Monday, March 29, 2010

Puppet Shows & Public Speaking

Reposting from my other blog...

In conjunction with our farm unit we decided to do a puppet show of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. My student drew one goat which we photocopied and reduced by 75% and 50% to make the two smaller goats. He also drew a troll. Little helper, just turned 4-years-old and only 10 months into learning English, assisted in the performance, repeatedly begging, "Do it again! Do it again!"

"Speaking" of which... 

When I first started homeschooling, I had a few concerns. "Socialization" was near the top of the list. (I soon came to realize this was a joke. We socialized so much the first year that we hardly had time left for school. We cut waaaayyyy back and eventually came to a happy medium.) Related to socialization was the idea of public speaking/presentations. Since my children were not in large classes, I felt that speaking opportunities must be deliberate, frequent, and purposeful. At young ages we acted out stories or made puppet shows, performing for anyone who would listen...usually Daddy, siblings, and grandparents. We joined book clubs and co-ops where students regularly presented. Later came Lego Robotics and Shakespeare productions. It's paid off. My daughter, now a freshman in a large public high school, has excelled in speech competitions. Last year, two of my kids competed in Lego Robotics on a national level, where their performance depended heavily on their speaking/presenting skills.

All that to say that this is where they began...

The older kids did their own version of The Three Billy Goats Gruff when they were young. We all start somewhere. :) 

When kids are young, I start by repeatedly reading a story. When they have the story line down, I like to do the puppet show with them, modeling how to use the puppets in the context of the story. As soon as they're ready to take over, I happily bow out and let them continue without me. Today I heard many, many different versions of the story as they considered what they wanted to say. (A lot of whispering went on "backstage.") It's fascinating to watch them internalize the story, getting louder and more clear as they become more comfortable with the performance aspect. The request to "do it again, do it again!!" didn't stop today.

Love of learning. What more can we ask?

1 comment:

Cathleen said...

What an awesome performance! Bravo, bravo! Encore, encore!

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