AusVELS – Level 2
Posted on January 29, 2013
The following are suggestions of ways “Don’t Move Puppet Theatre” could fit into the AusVELS Level 2.
These are just a few suggestions, there would certainly be many more. Excerpts are taken directly from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority website here.
Both my show and workshop incursions would fit very well into THE ARTS curriculum. Students are shown behind the scenes of my puppet theatre and learn a great deal about performance. The workshops also develop a hands on approach to creativity and art. Even my handouts after each visit encourage the children to be creative in making their own mini theatres from a ‘colouring-in’ poster.
“Students learn about a range of ways arts elements can be used in the Performing and Visual Arts to communicate experiences, observations and things imagined. They begin to select, arrange and make choices about ways of using arts elements, principles and/or conventions from individual arts disciplines as they investigate the use of skills, techniques, processes, media, materials, equipment and technologies relevant to the arts disciplines in which they are working. They explore and, with guidance, maintain a record of ways of creating arts works that use a range of contemporary and traditional arts forms, media, materials, equipment and technologies; for example, they plan and explore ideas in a visual diary or keep an electronic journal with digital records of presentations. Using ideas and concepts taken from themes, scenarios, narratives and visual stimuli, they experiment with ways of expressing and communicating ideas and feelings to particular audiences or for particular purposes. Students could present arts works that combine arts disciplines such as a shadow puppet play featuring puppets and a soundtrack the students have designed and created or arts works from individual arts disciplines. For example, students could explore Drama elements and conventions such as costumes and props to create a character based on their observation and perception of a character in a story. At Level 2, students create and present performing and visual arts works that show emerging arts knowledge and an ability to plan arts works that communicate ideas, concepts, observations feelings and/or experiences. They demonstrate an emerging ability to select, arrange and make choices about expressive ways of using arts elements, principles and/or conventions. They use skills, techniques, processes, media, materials, equipment and technologies in a range of arts forms. They identify, describe and discuss characteristics of their own and others’ arts works.”
In CIVICS AND CITIZENSHIP confidence in your own abilities and public speaking are developed. Drama has a large influence on this area of development. After seeing my show or making a puppets, students can be encouraged to perform their own works, including writing simple scripts or performing infron of their peers.
COMMUNICATION is important in all aspects of life. At the beginning of my show sessions I discuss how to be a good audience member, how to listen well and join in when appropriate. Much of this is covered in the communication topic as per below.
“Students practice the skills of being attentive listeners and viewers in pairs, small groups and as a whole class. They are encouraged to use questions to clarify meaning and to extend interaction. They experience, respond to and begin to interpret a variety of aural, written and visual texts, discussing alternative meanings and perspectives when they arise. When communicating with others, students begin to distinguish between differing contexts, purposes and audiences and they learn to modify their communication accordingly; for example, when playing with friends in the playground and talking to classroom visitors. Students regularly make short oral presentations to small groups or the whole class on specified topics across the curriculum and on personal experiences beyond school. With guidance, students develop an understanding of basic communication conventions and practise strategies for improving their presentations with a particular focus on making themselves understood; for example, by varying volume and pace and making eye contact with the audience”.
My puppet making workshops easily fit into the DESIGN, CREATIVITY & TECHNOLOGY topic . Children learn to use different materials in new ways at the same time as being creative and letting their imaginations grow. My workshops are constantly used for this technology based topic to great result. Many of my workshop materials are recycled.
