We are almost two weeks into our latest adventure at WT North Pre-K. This class of small scientists has been flowing right into the new routines. We’ve been slowly introducing materials and tools, allowing the children to become comfortable with the use and care of each before adding something new. As they play in this novel setting, we’ve had many opportunities to observe and wonder along with them.
Last night, we held our seventh annual Movie Premiere where we debuted the masterpiece: The Pre-K Movie. Our stars arrived in their fancy garb, walked the red carpet, had their picture taken by the paparazzi, ate pizza and popcorn, and even received their very own 3D printed Oscars. We could not be more proud of all of the creativity and hard work this class put into this movie!
If you’d like to see the script for this four month long project, you can check it out here.
Thank you to all who were able to join us last night and to all those that made this fabulous evening possible!
Below is a copy of the script written over four months by our Pre-Kindergarten class. This project began in small groups with each making a shared story. Once all of the stories had been written, we read them as a class to find any common themes. Coincidentally, all of the stories spoke of the characters trying to find a home. This became the central problem in our story. Through discussion, we decided how this problem might be solved. Each group then went back and edited their stories to support both the problem and the solution. Eventually, all of the short stories were edited together near the beginning of March. Final touches were added as we took note of how many lines each child had written for themselves and how many scenes they appeared in. Each child decided when and if they wanted to speak during a scene.
Scene 1: Old House, interior
Narrator: Shark, Donut, and R. Princess are sitting in their old house.
R. Princess: I don’t really like any of the activities in our house.”
Donut: I don’t like the fish at our house because it’s rotten!”
R Princess: I don’t wanna watch the movies at our house.”
Shark: We should look for a new house!”
R Princess and Donut:“That’s fine with me!”
Narrator: Together, they decided to go far away to the woods to look for a new house.
Scene 2: Train Station, exterior
Narrator: Meanwhile, Falcon and Mouse are at a train station. They want to go to the store.
Train Engine pulls up.
Falcon: Train, will you please take us to the store?
Mouse: I want some cheese.
Train: Absolutely, I’ll take you there!.
Narrator: They are looking for a house and decided to go to the store to buy new things for the new house that they will find. They get the store and the Train Engine goes away.
Scene 3: Store, interior
Narrator: While at the store, they see their friend Bunny, who is shopping for bunny food.
Bunny: I’m looking for bunny food.
Falcon; Do you want to come with us to get some supplies for our house?
Mouse: I want cheese.
Bunny: I’ll come with you! I need a house, too!
Narrator: Falcon and Mouse invite Bunny to go with them to find a new house. They pay for their things and leave. They get on the train, who takes them to the forest to look for a house.
Scene 4: Pool in a Magic Garden
Narrator: Meanwhile, Volcano and Pony are cooling down in a pool in a magic garden, drinking yummy drinks.
Pony: Oh I love this pool!
Volcano: It’s so warm! I just want to stay here forever.
Pony: It’s so nice!
Narrator: Suddenly, an Alien crash-lands in the water with them!
Alien splashes into the pool.
Alien: AHhhhh! Cannonball!
Volcano: Are you ok?
Pony: Do you want something to drink?
Alien: Yes please! I’m ok. Have you seen a space home?
Volcano and Pony: We haven’t seen one.
Alien: I have an idea! Let’s build a city.
Pony: I want a rainbow city
Volcano: We can build a rainbow city
Alien: I want a space city!
Volcano: We can build an alien home!
Alien: How about half the city is rainbow and half is space.
Volcano and Pony: Yes!
Alien and Volcano and Pony: Let’s get building!
Scene 5: The Forest
Alien, Volcano, and Pony walking around, searching the forest. Pantomime picking up items.
Narrator: Together, they begin looking around in the forest of supplies to build their new homes with. They find lots of metal and pink cheese and bricks and start building a space station for the alien, a castle for the Pony and Volcano, and a whole giant town! They are very hard workers.
Scene 6: The Forest
Narrator: Meanwhile, Snowflake Princess, Tiger, and Baby Shark are walking in the forest, all looking for a home.
