What makes you happy?
What makes you sad?
These were the questions we started with when we met with Susan Palmer on May 8. The idea was to build on the work we had done during the previous meeting, when we read a book and talked about the beginning, middle and end of the story and how the characters’ moods changed throughout.
We this time asked students to create their own movement piece and have the other student follow those movements, then to add all six movements together to make a finished piece. Performance. Creativity. I should really be tagging these blog posts to the Graduate Expectations they are bringing to students… But on with the story.
The focus was on beginning-middle-end, and then creating a collaborative sequence.
We expanded from pairs to triads:
After working with groups, we were ready to move on to something that was a step harder. What we didn’t realize was how big that step actually was.
We returned to the imaginary box, but this time, we each took an animal that Susan introduced, held it, and made the sound that it made. For this, we started to get a little pushback. It was odd. They had been brave for so long, taking what we were asking them to do and performing with gusto. But this time, the mood was a little off. Even though everybody claimed, yet again, to be feeling “OK” or “fine”.
We then took these characters and tried to make a simple story in groups, the boys in one group and the girls in another. You added one sentence to the story to make the next part and added a sound effect to make it come alive.
And this, I think because of where we are with English language development, did not go as planned. It was hard and answers had to be pulled out of students. It happened, but in the end, it was a difficult activity for this level. Not one we’d try like this again.
It’s hard to be original in another language. And it’s even harder to keep lists of original ideas in your head when they are not your own. Here are our results:
For the girls’ story, we found out afterwords, the most proficient student created it, and then they all just took their roles.
Just goes to show that there’s more than one way to skin (or in this case, sting) a cat…