ArtMoblie 2015…Week Six (Paper Bag Puppets)
August 18th, 2015
I have no shame in saying it one bit…this past week’s activity is my OFFICIAL FAVORITE, CRAFTING, CREATIVE, ARTISTIC PROJECT of ANY I’ve done…even among my own custom creations. I’ve made my own sauropod dinosaur, sea turtles, turbo snail (with lightening bolts) from scratch…but the easy and age-level friendliness of Paper Bag Puppets made this the winner! The possibilities of what animal, person or monster that can be created are endless. The more I thought of what I could do with this another kid would broaden my horizon a bit more with a new perspective. Mind you, I haven’t even gotten to the spontaneous story lines and role playing that occurred unsolicited.
Lions and cheetahs and bears…oh my!
So, I took it…not knowing I would meet my ULTIMATE CHALLENGE and NEMESIS.
A Creative cycle is born
Talk about giving back, these kids and this lesson are about to change what I do during the school year in a wicked way! The kids I deal with over the summer have given new Life to what I will be planning for the year. Last year, early in the school year, I was asked by the principle of the Renaissance School to permanently fill in for the theater instructor who could no longer continue. So, I took it…not knowing I would meet my ULTIMATE CHALLENGE and NEMESIS. Kindergarten (Actually, first grade wasn’t a cakewalk either)!
Trial by fire (burn Baby, Burn)
My lessons consisted of a book of my choosing that I’d read and an art lesson of my creation. I had freedom but I didn’t really know what to do with it. At times, it was difficult to engage all of them for prolonged times OR during transitions. A year wiser and worn I know I’ll need something to wrangle them in. I wanted to add MORE of the theatrical element to the lessons so they wouldn’t be missing out. But class control took priority. Inexperience and short notice would make my lessons not as cohesive as I would have liked. They were good, but sometimes not level friendly as I like to push the envelope.
Light at the end of the tunnel
Now, I have a game-changer! PUPPETS OF ALL KINDS and CREATIVE STORY LINES!!! I saw quiet kids come out of their shell and run around for the park, housing development or recreation center, for duration of our stay and likely longer! Some kids made numerous puppets for younger siblings back home too.
A Path has been lit
I’ve recently seen the power of role-playing in education through my brother. He’s been teaching math for about 16 years in Brockton, MA.. Recently, he’s been working quite successfully, with a home-schooling group Mastermind Adventures who put on events like the Eaglesclaw American School for Witchcraft and Wizardry Educational Role Play. I’m actually one of the newest instructors. I’ll be a part of the next event in November! Things are about to get busy…but that’s another post.
I plan to harness it like the wind to blow some ideas into their creative sails! These kids are learning to hone their fine motor skills, learning social skills, building confidence and they don’t even know it! Also, this lesson has given me a second wind concerning how I was going to captivate my restless audience. Hope does AMAZING things to the Spirit! It gets me excited! Excited for another year at enriching the lives of the youth and making it fun and creative!
As I write this, this is the last week of the artMOBILE. It’s bittersweet, but the learning, networking and relationship building is about to pay off! See you soon!
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artMOBILE is funded through the assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) from the City of New Bedford, Office of Housing and Community Development. Additional funding provided by United Way of New Bedford’s Summer Fund Program, New Bedford Education Foundation, Leonard & Hilda Kaplan Charitable Foundation, Bain Capital Children’s Charity, the Lodge of St. Andrew, and numerous donors.