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Let's start at the beginning ....  (Read 17428 times)
amybeth
« on: June 19, 2006, 09:54:39 am »

It is my opinion that there is a difference between EDUCATION and ENTERTAINMENT.  Having stated that opinion let me share that if you are interested in optimizing your performances for students and educators (teachers), you may want to consider providing materials for pre-teaching and post-teaching.  Many teachers appreciate the brief distraction in their day or week when an entertainer comes to the school or their classrooms.  However, I consider it a different product to 'partner' with the teacher in (a) preparing her/him and the students for your arrival (b) providing an interactive, educational performance and (c) following-up on the performance with post-teaching. [taking your performance to the next level].

I can think of several children's theaters that now offer what is called "Stage Pages".  This amounts to a brochure that describes the play they are going to see, introduces the characters, gives valuable time and placement information, explains anything unique about the performance and provides the teacher and student with links and references for further study. 

If you are interested in developing your program for schools.  Or taking your entertainment to the next level - this is the place to ask.  I will post links that are relevant.  For instance - you would need to know what topics were "on grade level" for your target audiences.  You wouldn't necessarily want to invest in an GREEK performance to a 3rd grader if they introduce the GREEK mythologies in 4th grade.  This is just an example.  Being prepared and knowing your subjects helps build your professional name in the community - it adds quality to your performance.

** My expertise and heart also go out to deaf students - if you are interested in sign language in your performances with human hand/arm puppets.  Please ask.

** Using puppets with literature based story telling - please ask.

** Want to develop your own version of "stage pages" - sound off - this will be fun!

Other areas you can ask about:

** Taking teacher request for production materials

**  Literature based performances (taking children's literature and turning it into a production)

** Organizing your inventory to best evaluate what you can offer to local schools - grouping material for a theme

** Cataloging your scripts and repertoire to cater to the educational market

** Early Childhood and Elementary Education is my area of expertise

** Adapting your "make and take" workshops from "craft time" to true subject integration

** Explanation of educational terms used by teachers and school systems.

** Educational venues that are not associated with local schools: libraries, boys and girl clubs, home school markets, child care centers, shelters, etc.

If your question is not within my field of experience - I'll try to find the best referral to get you the information you need! 
**FYI - I won't respond to questions too hastily - too ensure that they are well reasoned and insightful (NPR reference)  - if your question is urgent, please PM me ** graduate
« Last Edit: June 19, 2006, 10:27:21 am by amybeth »
DaiBato
No Avatar
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2007, 04:37:49 pm »

Dear amybeth:

I am interested in using puppets directly in the classroom with my emotionally disturbed students.

I would like to teach math concepts, phonics, etc. using puppets.

Any suggestions?

DaiBato
jomama
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2007, 07:50:17 pm »

amybeth,
I'm interested in adapting children's literature to a puppet production. Also I've thought of a unit where the class writes a story and we turn it into a puppet production. How would I go about beginning this project?
Nikole H.
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2007, 08:37:54 pm »

WOW....great information!!!  Thanks for posting!!!

I have always wanted to add sign language into my performances as I do a lot of bare hand puppetry work but am having a hard time finding a location to learn sign language.  I was hoping that the University that I attend would offer it as part of the foreign language requirement but fat chance.  I really think that it should be included as this would be a language that most people could really use!  I'm excited to chat with you on tips to using it in performance as I am just trying to learn sign language on my own through books but it is just not the same.

As for preparing to go into the classroom, I have to agree fully with you.  I find that I am booking more shows with teachers because I am asking them what they are learning in the classrooms that I could follow up with a custom show.  For instance, the preschool that I am working with right now has booked me for three upcoming shows for the end of the month to address fall harvest season.  I have already asked for the upcoming scheduled events and was given the entire itinerary for the whole school year.  This allows me to "sell" a show customized to the school for each month.  It's always great to have some steady work lined up.  It's also fun to create new shows constantly and it keeps me busy.  Luckily for me, I make very simple puppets so it is not too much time out.  The hardest part for me is just coming up with original scripts so quickly but so far so good!

