One Little Pigeon and the Big, Bad Spider: The Final Draft

Last night we shared our movie with family and friends.  We rolled out the red carpet, enjoyed pizza and salad, and smiled for the paparazzi.  This project couldn’t have been possible without the children’s creative ideas and the help of Mrs. Haluszczak.  Filming in the past, we discovered that attempting to film the story straight through was a painfully long process.  This year, we tried arranging filming day a bit differently.  While Weird Eric and I worked with current scene actors, Mrs. Haluszczak took the remainder outside.  They spent the morning exploring Spring as it presented itself that day.

For those that are intersted, our final draft follows.  I’ve also attached some of our shot notes and the storyboard if you are curious to see how we organized ourselves for this process.

2018 Pre-K Movie_Final

Scene I: Pigeons’ House, exterior

Narrator:  Once upon a time there was a little pigeon playing basketball.  A Big Bad Spider came along.

BBS: “What are you doing?”  

Pigeon: “I’m playing basketball”

Narrator:  Then the pigeon ran into his house.  The BBS was very hungry and now he was grumpy and lonely.  He knocked on the door.

BBS Knocks

BBS: Pretty please, can I come in and get some food?

Pigeon:  Not by the feathers of our feathers, feathers, feathers!

Narrator: The BBS tries to wrap the house in a web.

BBS tries to throw a web on the house

Narrator:  The police officers came.  

Four police officers and two police dogs enter the scene.

Officer X: Halt in the name of the stars!

Officer R: Halt in the name of the star loft!

Officer N:  You’re going to prison.

Officer F:  I’m going to capture the Big Bad Spider

The BBS is hiding from the police.

Officer N: The police dogs can sniff out the Big Bad Spider.

PD V:  We’ll find him, sir.

Police dogs run back and forth sniffing for the spider.  Eventually, they find him and go get the police officers.

PD Kate: Woof Woof! We found him!

PD Victor:  We found him! Can we have lunch now?

Officer R:  Yes, you may.

Officer X:  Good job, doggies!

Officers F & N:  Good job today!

Police give the PDs dog bones.

PD K:  Woof, woof! Thank you!

Narrator:  They captured the BBS and took him to the police car.  

Police take BBS to car and drive away.


Scene II: Pigeons’ house, interior

Narrator:  The pigeon decides to watch tv.  

Pigeon W: (turning on the tv using remote) I’m going to watch, “The Unicorn Drives the Bus” show.  


Scene III:  On the TV, Unicorn driving a bus

Narrator:  The Sparkly Unicorn decides to drive somewhere.

Sparkly Unicorn:  I’m going to have some mac and cheese and some Brussels sprouts.

Narrator:  Then the Sparkly Unicorn gets dressed in pink stuff.  Then she puts on some make-up. She begins to drive.

Sparkly Unicorn: I have to pick up White Cat on the way.  

Pick up White Cat on the bus.

Sparkly Unicorn:  Come on, let’s go to our meeting.

White Cat: I hope we have fun at our meeting.

Sparkly Unicorn:  Sparkle Butterfly and Rainbow Butterfly are going to be there.

White Cat:  Ok. Well, that sounds fun.

Narrator:  They drive to the meeting.


Scene IV:  An office or meeting place

Narrator:  Rainbow Butterfly and Sparkle Butterfly are at the meeting.  They are all talking about work.

Improv “work talk”, Sparkly Unicorn, White Cat, Rainbow B, and Sparkle B.

Narrator:  Rainbow Butterfly and Sparkle Butterfly accidentally end the meeting by being too silly.  

Rainbow Butterfly and Strawberry leave scene.

Sparkly Unicorn & White Cat: What in the world!!!!


Scene V: The bus

Narrator:  White Cat and Sparkly Unicorn get back on the bus and leave.  After they drive for a while, they stop and go to sleep.


Scene VI:  Pigeons’ House, exterior

Narrator:  The pigeon goes back out to play basketball again.  