Snowflake Princess: “Let’s find a pink house with sparkle cheese!”
Snowflake Princess gets distracted and chases a squirrel, getting lost.
Scene 7: Squirrel Chasing (Forest)
Snowflake is running around in the woods.
Scene 8: The Forest
Shark Robot Alien meets up with Baby Shark and Tiger.
Shark Robot Alien: Where’s Snowflake Princess?
Baby Shark: She got distracted chasing a squirrel. We don’t know where she is.
Shark Robot Alien: Let’s leave a trail of acorns to lure the squirrel here!
Narrator: While Shark Robot Alien, Tiger, and Baby Shark are searching for the Snowflake Princess, they see Shark, Donut, and R. Princess who are looking for a new, fancy house.
Shark: Hey! We’re looking for a new house.
Tiger: We have to go find a different house, too.
Baby Shark: Let’s go together!
Scene 9: The Forest
Cut scene to Snowflake Princess alone in different part of the woods?
Narrator: While Snowflake Princess is chasing a squirrel, she realizes she is lost and is very sad.
Snowflake Princess: I’m scared!
Narrator: Suddenly, the Train with the Bunny, Mouse, and Falcon on it pulls up.
Bunny: “Do you need a ride?”
Snowflake Princess: I’ve never been on a train before! I’m too scared to go anywhere.
Falcon: Bunny will sit next to you on the train!
Train: There’s nothing scary! I’ll take you to your home.
Scene 10: Magical Town
Narrator: Shark, Donut, and R. Princess stumble upon a magical garden. They see the beautiful town that Pony, Volcano, and Alien had just built! Everyone finds an awesome house that is perfect for them.
Characters walk into set and look around amazed.
R. Princess “Wow! That house is amazing.”
Donut “That shiny pink house is incredible!”
Shark “And a golden roof!”
Donut “We should live here!”
Shark “That’s a good idea.”
R. Princess “Do you think we should add a grill and table so we can cook and eat outside?”
Shark and Donut “Yeah!”
They talk more about how they’re going to decorate their new house.
Scene 11: View of Magical Town
No one else is in shot.
Narrator: The Train pulls up to the brand new town. There are amazing homes for everyone!
Mouse, Bunny, Falcon, and Snowflake Princess get off the Train and look around.
Mouse: I want cheese!
Falcon: We should find a falcon house!
Bunny: I see a house I love it!
Falcon: My house has cheese too!
Mouse: We can be next door neighbors!
Train: Bye-Bye! I’m going back to my house! I’m turning into a subway and going underground!
And the train leaves.
Other characters wave goodbye and look around for a cool house.
Scene 12: View of Magical Town
Baby Shark and Tiger are standing with the town in the background. Snowflake Princess enters the scene.
Narrator: Snowflake Princess finds Tiger and Baby Shark. They are so happy they found her!
Baby Shark and Tiger: We found you!
Narrator: Everyone is finding a house that is perfect for them
Scene 13: Montage Scenes of Individual Houses
(Orange Peel House) Shark Robot Alien: I see a paper house made out of orange peels!
(Pink Cheese House)Snowflake Princess: Look, Baby Shark! Look at the pink cheese house. Let’s go look.
Baby Shark: Sure!
Tiger enters scene.
Tiger: Can I please come in too?
Shark Robot Alien enters scene.
Shark Robot Alien: I’m going to put my house next to yours! Let’s have a giant party!
(Rest of individuals with their houses.)
Scene 14: Magical Town
All characters present and having pretend (quiet) conversations.
Narrator: After everyone gets settled in their homes in the magical garden, they all have a party with their favorite foods and activities to celebrate!
Yesterday was our first official Forest Four Day. Kindergarten and Pre-Kindergarten spent about two hours exploring our Northbound Trail. The undergrowth sprouted up beyond our knees over the summer, leading to a lovely, wild excursion.
