CHILDREN’S WORLD PUPPETRY & INTEGRATION WORKSHOP WEEK
Children’s World has created many workshops that promote positive integration of children of mixed ability. This workshop week is a result of 30 years experience.
The aim of this week is to allow up to 60 children of all abilities to work together on a project that promotes inclusion and teamwork.
Throughout the five workshop days each child gets to choose and make their own puppet, and are encouraged to create, produce, and perform a large scale puppet show to an invited audience. Alongside the creation of props, the students contribute to the stories, learn and record songs as well as find time to play large scale inclusive games.
Because the group focus is on the one goal, integration takes place unconsciously as everybody works together to the best of their ability.
THE WEEK MONDAY AM:
We start each morning with our ‘Hello Song’; an easy to join in, call back song and movement routine that encourages the children to say hello to each other and find out everyones name. The entire morning is devoted to introductions and ‘getting to know you‘ games and activities. By lunchtime, the children are divided into 3 groups of 20.
Just before lunch everyone is introduced to the show’s finale song, ‘Let’s Work Together’. This song is practiced regularly throughout the week, prior to recording. The song consists of 2 pre-written verses plus a third blank verse ready to describe the week’s performance.
After lunch, the groups are encouraged to think of locations for their part in the final show, and characters for their locations.
They are also shown how to make a puppet using the materials provided. This helps when visualising how their final puppets might look.
The day is finished with a run through of the ‘Work Together’ song, followed by a closing game and our ‘Goodbye Song’, which closes our workshop days.
After the ‘Hello Song’, the children are shown what tools are available to use, and how to use them. Time is taken to remind everyone of the potential dangers of the tools and materials used. Any dangerous tools (that might be needed) are either kept by our Team Leaders, or in a locked box looked after by the Project Directors. After these notices, the groups can start to make puppets and create scenery.
The puppet and scenery building continues throughout Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning (if needed). This practical work is broken up during this time with the following:
Each group has a song for their scene. After consulting with the groups on Tuesday, the Project Directors create 3 songs for the students to rehearse for the show. At this stage, we have an outline of the story, which we introduce to the groups for discussion and development.
Ideally everything should be made and we will have a progress report to check everything is ready. Then, the whole group record all the songs for the show.
First rehearsal. The stage has been built and the students are directed through a walkthrough of the performance.
Showtime – the children perform their show to an invited audience of parents and guests of everyone involved.
Following the show, after congratulations, everyone, including parents and guests, join us in our ‘Goodbye Song’.
The students are allowed to keep their creations, and each school receives a CD of all the recorded music around 14 days after the week. The CD is a great way to remember the week!
Each workshop week can cater for up to:
15 SLD/PMLD students
15 MLD students
30 Mainstream Primary students (yrs 5 & 6 recommended).
We will provide a 5 person team – each school should provide the appropriate number of staff to accommodate their students’ needs.
The host school should be able to provide their hall (or equivalent space) plus an extra space for wet/ messy artwork.
There will be a pre-workshop week meeting with all participating staff to go through the week and discuss individual needs to ensure every child can participate to their fullest extent.