May Newbie

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Joined: 06 May 2006
Posts: 2
Location: Prince George, BC/Canada

PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 9:36 pm
PostPost subject: May Newbie
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Thanks for your kind welcome to Puppetools.
A children's librarian at a public library, I have been looking for tools to defend myself and the primary school children to whom I tell stories in their classrooms from the humiliations of imposed discipline.
Until I saw your site, I have been relying upon interactive oral storytelling with space for resentments--oh, is that what you would do to that mean old troll if you were the big billy goat? But Puppetools seem like they could free us from the harmful effects of bad class control much faster.
I only just came across them 2 days ago as I was reviewing sites to add to a bibliography of online resources. This is for a workshop I am giving in the adaptation of folktales to preschool-friendly media, such as feltboard, moving puppets, tabletop puppets, and toddler "opera".
So thanks to the unnamed (I think?)person reading the book in your Showcase clip of Rainbow Bird. I will be very warmly recommending her demonstration. It is a great approach to the problem of overly wordy Aboriginal picture books for the very young.
I will also be sharing with the participants your forms for getting to know puppets. They have already helped me better understand a few of my own.
I have told other children's librarians about this Website, and when I find that any of us have stories about Puppetools that may be of use to this online community, I will share them here.
What great work you do.
And thank you for sharing it so well.


(PS. And thanks too for the very savvy email to prompt my participation -- a shakem up good one...)
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Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 206
Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 8:16 pm
PostPost subject: Welcome Words
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Although a 'May Newbie', your most welcome contribution is an example of what this site needs more of. Thank for the kind words.

Yes, indeed, storytelling (not my field of expertise) needs communication patterns that are kaleidoscopic; that dynamically fold in and fold out, revealing light and angles of insight, joy, and improvisation. We're talking compelling, irresistable, flexible, and bouyant. In the image and spirit of children rather than according to the dictates of controlling, needy adults. (Come on, guys, you can take it on the chin once in a while.)

A question piped up either by puppet or 'pupil' (remember that term?!) is a springboard for energized conversation, word play, humor, and love exchanged by all involved. Maybe we should call it 'storysharing?'

I am so glad you were looking for that. I'll tell you why. Storytelling in the minimalist model is pretty cardboard, passive stuff based on the needs of the adult to have it quiet. Then there's the need of the adult to ham it up a little bit; not a bad thing if entertains and models self-expression and exaggeration. But to have the story inhabited by a character who can actually perform a spectrum of duties and roles in the course of a story reading, makes for a learning party to which all are invited.

If things get rowdy for a minute or two, let it happen. The puppet can always be scared or upset by the noise and may have to do a quick exit to make the point. But the element of play is so strong and appealing that the audience (with some peer influence) eventually is motivated to display courtesy and exercise self-control.

Rainbow Crow's demonstration was totally improvised by a teacher whose talent, I think, blossomed in part due to the zaniness and simplicity of the puppets she made. On the net it's advisable to keep names anonymous.

Lan, I am looking for people who can appreciate the power and creativity that this methodology affords both kids and adults, and anything you can help me do to network and share is greatly appreciated.

I truly need your participation. In terms of strengthening this model, participation is as important as the applications. So please try to make this a regular thing. I will look forward to hearing from you. So will those who don't say much, but are watching. It takes a while before some folks come out of their shells.

Consider starting a Forum of your own, and watch the ideas and uses grow. Plan to take some pictures or video. The online workshop has a section on Library uses. I'd love to see you put them all into play! Very Happy

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