We made collections:
Tried some problem solving and teamwork:
Took on some challenges:
And searched for wildlife:
Last night, we held our fifth annual Pre-K Movie Premiere where we debuted the masterpiece: The Freezenburg Princesses. Our movie stars arrived in their fancy garb, walked the red carpet, had their picture taken by the paparazzi, ate pizza and popcorn, and even received their very own 3D printed oscars. We could not be more proud of all of the creativity and hard work this class put into this movie!
Thank you to all who were able to join us last night and to all those that made this fabulous evening possible!
Last week, a handful of the students transformed into architects and spent several days creating a city landscape in our block center. The city included parking lots, a school, an airport, a zoo, and of course lots of buildings! Each day, the students added more features to the city such as walls (to keep the animals from escaping), bridges, and more road signs. They also designed maps for their city in case it ever needs to be repaired or remodeled. Then, this week, one of the students proclaimed that it should be called North West City. Each day, the city expands and develops into a more intricate design.
The students have worked together to problem solve when the buildings have fallen apart, where to put new structures, and what to do when they ran out of blocks. The collaboration and synergy has been effortless and is proof that that our once young, wide-eyed students are now confident and ready for kindergarten.
Our class has gone from authors, to actors, and now to movie stars! Today we officially wrapped the filming of our movie and it went off without a hitch. The students delivered their lines, waiting patiently while other’s filmed their scenes, and acted their hearts out. Below, you can see a little sneak peak of our characters in their costumes and how we filmed with a blue screen with the help from Weird Eric (our cinematographer).
As a second treat, I thought you might want to see another glimpse into the students’ writing process. This script was written on January 23rd and largely has the same story line as before. Some of the students have added speaking parts for their characters and they have introduced a problem to the story (the snake). However, no one actually signed on to play the snake, so I guess we had an invisible snake problem. We also had some very imaginative character names that I clearly don’t know how to spell, so bear with me!
S.A. – Mom princess heart
E.C. – Mom princess Bear
C.P. – Princess Butterfly
G.K. – a pot chef
Z.G. – Rainbow the Fairy
G.S. – Gavin the skeleton (with fire hat)
C.S. – Princess Snowflake
N.T. – Izza the fairy
I.M. – Santa
V.J. – a turtle
W.W. – A Prince Zowkoo
F.R. – a princess kitty cat
T.S. – Prince Blaze
Once upon a time there was a little home out in the west where Santa lived and it was snowing. In the snow there was a castle where some princesses live. Santa shows up at the castle and he goes down their chimney and he puts some presents under the tree. Then he goes back up the chimney and leaves. Outside the castle there was a moat and in that moat lived a turtle. He looks up at the chimney and he sees Santa coming out. And he says, “Just gimme a present.” And Santa said, “Please ask nicely.” And the turtle says, “Please can I have a present?” And Santa says, “Yes you can,” and then Santa gives him a baby for a present and he then flies away.
Then Prince Zowkoo wakes up early in the morning and comes downstairs to see if Santa came. “Santa came! Santa Came!” Izza the fairy comes out of her room and says, “What’s going on?” and she checks to see if the sun is up and if it’s time for breakfast. The Pot Chef says that “the food is ready!” Princess snowflake looks outside and there was a big snow storm happening outside. There was lighting. The storm happened all day and snows a lot.
Then all the princesses wake up and come downstairs for breakfast. They look under the tree and see some presents. They open their presents. Then they go outside and play for a little bit but then they come inside to take a bath. Prince Blaze opens the door for the princesses. But he forgot to close and the door and Mom Princess Heart notices a snake has come inside. “A snake has come inside!” The snake bites her and she gets hurt. Gavin the skeleton comes with his fire hose and he blows the snake away with the water.
Princess Kitty Cat and Rainbow the fairy take their mom to the emergency room so she can get a shot and a glued band aid that she has to keep on for a while and that makes her all better. They also check her eyes to make sure she can see alright.
Gavin the skeleton becomes the protector of the castle so that no more snakes or monsters can come inside.
And they lived happily ever after!
