So we moved our morning meeting into a room that we could darken, the children were all sat waiting and the story began. Judging by the quietness on the other side of the screen the children were obviously intrigued - and as soon as I finished the story and asked if anyone else wanted a go there was a whole forest of hands that couldn't stretch high enough to show their eagerness - and waiting for a turn (as they got to do it in pairs) was not easy either - the NEED to try this out was HUGE and the body was barely able to contain itself.
Some of the children were able to tell both a story and move the puppets around so that we could see, some were completely quiet, except for some soft roaring, others could not quite work out how to make a shadow and moved the puppets around behind the screen and lamp while telling a story...
I could see directly how great this was for language development, for inspiring the imagination, for science exploration about shadows, social development - yes, I was sitting there watching the shows smiling and seeing more and more of the curriculum that could be covered by the shadow theatre...
In the afternoon there was great interest in playing with the shadow theatre again - and we went back to where it was set up and performed for each other again - this time I helped the children who were not making shadows so they could see the difference between playing with the puppets and moving them in front of the lamp to make a shadow.
I used a small Ikea reading lamp that can be clipped onto the table (or shelves or whatever) - it worked fine (but I have to admit that I did take it from my son's bedroom, but as he is sleeping in my bed - as my husband is away in Brazil attending a sleep conference and Michael is excellent on maximising snuggle opportunities - I don't think he will notice for the next 10 days!!). One of the children did have her face close to the lamp at one time and realised that it was warm - and of course developed a healthy respect for the lamp at the same time.
Later we made some more puppets - a few more for the Room on the Broom story, as well as some from Gruffalo - the children also started making their own. This was not so easy for some of the children as their need to play with the pen on the paper exceeds their desire to create a puppet - but it DID give us time to TALK about purposeful drawing, and it also inspired one child to take the leopard figure and draw that, and her observations in the drawing were wonderful, especially as this was her first attempt (her choice of colours were spot on).
As the children cut out their drawing they went off to test them at the shadow theatre. Their drawing and cutting inspired others and many toddlers were busy at the tables drawing and cutting with great concentration. It's really wonderful to see how infectious learning is through play...
|building the shadow theatre last Monday - there IS a post about this too!|
|sometimes a head became a part of the performance|
|experimenting with the puppets and different distances - close to the screen, close to the lamp, just off centre... etc - The shadows were always changing...|
|a leopard - a first attempt at drawing from a model - the child gave me a funny look when I suggested she should give it a try - she REALLY studied the leopard before starting|