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Re: [teacherartexchange] Marionettes and more - see Puppet Universe

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From: Patricia Knott (pknott_6_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Dec 13 2007 - 14:56:35 PST


On Dec 13, 2007, at 4:58 PM, KPRS2 wrote:

> oooh, oooh, oooh, oooh (think Horschack on Welcome Back Kotter),
> ask me, ask
> me. I teach puppetry on the high school level. I do big mouth
> puppets (think
> Sesame street), shadow puppets, handpuppets (think Punch and Judy) and
> Marionettes with my high school students. (as an aside to Judy, I
> am "up to
> here" with making puppets with my kids, so I haven't been able to
> get it
> together enough to send you pictures/lesson plans..however, I did
> present at
> the NJ Art Educators conference). My puppet club is busy this
> month, doing
> holiday shows for children and senior citizens. This course was an
> offshoot
> of my working puppetry into my Gifted and Talented classes for over 20
> years. When they eliminated Gifted and Talented from the high
> school, out
> shook a class called Puppetry, and I haven't looked back since.
> (this is our
> 3rd year). We compete with our puppets at our local Teen Arts
> Festival in
> the drama section, and have advanced each time from the local level
> to the
> state level. Students and teachers alike are staying afterschool
> this week
> to make puppets as holiday gifts as well. Gotta tell you, life is
> sweet!
>
> San D
>

It is so neat to hear from a teacher who has taken something that was
taken away and re-invented it into something new. I love puppets.
Puppets teach!
I am seeing in my high school kids this year much text included in
their images, and that is not by my direction. They seem to be
needing an "anonymous" voice to say what they can't say in the
standards based, expected requirements. They are analyzing and
regurgitating so much all the time, and they so want to have place to
give their personal meaning and outlook on the "things" they want to
say. Puppets are such a wonderful way to bring together the literacy
and the visual. I have a snippet from CBS Sunday morning that I taped
years years ago about the "Puppet Festival." I show this to all my
classes. What a puppet can be is incredibly sophisticated and it
requires those thinking level skills we are supposed to be addressing.

I am so willing to give up drawing a still life-- to translating the
observation into the animations and moving images that make
connections to stories that these young ones want to construct.
Thank you San D, for telling us that the joy of creating art can take
alternative forms that may not be in the text book . I am spending my
year, this year, finding the forms that incorporate group
collaborations, story telling skills, and connections to memories.
My theme this year is place and identity. There is so much more
than what we think is the expected in art.

Go for the unexpected, because if we don't ask them to SEARCH, art
ain't going no place.

Patty

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