Today, our students traveled to the City Campus to meet Jason Chin, an author/illustrator of non-fiction pictures books. He read his book Gravity and talked about how he came up with the idea for the story and how it evolved over time. We also got a chance to see him do a quick drawing of some of the items from the book. After we spent some time with our visiting author, the Pre-K students got to meet up with their city counterparts for some exploring of their playground and playing with old and new friends.
Our class is exactly one week away from filming our movie, so I thought you might want to see how our writing process has evolved this year. Every year’s writing style is a little different, depending on the group of students and their prior knowledge about storytelling. We spend a great deal of time talking about story elements like the beginning, middle, and end and the problem and solution in stories. Then beginning in January, the students start creating characters and working together to tell whatever story they come up with that day.
Below, I have included the very first draft that our students wrote this year. You’ll notice that it is mostly story telling and very little spoken lines. As the students become more comfortable in the writing process they begin to tell the story through the spoken language, rather than having the narrator explain everything. You’ll also notice that the students chose all original characters. We always start the writing process by discussing what copyright means and how we can’t steal ideas from other people. It also makes for some pretty interesting characters and ultimately fun storytelling.
You might also notice that some students chose a character but then don’t actually do anything in the play. We allow the students to take on as much of a role in the story as they want. Some students are not as comfortable having speaking parts as others and some just forget to include themselves in the story line. The next writing session always starts by acting out what they had written the last time. This gives the students and opportunity to see what needs to be changed or added. It also is a great way for those students to see whether they are a large part in the play or not at all. The students can then decide to make little changes to the current story or write a whole new story line. This class has stuck with the same story throughout all of our writing sessions, which has never happened up until this point! There is a first time for everything!
January 3, 2017
S.A. – Mom Princess Heart
E.C. – Mom Princess Flower
C.P.– Princess Snow Angel
G.K. – a baby
Z.G. – a talking hamburger
G.S. – a skeleton with fire hat
C.S. – Princess Snowflake
N.T. – a fairy
I.M. – Santa
V.J. – a whale
W.W. – a talking garbage can
F.R. – Princess Pom Pom
Once upon a time there was a little home out in the west and it was snowing. In the snow there was a castle where some princesses live. Santa shows up at the castle and he goes down their chimney and he puts some presents under the tree. Then he goes back up the chimney and leaves. Outside the castle there was a moat and in that moat lived a whale. He looks up chimney and he sees Santa coming out. And he says, “Just gimme a present.” And Santa said, “No.” and then flies away.
Inside, the talking garbage can is very happy because Santa gave him some garbage to eat. Princess Snowflake comes out of her room and says, “Whats going on?” and she checks to see if the sun is up and if it’s time for breakfast. The talking hamburger says that the food is ready! Princess Snowflake looks outside and it’s still night time and there were a big snow storm happening outside. There was lighting. The fairy wakes up too and tries to use her magic to make the storm stop and it works!
Then all the princesses wake up and come downstairs for breakfast. They look under the tree and see some presents. They open their presents. Then they go outside and play for a little bit but they get cold so they come inside and take a bath. But they forgot to close and the door and Mom Princess Heart notices a snake has come inside. The snake bites her and she gets hurt. The skeleton comes with fire hose and he blows the snake away with the water.
Princess Pom Pom and the baby take their mom to the doctor so she can get a shot and band aid.
And they lived happily ever after!
This week, our class got a little too close the pond than our protective Daddy Goose would have liked and he quickly let us know to find another way around with a perfectly-timed hiss or two. The students handled it well and slowly backed away to give the goose some extra space. Once we were a safe distance away, I explained that the geese have recently laid eggs on the island in the pond and are now very protective of their home and their growing babies. I continued by saying that the geese don’t know that we won’t hurt their babies and sometimes they get upset when we get too close to the pond. Then, one of our youngest students looked at me as said,
“Yeah and the goose probably doesn’t know that this is Winchester Thurston and we ‘think also of the comforts and the rights of others’ so we would never hurt their babies.”
Proof that caring for others and nature go hand in hand!