Everyone that isn’t BBS or police slowly comes over and says, “Can we play, too?”  All play basketball for a bit.

Order:  Rainbow G, Sparkly B, Sparkly Unicorn, White Cat

Narrator:  Then they all get tired and fall asleep in a heap.


Scene VII:  Police Headquarters, interior

Narrator:  The police officers drive the BBS to jail.  

Police taking BBS through the headquarters.

BBS:  “I just wanted some food!”  

Officer X:  We have some spider webs in the closet.

PD V:  They are really yummy.

PD K:  They are super good for spiders.

Officer N: They are very healthy!

Officer F:   “We have a web cage that can help you with that!”  

Officer R:  You have to keep eating it all day because we have lots.

Narrator:  The cage is made out of webs.

BBS: This cage is GREAT!

The BBS eats the web jail.  

Officer R:  “We’ll drive you back if you say please.”  

BBS:  “Please drive me back.  I want to make new friends.”  

Narrator:  The police drive everyone back to the pigeons’ home.  


Scene VIII:  Pigeons’ House, exterior

Narrator:  Everyone was inside when they arrived.  

Officer F:  Go knock on the door, spider.

The BBS knocks on the pigeons’ door.  

Pigeon:  “Who’s there?”

BBS:  “The Big Bad Spider, can I please have some webs to eat?”  

Pigeon:  “Sure! Here’s a web.”

Pigeon hands BBS some web.

Pigeon:   “You can have as much as you want.”

Rainbow B:  Let’s make a cake for the spider.

Officer X:  We’ll make it banana flavor

Sparkle B:  Let’s have a party.  

Narrator:  Everyone has a party at the pigeon house.

Dancing and partying ensues.


If you are curious about organizing an amateur shooting schedule here is how I did it:

Play2018_Storyboard

2018 Movie_Shots-character

Shooting_Order_2018 Movie_Shot List

“The Grinch is Real”

This conversation began at lunch yesterday.  I’m not quite sure how the topic began and it quickly spread across all tables in our classroom cafe.  The children were comparing notes on the proof they claim to have regarding the truth of the Grinch’s existence.  Some said he had climbed in their window and left a tuft of hair behind.  Others insisted that he had taken their very special bunny.  After many offers of supporting arguments, I decided we should probably get to the bottom of this quandary.  I asked the children how we could find out for sure if the Grinch was real.  They enthusiastically agreed that a trap was the best way to get proof.

grinch

grinch (7)

G:  We put lots of clips on him and take the clips on the door and we keep the clips open with scissors.  When he comes in the door, the clips close.

grinch (8)

V:  The Grinch can walk along and we make a button.  When he is coming, we push the button and the cage comes down.  Then Victory!

grinch (5)

R:  I want to put everywhere a net, so he can’t get anywhere and we can trap him in it.  We have to put them everywhere.  We’ve got to make a sign to say, “No Grinches Allowed!”

grinch (6)

W:  The Grinch will come into our school.  There’s a button that says, “Yummy Tasty Garbage for the Grinch to Eat,” but it tricks the Grinch.  It’s really a net that traps the Grinch.

grinch (3)

E:  When he steps on the pillow, the trap will fall down and pinch his hair, then he’ll walk in and be stuck.  I’ll put some garbage in the cage and when he gets it, the door will slam.

grinch (4)

X:  I made a net.  When he eats a hot dog, it will go down on his head.  …[G’s] clips will get his feet.

grinch (1)

B:  We can put traps all over the school and then take them out for people.

grinch (2)

K:  We need to see if he’s real.  If he’s laying in a rope, he’s real.  This is the escalator.  He’s pulling a rope.  It’s capturing him on the rope.

It seems the children have very definite ideas about how traps work.  They are also pretty confident that the “Grinch” is a bad-guy no matter whether they believe he exists or not.  I’m curious to see how they might build these traps.

Unboxing a Mystery

P1240712An unusual box arrived today.  Curiosity and excitement are bubbling out the door and down the hall.  What could be inside?

