. I read the book whole group. The response was encouraging. Right away they started to identify the sequence, plot and the wide range of characters. For the next two weeks I used the book as a basis for exploring story elements including: setting, main idea, characters and sequence. After the first week I suggested they each consider what part they would like to play if we turned the book into a play. The biggest surprise came when two of the girls wanted to be dolphins. I was confused until they pointed out the dolphins in the illustration. We worked them into the play. A boy volunteered to be the cow and then realized cows were girls so we made him a bull who talks about cows! Next was the mouse character who decided he really would prefer being a bear. Luckily bears also like honey so we worked him in. Finally we had no volunteers for mayor until one of the girls suggested we use a princess instead. Good idea I assured her and we worked he into the play.
We walked through the parts and then work on individual lines in small group. I like them to decide what to say. The pirates came up with some funny lines as did the sailors. Our little lady knew just what to say and the cats got into character! Our last modification came when we tried to resolve the conflict. It was decided that the pirates be allowed to return if they followed the rules. In the end they get to join the navy. I used free play music to find snippets of tunes to underscore the dialog but the last number was a special request.
They all wanted to dance to High School Musical 2 so I threw in 10 seconds to make it happen. For me technology plays an important role because it motivates me to think in broader terms. The students know they are working on a movie they will be able to keep and share with family. I have explained the editing process to them and they gave me suggestions about the order and the sound. I showed them how the storyboard panel is just like the exercise they do when they arrange pictures in the order of a story.
Parents helped with costume assembly, getting the students dressed, keeping them 'quiet on the set' or occupied in the Media center between takes. Mrs. Foresman my Paraprofessional was invaluable giving direction as I manned the camera. Look for a short follow up to this vodcast where I will explain how to make these simeple paper costumes and the set. If you have any questions or comments look for my small voices post on my blog: http://ripplingpond.wordpress.com
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