Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Cinderella in Stick Puppets

Smartmom and Hanadi are working on a stick puppet production of Cinderella. It started many weeks ago when Hanadi's teacher said that Hanadi needs to work on "sequencing." Creating a puppet show version of Cinderella seemed to Smartmom a great way to learn how to sequence a story. And Hanadi was very enthusiastic about the idea.

Every Wednesday at 10:15 when Smartmom works with Hanadi in the hallway outside of her classroom, SM sets up the supplies needed for their project.

Supplies:
Popsicle sticks
Paper
Scotch tape
Magic Markers
Sharpened Pencils
Scissors

They don't have a table so they do all of the art work on the linoleum floor. It would be so much easier if they had a table. Note to SM: arrange to get a table.

So far they've made all of the puppets. These puppets are, by no means, elaborate but they look great. They are just the face of the character taped to the top part of the popsicle stick. Puppets completed: wicked stepmother, 2 wicked stepsisters, cinderella as a maid, cinderella at the ball, the prince, the prince's friend, and the fairy godmother. There is also a cool-looking cat who is the narrator of the show.

In the last couple of Wednesdays, Hanadi and Smartmom worked on the scenery for the show. This is basically a piece of paper taped to the tile wall of the hallway. They've completed the living room of the wicked stepmother's house, Cinderella's room and the ballroom where she meets the prince. They've even made the pumpkin carriage that Cinderella rides to the ball and back.

The faces of the puppets are very expresive. The stepmother and sister look sufficiently wicked. And Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother are all rosy cheeked and pretty. Smartmom's favorite is cat who narrates the show.

Smartmom is walking Hanadi through the process of creating a show. Now that the puppets are done and the scenery is ready, it's time to write the play. Here's where Hanadi will really learn to tell a story in the proper order and with specific details. Thus far, the two have been improvising scenes holding the stick puppets and talking in character voices.

So far so good. Last week, they wrote the opening scene where the Cat gets up and welcomes the audience and introduces the characters. They also did the scene where Cinderella is miserably sweeping the floor while the stepsisters scream at her and tell her what to do.

It's amazing how writing dialogue can really bring out an imaginative voice in a child. Hanadi is really going to town creating wild lines for those nasty stepsisters.

Today, we'll be working on the scene where the Prince's friend comes to the house and invites all the girls of the house to the ball.

Hanadi and Smartmom are creating a very hip version of the classic fairy tale: It's Cinderella with attitude.

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