Classes have been running smoothly and we've been creating all kinds of stories!
In Week 2, we focused more on the concept of "Yes..and!" After launching into the Magical World of Fan, our ship crashed and we ended up in Machine World...once there, we found notes from the Word Elf that spelled out: Welcome to Machine World! We became a machine in order to repair our ship, and fly safely back to Earth.
After our break, we decided to fly back to the Magical World of Fan, where we found MORE notes from the Word Elf--this time spelling out "Who Am I?" which prompted a game of "Yes...and" using props!
In our Thursday class, we learned how to tell a story one word at a time, and received our Word of the Week, which was actually two this go-around: "Yes...and!" We finished as usual with our "Three Little Bears" song.
In Week 3, we reviewed what we remembered from the week previous, painted our Launch Pad and travelled to the Magical World of Fan. Once there, we discovered notes from the Word Elf that said "Beginning" "Middle" and "End." We talked about how stories have beginnings, middles, and ends, and played a game to create our own. Three hula hoops were laid on the ground for students to move between, each with a different prompt. The first was "Once upon a time there was...", then "When suddenly...." and finally "But it was okay because..." In this way each student crafted their very own story!
On Thursday, we continued the Beginning, Middle, End game by adding additional hula hoops that added depth to our main character. Now, students were asked to fill in the blanks of "Who liked..." and "But didn't like..." Once each student had created their full "play", one student became narrator while the other acted out his/her story.
And of course, we received our Word of the Week: Play!
NEXT WEEK: We will create stories with paper puppet characters, and continue to explore more ways of telling tales!
Long time, no enso.
Well, that's not entirely true. I have been painting and creating enso's....I just haven't been diligent about posting them.
For a while I had a nice steady routine going in the morning. And then my schedule shifted again and it all got pushed aside. Still stuns me how easy it is to let go of routine. EVEN WHEN I KNOW HOW GOOD IT IS FOR ME.
Starting our "Movement & Meditation" group has lit a fire underneath me to put into words the lessons I've learned from sitting on the cushion. Meditation is a muscle. Routine takes slow growth. The most important part is being comfortable. Watching the breath, not controlling it. Today we started our Movement & Meditation class and it was wonderful to get to share those things out loud with others, for the first time. I'm looking forward to developing these ideas over the next few weeks, and seeing what happens at the end.
Just as we do in meditation when we notice our mind has gone a little off course, I'm gently prodding my brain to ease back into that simple routine.
Start with just sitting on the cushion. If you sit on the cushion tomorrow morning, you win.
Until next time.
This week in "Building Stories With Word Elf", we were introduced to The Magical World of Fan and Caitlin's invisible friend, The Word Elf.
The Magical World of FAN (Fantastical Areas of INvention) is a place where you can be anyone, do anything, and go anywhere. We talked about the four rules we have to follow in order to travel to Fan, which are:
1. Have fun
2. Be Nice
3. Try something new
Each day of class, students meet on the Launch Pad to talk about what they remember from the last class and to review the rules. Then, we PUSH ALL THE BUTTONS and launch into the Magical World of Fan!
We spent the first day creating the Magical World of Fan using the "Yes...and" game. In this game, one student comes up with something he/she thinks is in Fan, such as "A house!" The next student says "YES! and..." and he/she adds something else. As the students added these things, they would stand up to become them, themselves.
Then suddenly, a gust of wind blew us in the direction of one of the arrows on the floor, and we noticed a mysterious yellow note on the wall. We found three in total. Each had a single word on it, and students took turns tracing the words on the notes. When we put them in order, the notes said "Give a gift!" This note from Word Elf reminded Caitlin of a game she knew by the same name, and so we played!
In "Give a Gift", one student picks up an imaginary gift, being sure to show us the size and weight of the present. He/she presents it to the other student, who opens it and declares what's inside. Thank you's and your welcome's are exchanged, and then we switch.
After playing these games, I asked the students if we ever run out of ideas. One student claimed that yes, sometimes he ran out of ideas. I asked him, "So when you run out of an idea, what happens next?" And he said, "I get a new idea." Exactly!
At our second class, we started to talk more about who we thought Word Elf was. Thursdays are special days because Word Elf leaves us a Word of the Week, and everyone was pretty stoked for that. But before we could get there, we launched into FAN and immediately were blown in four directions to find four more mysterious yellow notes. When we traced the words and put them together, they said "What Are You Doing?" This, of course, reminded Caitlin of a game she knew, by the same name.
In "What Are You Doing?", one student begins an activity, any activity at all, such as brushing teeth. Another student asks, "What are you doing?" and the first student has to name an activity DIFFERENT from their current one. Once that activity is named, the second student starts doing that activity. Another student comes to ask "What are you doing?" and the game continues.
When the game was over, we discovered four tape lines on the floor, and when we fit the four notes into the lines, the shape that was created was an arrow. When we followed the arrow, we were lead to a mysterious package, and inside....was our Word of the Week! Students sat at the table with markers to complete their Word of the Week activity.
Each week, students will receive a Word of the Week and a Story of the Week (on the back). The story gets a new chapter each week, and by the end of class, students will have a complete story, which they have read carefully and circled their "Word of the Week" in each one.
Next week we will review some games from this week, continuing to explore the themes of "Ideas are Gifts" and "We never run out of ideas!" We will also start talking about the structure of stories, ie, beginnings, middles and ends, and learn to identify the beginning, middle and end of a story. And of course, we will get a new Word of the Week. :)
See you in class!
Caitlin & The Word Elf
Caitlin Lushington is the Co-Artistic Director of the Enso Theatre Ensemble, a teacher, director, and actress. Sometimes she works too hard, sometimes she forgets things, and she strives to put the car keys back in the same place every time. She drinks tea every morning from her TARDIS mug and "Mr. Tea" diffuser. She loves the morning and wishes she had a photographic memory, so she could remember the names of every person she meets.