AusVELS – Level 1
Posted on January 29, 2013
The following are suggestions of ways “Don’t Move Puppet Theatre” could fit into the AusVELS Level 1.
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 1, 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.
“Students engage with a variety of texts for enjoyment. They listen to, read, view and interpret spoken, written and multimodal texts designed to entertain and inform. These encompass traditional oral texts including Aboriginal stories, picture books, various types of stories, rhyming verse, poetry, non-fiction, film, dramatic performances, and texts used by students as models for constructing their own texts. Literary texts that support and extend Level 1 students as independent readers involve straightforward sequences of events and everyday happenings with recognisably realistic or imaginary characters. Students create a variety of imaginative, informative and persuasive texts including recounts, procedures, performances, literary retellings and poetry.”
“Students recreate texts imaginatively using drawing, writing, performance and digital forms of communication. They Understand that people use different systems of communication to cater to different needs and purposes and that many people may use sign systems to communicate with others. They understand that language is used in combination with other means of communication, for example facial expressions and gestures to interact with others. Students explore different ways of expressing emotions, including verbal, visual, body language and facial expressions. They discuss characters and events in a range of literary texts and share personal responses to these texts, making connections with students’ own experiences. They will also discuss how authors create characters using language and images as well as features of plot, character and setting in different types of literature and explore some features of characters in different texts.”
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.
“Prompted by questions, students begin to reflect on their thinking processes.”