For my library shows, I pick my favorite children's stories and create a puppet show based on those books.  For instance, my son's favorite book is The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  I developed a puppet show that goes well with the book and after the show, I teach the children how I make my simple caterpillar out of yarn.  To keep up the supplies costs, I just have a donation box that simply states that all donations go back into the supplies for me to continue offering this type of show.  I find that people are very generous and I am able to buy all the supplies I need for future shows and enough to make new puppets.  Now, it won't make me rich but that's not the reason I do puppetry to begin with.  My reward is seeing the smiles on the faces of our children (or as we say in Hawaii, "keiki" pronounced like "kay-kee") and that makes me the richest woman alive!!!

Thanks again for posting such a fruitful thread and let's keep up this support!
Aloha,
Nikole
StiqPuppet Productions
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2007, 12:42:04 am »

I do workshops and keep saying that I would do a write up on how I present them, but life keeps getting ahead of me with other puppet making things.  I am booking up with workshops and haven't advertised, only word of mouth.  I am currently doing 3 classes which is 90 students and I am loving every minute of it!  I am doing grades 6&7 since the workshop is challenging for them. I can present the same workshop for youth through to adults.  I am currently working on one that is as effective for grades 5 and under.  I use foam, glue guns and X-acto knives as well as many other types of materials.  The workshop is 8 weeks long including the last one or two classes teaching puppet techniques.  This workshop sells itself and needs no begging to get teachers, community centres and art programs to do it.

My suggestion also is asking Elementary School Librarians what books they really like to read to the kids and the same response from the kids at liking the book themselves.  I have done that and I get some really wicked book ideas.  Sometimes books didn't make it because the pictures were less attractive, however the story is great and can be converted to a great script.  I am working on a few right now and looking forward to presenting them in the future.  Elementary School Librarians are the best resource and they would be tickled pink when you ask them for "their suggestions."  I have had great luck with this.

If you have any other questions just ask away, I would be glad to answer any if you would like to know more.

Daryl H

   
amybeth
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2007, 04:38:53 pm »

Hey Nikole,

There are online website that actually show video clips of each sign.  You can order videos and books about sign language too.  Our local library has a whole deaf library within the regular library. 

Bare hand puppetry is really great for signing!  It may open whole new doors.

Just be careful that you do not mix 'baby signs" with ASL (american sign language) - the two are NOT the same.
Baby signs is just a communication tool - ASL is a recognized language.

Good Luck - when you have specific questions, let me know.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2007, 06:34:39 am by amybeth »
amybeth
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2007, 06:19:43 am »

Quote
Dear amybeth:

I am interested in using puppets directly in the classroom with my emotionally disturbed students.

I would like to teach math concepts, phonics, etc. using puppets.

Any suggestions?

DaiBato

Hi, DaiBato -

My first idea is to have puppets for each of the children - depending on how old the children are, they could even make a simple puppet (talk about math concepts).  If the children each had puppets they could dialogue and interact with each other in a new way that helps bring down barriers.  It's hard to mess up or be embarassed, you can always blame it on the puppet!  Puppets can say or do anything YOU can, only better - so if you were thinking about just one puppet, let it be the crazy teacher guy and use it in the routine of normal lesson plans.  One thought might be to have a female puppet - that way if someone has issues with men (since you ARE one) it could be a way to soften the obvious.  *This may sound strange to some of you - considering the reasons some children are "upset", this could be a key factor.

* Begin slowly:  start with an introduction.  Don't try to do a whole lesson with the puppet - give yourself time to warm up to the idea.  They'll want more and you'll be finished before you feel frustrated.  Small bouts of feeling successful with help you - and the kids.

*  Be specific:  Decide what subject or what theme/genre you will be using the puppet.  As you know consistency is the key with trouble kids.  Once you start, be committed to see it through. 

*  Have fun:

If you have specific questions, you can send me a message online.  Hope that helps get you started.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2007, 06:38:44 am by amybeth »
amybeth
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2007, 06:28:46 am »

Quote
amybeth,
I'm interested in adapting children's literature to a puppet production. Also I've thought of a unit where the class writes a story and we turn it into a puppet production. How would I go about beginning this project?