“Students come to understand that people use creative, imaginative and inventive thinking to help them meet human needs and wants. They enquire about and question their world, offering ideas and suggestions based upon their experience of working with materials and systems components. They investigate what products and systems can do, how they work, and why they are the way they are. They play with and manipulate materials, think about, discuss and describe their characteristics and properties (using terms such as strong, hard, stretchy and sweet) and why they are suitable for use in products and systems. In response to simple design briefs, students develop basic design ideas based on their experiences of working with materials/ingredients and components. They talk about their design ideas and thought processes and start to represent these visually by using models, pictures and words. They consider that more than one solution may be possible and begin to give reasons for changes in their thinking. Students begin to recognise relationships between individuals and communities, and products, processes and systems; for example, a transport system. Responding to open-ended design tasks, students develop imaginative and practical design solutions to problems, needs and opportunities. Students follow a set of instructions and may begin to contribute to planning the main steps to make a product. They explain what they are making and which tools and equipment they are using. They safely use tools and equipment to separate, assemble, join and combine everyday materials/ingredients and systems components in a variety of ways. Students consider whether their design solutions work and are appropriate for the purpose for which they were designed. With guidance from the teacher and feedback from peers, they reflect on how they designed and made their products.”
My performances and their relevance to developing stories and scripts in ENGLISH are obvious. After seeing a show and behind the scenes, students are always inspired to go away and create their own shows for each other. I suggest how students can make their own theatres and I have seen this happen immediately when I return to the same school the following day.
“In Level 2, students communicate with peers, teachers, students from other classes, and community members. Students engage with a variety of texts for enjoyment. They listen to, read, view and interpret spoken, written and multimodal texts in which the primary purpose is to entertain, as well as texts designed to inform and persuade. These encompass traditional oral texts, picture books, various types of print and digital stories, simple chapter books, rhyming verse, poetry, non-fiction, film, multimodal texts, dramatic performances, and texts used by students as models for constructing their own work. Students create a range of imaginative, informative and persuasive texts including imaginative retellings, reports, performances, poetry and expositions. They discuss the characters and settings of different texts and explore how language is used to present these features in different ways. They create events and characters using different media that develop key events and characters from literary texts. They also create short imaginative, informative and persuasive texts using growing knowledge of text structures and language features for familiar and some less familiar audiences, selecting print and multimodal elements appropriate to the audience and purpose. Students will understand that spoken, visual and written forms of language are different modes of communication with different features and their use varies according to the audience, purpose, context and cultural background.”
In analysing my shows, students are encouraged to discuss characters, events and settings as well as the descriptions of puppet characters and storyline.
“Students discuss how depictions of characters in print, sound and images reflect the contexts in which they were created. They also identify aspects of different types of literary texts that entertain, and give reasons for personal preferences and Compare opinions about characters, events and settings”.
LISTENING SKILLS are important during a theatre session, not only during the show but in the show and tell session immediately afterwards. Instructions in workshops are also very important and students, eager to make a successful puppet, are excited to listen to and follow instruction well.
“Listen for specific purposes and information, including instructions, and extend students’ own and others’ ideas in discussions.Use interaction skills including initiating topics, making positive statements and voicing disagreement in an appropriate manner, speaking clearly and varying tone, volume and pace appropriately. Rehearse and deliver short presentations on familiar and new topics”
My shows and workshops can encourage talk of the HISTORY of puppetry. The obvious benefits of drama can also help students be more confident in sharing their work on history through different forms of communication including oral, graphic, written and role play.
Many of my shows touch on aspects of INTERPERSONAL DEVELOPMENT. In particular, “The Wizard’s Tale”, “Three Animal Stories” and “Punch & Judy” partially deal with friendship, getting along and bullying being unacceptable. Other shows too have strong morals written within them without necessarily being the theme or learning focus of the shows. Theatre and drama in general also has avery positive effect on children’s confidence and personal character.
“Students learn to recognise that their actions have consequences for both themselves and others in social contexts. They begin to think in terms of other people’s feelings and needs, especially when resolving conflict or dealing with bullying; for example, by saying sorry or taking another person’s point of view into consideration.”
MATHEMATICS & SCIENCE are also involved in a hands on way during my workshops. I discuss three dimensional shapes as the students endeavour to cut out a spherical head for their puppet from a cube shaped piece of foam. Even watching the clock to wait three minutes for glue to dry can be a valuable learning experience.
“Prompted by questions, students begin to reflect on their thinking processes.”