I spent a fantastic day today working with theatre professionals connected with Curve Theatre in Leicester and some of my year 5’s. This was a transition project involving some of year 5 from each of the feeder high schools with funding secured by the high school.
The group are working with various groups of children to put ideas together that will eventually become a performance of Gulliver’s Travels.
The day included a whole variety of activities ranging from warm ups and exercises for all 40 children, paired work and group activities. Each group of 6-8 children had a ‘facilitator’ to work with. How often does a group of children that size get to work with an adult for a sustained period? So often in school, you spend a few minutes with each group and feel that you have done well if you manage to work with every group. Having a professional work with each group meant that the children all got very high quality input and all had a chance to get their voice and ideas heard.
I loved the mini Lilliput puppets that the children all made out of skipping rope type rope, pipe cleaners and garden ties. These were such a simple idea and relatively quick to make but provided a great focus for the drama work on Lilliput.
The highlight of the day was when the children worked in groups to dramatise the part of the story where Gulliver is in the land of the giants. My favourite group was the one that worked together to create a giant eagle. It was at least 3metres long and had a wing span of about the same. It was constructed by 14 children in 30 minutes out of a variety of equipment including cycle tyres, bamboo poles, fabric and lots of duct tape. Apparently yesterday they built ships outside! It is really amazing what children can produce with a bit of input, equipment and the space to work.
Sadly I won’t be able to be at the third and final day but look forward to hearing what they get up to. I have lots of ideas that I am wondering where to include next year and the children got an immeasurable amount from the work they did.