Recently, the VI Hesko & Farmer classes traveled around campus to perform puppet shows for Lower Schoolers with puppets they created in the Makerspace.
Both classes worked with visiting artist Willy Claflin to learn more about African folktale structure and elements of storytelling in the Griot and Djeli traditions of West Africa. Willy read students a retelling of a Masai folktale, Who's in Rabbit's House by Verna Aardema. The gist of the story is that there's a stranger in Rabbit's house, and several different animals stop by to propose solutions to get the intruder out. Students practiced improvising until they could tell the story on their own.
After finalizing the story, students developed the characters, assigning each animal a distinct personality and voice. Once students settled on each character's persona (e.g., a surfer-dude lion, hippy giraffe, whiny rabbit, timid rhino, forgetful elephant, etc.), they watched this Turkish video of how to make a sock puppet. Then they hopped over to the Makerspace to make their puppets.
After lots of rehearsing for partners, each other, and grandparents, they traveled to several Lower School classrooms as well as to The Family Cooperative School in Watertown to entertain crowds of riveted students!