Monthly Archives: April 2010

Performing “Bony Legs”

I performed “Bony Legs” for about 100 4th graders last week at a local elementary school.  It was a mad dash leading up to it trying to get everything done.  I hate to admit this because I am really too old for this sort of thing, but I was up until 4 in the morning the night before finishing things up for the show.  I still have some more finishing touches left of puppets and props that I hope to finish up this weekend.  (Photos of final puppets and props will be coming soon.)

The response from the students was great.  Lots and lots of laughs, especially from a boy sitting dead center.  I was worried that it might be a show better suited for lower elementary students, but the kids were fully engaged for the whole show.  It probably helped that their teacher was performing original songs on the guitar.  Thanks, Kelly!

The students had been studying folktales and had written their own stories with morals at the end.  The show was a great culmination to their unit.

They had so many questions and comments after the show.  I should have written them all down right away.  But, here some of the things I can think of off the top of my head.

  • “Two things, I am from Russia and my name is Sasha.” (The protagonist in the story’s name is Sasha.)
  • Have you done puppet shows before?
  • I was in a play about Baba Yaga at the University, and I play the guitar. (Love affirming what kids are in to.)
  • How did you make the puppets?
  • Why did you decide to do a puppet show?
  • Bony legs could have used her nose to knock down the tree. (Bony Legs does have a big nose, so I thought this was a pretty good idea.)
  • What are Bony Legs’ eyes made from?

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Garden Mural

The wonderfully creative elementary education students that I teach created this mural along with two other sections of “Methods and Materials.”  The course provides pre-service elementary teachers with pedagogical methods in the visual arts for children 3-12.

We painted directly on the canvas with acrylics and used a pin-up mural technique of using gel medium to paste on individual pieces of canvas – birds, flowers, bugs, and other criters.

Mural in the Iowa City Public Library

Thanks to Dan, one of the other wonderful T.A.’s, the mural is now hanging in the public library.

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Building Puppets – Works in Progress

Here are some pics of the puppet progress.  They are coming along, but the whole project has been pretty time intensive.

Here's my dining room table. I'm working on painting Sasha's head.

Bony Leg's head. Trying to decide which buttons to use for the eyes.

Here's the cat's head drying. I used a styrofoam egg for the base and covered it with paper mache. I am going to connect it to the body with a spring. Hoping this will make the cat more life-like, and give it some good movement.

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