I just completed editing and posting episode 31 of small voices. This is my third annual play based on a piece of childrens’ literature. A friend and coworker of mine, Heidi Holcomb, soon to be EdS in EdTech loaned me a containing examples of literature illustrating the butterfly effect. I wondered how readily my students would make the connection between the cats in our story and the safety of the island. They listened intently to the tale. I told the initially to listen carefully to see if they could solve the problem on the island. They each wanted to be the one to find the answer! Stories can be excellent teachers when students assume a role/purpose within the context of the a book.
My role was to ask questions and to help the students take ownership of the play. I call it a play but in reality it would take months to be able to produce this kind of thing sequentially and before an audience. Videotaping is the answer. It enables the teacher to reduce each the play to scenes or even parts when filming. With 18 enthusiastic kindergarteners, the rule is divide and conquer! Parental help is key as is a mind reading assistant. I had both! See for yourself. The editing is so so but I think you’ll agree, the movie is a living lesson for these children.
I found this lesson plan today based on the book I used. Some of you may find this helpful in creating your own plans.