Thursday, January 12, 2012

Light and Dark

Tonight’s read-aloud at the shelter was all about light and dark.  The children ranged in age from 5 to 11, which probably explains some of the behavior problems.
We started out as always by reading the “Promises” -- Listen, Respect, Cooperate, and Have fun.  Even though we talked about what these words mean, they seemed to conveniently forget about listen and respect.
We struggled through 4 books, with a lot of jostling for position and an undercurrent of noise.  A couple of kids who usually behave were acting out.  A 5-year-old who seems to have some learning disabilities was particularly disruptive.
But then things suddenly shifted as we moved on to the activity.  I had found some books intended for teaching drawing.  The children could choose from photocopied and enlarged pages of monsters, dinosaurs, creepy crawlies, and things with motors like cars, motorcycles, etc.  They suddenly began to focus as they colored and cut out their various images.  Even the troublemakers shared the crayons and tried hard to produce something worthy of being mounted on a popsicle stick.
By the time everyone had one or two puppets in hand, we turned out the lights and got out the big flashlight.  The show was supposed to be accompanied by music from my iPad, but instead the children provided the sound effects as their puppets danced across the walls.
Each child went home with a finger light that he or she could use to continue the puppet show on his or her bedroom wall.
Many thanks to Gary and Terry for their helpful ideas in planning this evening, to my friend Deborah for supplying the popsicle sticks, and to Kristin who helped pull it off.


Anonymous lr said...

Brilliant! Despite the disruption during the readings, the kids must have gotten something out of them to have been so attracted to the activity. I've never heard of finger lights. What fun for kids of all ages! You did bring light to the children - again!

9:00 PM  
Blogger Steve Reed said...

Sounds like fun, even with a few distractions. :)

5:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this -- very inspiring. You touch a lot of lives, Barbara!


4:15 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

What a great night! I should have read a book with fewer words or just invited the kids to engage with the pictures and tell a story themselves... The shadow puppets were fabulous. I look forward to reading with you more in coming months.

9:37 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

I was thinking of you while I was watching Miss Ophelia with my class at The New Victory Theater. It is based on Ophelia's Shadow Theater (which I am now dying to read but it is hard to find) and they use puppets and light to great effect. You would have loved it. Glad the activity went well!

6:47 PM  

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