Jomama,  Question:  Are you a teacher?  That will help me figure out where to start you off.

(1) Choose your grade level and then research their curriculum requirements/required reading for this year (or this grade level).
(2) Select a story the children must learn anyway and then build from the requirements for testing.  It always helps to meet two/three goals at once!
(3) To hit your second thought - yes, have the children be involved in adapting the literature selection/topic into a play format. 
(4)  Basic elements apply at this point: * character selection, scene/setting, time restraints, fact/fiction/fantasy, applicable music, main points, climax, resolution & "the moral of the story".
(5) Online Research - (self-explanatory)

The big part of this is planning - select your piece and the rest is brainstorming.  Are you familiar with
Quote
Make a KWAL chart: what I know, what I want to learn, what I learned
??
Always a neat way to start an activity.

Questions?  Let me know -

 graduate
Nikole H.
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2007, 12:36:26 pm »

Hey Nikole,

There are online website that actually show video clips of each sign.  You can order videos and books about sign language too.  Our local library has a whole deaf library within the regular library. 

Bare hand puppetry is really great for signing!  It may open whole new doors.

Just be careful that you do not mix 'baby signs" with ASL (american sign language) - the two are NOT the same.
Baby signs is just a communication tool - ASL is a recognized language.

Good Luck - when you have specific questions, let me know.

Thanks so much!!!  Yeah, I don't care for the baby signs.  I will definitely use ASL as my tool.  YOU ROCK!!!  Thanks again!
Jon
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2008, 09:48:55 am »

If your preparing material for the deaf why not partner up with someone who is deaf, or perhaps a asl translator.  This would help you in your learning and ensure that the signing is professional.

I've been thinking that a person could prepare a workshop that would teach teachers how to build and incorporate pupets in their classroom.  One idea was a "Math Monster."  A teacher could use this monster to help kids learn basic math skill like adding, subtraction and multiplication.  The monster could lead the class in in learning songs or lead learning games.  Having the puppet may help the students associate the learning with something fun.  I've found that when I'm having fun I tend to relax and learn better.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 09:55:26 am by Jon »
StiqPuppet Productions
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2008, 12:10:38 pm »

Jon that is one of my goals in the puppetry world........to support teachers in bringing back puppets to the class.  Your last line says it all and it makes the whole lesson go much smoother for the teacher.

Here is a link to a site that supports and teaches teachers about making a simple puppet and then implementing it into the learning experience.

http://www.puppetools.com/

Enjoy
Daryl H
Papa of Pubbets
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2019, 09:52:39 pm »

I'm so glad to find this forum and I'm kicking myself for not searching for a puppetry forum earlier!

Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but this is exactly the sort of puppetry that I'm interested in. I've been teaching ESL (English as a second language) since 2007 and have always used puppetry in the classroom.

The results have been wonderful and it's lovely to have students contact me over a decade later and say that they loved my family of puppet characters!

A couple of years ago I left classroom teaching and transitioned to teaching 100% online. One of the main reasons was the convenience. It's wonderful to teach in your pyjamas for just a few hours each evening and have the entire day free to work on puppet stuff!

But more importantly, I really think that online teaching and puppetry is a perfect match. It's similar to what Jim used to say about puppetry on TV. The edge of the screen forms a type of 'stage' and you can do some really fun stuff having puppets 'visit' the classroom or suddenly hijack the lesson  Smiley

Here's a really simple example of using puppetry in one of my online classes with a student who has learning difficulties. Using puppets in the class with him has helped to transform him from a shy, awkward kid with no confidence into a bright and chatty boy who enjoys our weekly lessons.

https://youtu.be/-rSfcA2Wa7s

I'm happy to be here and hope to connect with other puppetry loving teachers!

James
Shawn Sorrell
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2019, 07:08:20 am »

He sure did perk up when the puppet entered the scene. Smiley
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