  • A hamster in a cage, because I saw one once.
  • A turtle because ___ put his finger in and he said something bit him.  It must be a turtle.
  • I think it’s a stuffed cat.  Stuffed cats come to your house in a box like that.
  • Glass because you said that it is fragile and can’t get hot or cold.
  • A turtle because that’s what some other people said.
  • A real cat.  When kittens came to my house, they came in a box.

We tried listening to the box for clues.  Unfortunately, we didn’t hear anything that might give us clues.

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Everyone wrote down their ideas using one of our Feely Box Friday forms.  The top says, “I think it is a________.”  We use the bottom to write about what we actually find.

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Finally, we opened the box.  Its contents were not what we expected.  Inside we found bugs! In fact, there were four containers of them.  The bugs are very small and a few of the children were a bit nervous that they might be poisonous.  I quickly assured them that I would never invite a dangerous bug into our school.  The package also contained some white fuzzy things, two little Petri dishes with what appear to be seeds, and some sort of crispy, hard thing that reminded the children of a butterfly “cocoon.”  I’ve set up all of these items in an observable space so we can keep an eye on them.  Our little scientists are looking forward to watching this drama unfold.

 

Listen

20180418_144228This week I visited Sabot School at Stony Point in Richmond, Virginia.  Sabot is a Pre-K through grade 8 independent school running a program that is Reggio Emilia inspired.  I’ve been a practitioner and learner within the Reggio inspired world since 1996 and I continue to find ways to grow.  This year Sabot’s school-wide Umbrella project is based on the book, Listen by Patty Wipfler.  As I explored the corridors filled with beautiful, child-designed projects, I was reminded of the wonder within the child.

When observing children it can be easy to jump on the first sign of a shared interest.  For instance, this year’s class has been strongly devoted to playing “family” since day one.  In the beginning, I thought, “Oh! I see they are curious about families.  We can dive right into this!”  In past years, this meant quickly gathering supporting materials (books, real-world-objects) to support the development of questions and ideas.  I was worried that if I waited, I would miss the opportunity to build on a shared idea.  This week at Sabot I learned to change my lens a bit.

As teachers, we are encouraged to listen with our whole being to understand a child’s true intent.  First observations regularly point out obvious, surface topics or trajectories.  Upon further observation and questioning, we can draw forward the children’s thinking.  We can help each child bring their theories to light and assist them as they test these ideas through investigation.

When reflecting on this family play, I am beginning to wonder if it is not so much the family unit that they are exploring, but the power of being in charge.  In this game, there is often one member of the family that is “in charge” and directs the others’ actions.  It is not always the same child.  Sometimes “the boss” is more diplomatic, sometimes more autocratic.  Whatever style the family leader tries on, the peers’ reactions to requests (or demands) begin to create an internal rule book for “how to be in charge and still get people to do things with you.”  I’m looking forward to exploring this perspective on “family play” with them in the upcoming weeks.

 

Road Trip (Part I)

Two of our dear friends moved back to Florida last week.  We are already missing their smiles.  Sigh….

No worries! The children have a plan….

We’re going on a road trip to Florida! Yippee! Oh, fine, it is only imaginary, but we can still make our plans.  To assist in the planning, I photocopied all of the pertinent states from my trusty road atlas and stitched them together with old-fashioned scotch tape.  The class was quite surprised to find such a spaghetti mess of roads between here and there.  Yet undaunted, they began to take action.

First, the children decided we needed a car to get there.  Enter our trusty stand-by, a nice empty box.

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Here are a few bits demonstrating the process and explaining some of the technical details:

I think we’ll need to attack the map next….

Balance Your Joy

Aquarium Inquiries

P1210958Our trip to the aquarium today went quite well.  The sea life we most wanted to see was up and about, wiggling and swimming for all to view.  The almost unanimous favorite?  Drum roll, please…….

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(hmmm…taking pictures in the dark is hard….)