Friday, May 17, 2013

Parrots, Cinderella's Cottage and Bread

Sorry we have been a bit quiet has got busy, but it's all good! I'm in my last few weeks of teaching for a while (school finishes in June) and I thought you might like to see some of the things I have been involved in during the months before I change role...

I am really enjoying teaching Grades 7 & 8 and this term we have been doing a persuasive writing unit. We split the students into groups and assigned them topics such as 'Do zoos serve a purpose?', 'Is bribery ever justifiable?' and 'Are bullies victims too?' Some tricky stuff, but they have really got into it! The first stage was to produce a group poster displaying two sides of the argument and then to do a presentation in which they tried to persuade the audience to one side over the other. They responded with characteristic creativity and incorporated skits, puppet shows and even a parrot into their work! Never have I had a parrot in my classroom before, but I can report that he was perfectly behaved and really quite charming! The only problem was that I was so mesmerised by the parrot that I found it hard to concentrate on the presentation...

A group in Grade 7 present on 'Do zoos serve a purpose?' Buddy the parrot listened very attentively!
This term I have also been helping with Grade 8 drama. They have a 50 minute lesson a day and we have been preparing for a production of 'Cinderella's Cottage: A retelling of the classics - fairies not included' written by the director and lasting just over an hour. In just over five and half weeks the students have gone from never having done drama before to taking part in a production that involved multiple costume changes, set changes and radio mic changes. They all acted on stage, as well as being part of the backstage crew and set creation team. Needless to say, they have been wonderful and produced a great show. All went well and now we just have to strike the set and clear up. It has been great to see the community pull together to help the 8th graders showcase their talents and the facilities available are pretty impressive considering where we are. The costume room is a treasure trove, full of props and costumes from productions past and present and all beautifully neat and organised. We were able to find costumes for the 3 bears, the 3 pigs, princes, princesses, wolves, huntsmen and soldiers, as well as create sets to represent a cottage, palace ballroom, palace throne room and woodland. The play features a series of fairytales, but all with a twist. For example, Little Red Riding Hood was Little Red Riding 'in the hood' - a male rapper with a red cape and a 'down wid it' way with words...FUN! I helped with rehearsals and ran about backstage during the performance phase. It has been lovely to get to know the kids better and see them in a different context, as well as have the chance to make new friends from the community. Now the play is finished we are moving onto doing some improvisation skills, as well as choosing and performing monologues to improve their public speaking.

Here are some of the Grade 8 girls (pre make-up) dressed for the ballroom scene, but standing in front of the woodland backdrop.
Outside school I am doing my best to improve my cooking skills and recently had a bread making lesson from friend, Laura. I have started baking 3 0r 4 loaves a week and have to say it is a very satisfying feeling! I am so grateful for all the kind people who are giving me recipes and tips. I still have a LOT to learn, but I am enjoying it.

1 comment:

  1. All this talk of "Big Productions" and "Buns in the Oven" - anyone would think you were pregnant.