Ms. Linda and Ms. Madison recognized how the kiddos in their classroom this year really enjoyed expressing themselves and seemed to have a knack for theatrical performances. Their observations began to inspire an in-depth look at the theatre from understanding how to make your face show what you feel to the parts of a play/story, to costume and set design, to onstage presence and being a member of the audience. The kids really enjoyed this exploration into the wide world of performance!
From Ms. Linda and Ms. Madison
The most prominent Topic Study in the Parrot Class was definitely “Fun with Theater.” I chose this Topic Study because my class was mostly comprised of kids that were very expressive with their bodies. I introduced the Topic Study to all of our Parrot Families in February and it culminated with the kids’ incredible performance in May.
From my February introduction to our Parrot Families: I am very pleased to present our Topic Study for Spring. It will be a 2-3 month exploration into the world of theater. We will begin this journey by seeing a play at the Zach Scott Theater called Wake Up Brother Bear on February 28th at 10am. On the day of the field trip, the kids will be able to make it back to school in time for lunch and resume our normal school day.
After viewing the play, we will deconstruct the work that goes into making a play, from start to finish. First, the story and writer (language, cognitive work), acting (self expression, emotional and behavioral exercises, theater games), set design (sensory and art) and lastly, our culminating project will be performing a short play or story for fellow schoolmates and families to watch. It will be an all body, sensory and language experience.
Topic Study Reflections: Watching “Wake Up Brother Bear” at the Zach Theater jump started this Topic Study and the kids had a blast. It was engaging and interactive–perfect for 3 and 4 year olds.
I chose the author, Bill Martin, Jr and his book, “Brown Bear” to be the focal point of our Topic Study so I could branch out with various lessons. We did an author study and talked about our imagination and the possibilities of what we could create.
We introduced theater games to inspire the kids to understand emotions and facial expressions and begin to emote expressively with different story lines. We initiated a lot of movement work that allowed the kids to hone their gross motor skills as they learned to express feelings, ideas and words with their whole body.
We set up a puppet theater in class and each of the kids created their own take home puppet theater using shoeboxes and other creative media. We also made parts of our set and costumes like masks, ears, hats and other accessories that went into the story.
We spent a month rehearsing, with the final week for dress rehearsal. We made tickets for the show and discussed money and the admissions process in a theatre.
Lastly, the kids put on 2 performances; one for their families and one for the entire school. In order for the kids to really be able to recall the play and all they did to make it come to life, I created a program for the show and the parents loved it.
The kids had also completed an abundance activities surrounding theatre in class and on the last day of school, they took home their Brown Bear Portfolio.
The Parrots had a fun-filled 3 months full of everything that goes into the theatre: artistic and emotional expression, full body engagement, performance and imagination!