Autumn is well underway and with Winter fast approaching the darker nights and changing environment provides us teachers with valuable opportunities for taking the children outdoors. I firmly believe that the natural environment should act as a canvas for lessons or as a stimulus for exploring the curriculum.
Considering the above, this entry shall focus on a cross curricular approach to Art, Drama and Literacy. It was inspired from a class on Line Drawings where I experimented with creating lines in shadows.
As a former Drama and Performance student with extensive experience and knowledge in the field, I am always surprised by the few opportunities there are for children in mainstream education to be allowed time and space to explore self expression through the arts. From experience I have found that some children (and many adults) often go “blank” when they are asked to create something intended for a public performance. Many children are struck with anxiety as they worry about having to “perform“. The beauty of puppetry (particularly shadow puppetry) however, is that children are offered opportunities for collaboration and individual creations behind a screen. The creation can be a still image, devised performance, a piece performed from a script, experimental to explore shapes, movement and light etc.
The following lesson is intended to be part of a sequence of lessons. The direction the lessons take should be a direct response of the children’s interests and needs evident throughout the teacher/student dialogue and discussion.
Puppetry is an excellent way to combine the many strengths, skills and abilities within any classroom. Provided with the time and resources, children can be guided to create wonderful pieces of performance or still images using a variety of mediums.
Lesson planning template 1-2 (subject to revision)