Playful Directions

Mrs. Forst's Pre-Kindergarten Blog


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First Draft (Pre-K Play 2017)

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!

 

Enjoy!

 

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!

The End!


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Pre-K Makes a Movie: Part 3

We are excited to announce that we have officially finished filming our movie! The students worked so hard on designing costumes and sets, learning lines and where to stand, and how to patiently wait while others delivered lines. That’s a lot to ask from 4 and 5 year olds, but they pulled it off with ease! Now, while we wait for our fabulous videographer Weird Eric edits and scores our movie, please enjoy the third draft of the play. This version was written on Feb. 17th and became the base story for our final draft. After rereading draft #2, the students had decided that they needed to write a new script that had one cohesive story line, rather than several separate stories. We also discussed how stories need to have a problem, so we decided to try thinking of a problem first and then creating a story around it. The result proved to be a pretty amusing, cohesive story!

Enjoy.

Third Draft

L.W. – a talking football

W.S. – Dark the triceratops

Z.W.– a talking soccer ball

A.H. – a lamp

C.S. – a talking building

R.F. – a chicken that talks

K.H. – a talking bone

A.G. – a talking stinky sock

K.V. – a horse

M.H. – a talking baseball

S.S. – a witch

N.P. – spell Witch

 

Problem: The bone keep eating everyone’s food and at the end of the day there isn’t any food left for anyone, even the bone.

Person keeps going into Campbell building

A running scene

Someone wants to wear the sock

 

Once upon a time the football (L.W.) wanted to play a game so he invites the soccer ball (Z.W.), and soccer ball invites the stinky sock (A.G.), and the football invites the triceratops (W.S.). They play the game for a long and time and then they decided to stop for a snack. Just then the bone (K.H.) comes in and eats all their food and then runs before anyone can see her.

They say, “Where’s our food!?!”

Soccer ball says, “I’m hungry.”

The sock says, “The only thing that is left is a potato.”

They try to share the potato but it’s not very big.

The football says, “I need more food, I’m still hungry.”

 

In the next house, the lamp (A.H.), a baseball (M.H.), a witch (S.S.), and the building (C.S.) all live together.

Everyone is having a dance party and the decided to stop and eat some food.

The building says, “Let’s stop and have some pancakes and cupcakes.”

The witch says, What!?! “There’s no food!”

The lamp starts to pace across the room and comes up with an idea!

The lamp says, “It’s a mystery! Who took our food?”

The baseball rolls out of the house and starts looking to see if he can solve the mystery.

He looks outside and notices that there is a trail of crumbs on the ground. He runs back inside and is breathing hard and he says, “There are pancake crumbs outside. Let’s get our magnifying glasses!”

So they all run outside and start to follow the pancake crumb trail.

Just then the phone rings.

It’s the soccer ball and he says, “Hey somebody ate our food!”

“Somebody ate our food too! We found a trail of crumbs. Want to come search with us?”

“Sure!”

“I don’t know where it leads to, but let’s go.”

 

The spell witch (N.P) lives all by herself. She sees the bone (K.H.) try to steal her food and she stops her and uses her wand to make her come closer. The bone tries to run away but the spell witch locks up her house so she can’t leave and then she locks up her food too so that the bone can’t get her food. The spell witch uses her spell to make the bone want to stay in her house forever.

The second group follows the trail of crumb to the spell witch’s house and the baseball says, “One of you ate our food. Was it the bone or the witch that did it.”

The spell with says, “It was the bone and she tried to eat my food too!”

The regular witch says, “AHA! I solved the mystery, it was the bone that took our food!”

The lamp says, “That wasn’t nice. Please don’t eat our food again!”

The bone says, “Ok, I’m sorry. I just didn’t have any food.”

The spell witch uses her magic wand to make a new house with a refrigerator for the bone to live in.

The spell witch unlocks the bone and then they all have the dance party.

And they lived happily ever after.

The End.


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Pre-K Play: First Draft 2015

Many of you already know that our students have been hard at work writing the script for our Pre-K movie since the beginning of January. Now that we have finished our final draft, we thought it might be fun to look back at the development of our story. Below, you will find the first draft of our play. This copy of the script is written word-for-word as described to us by the students, so please ignore any run on sentences or the lack of actual dialogue. However, if you look closely, you’ll see their ability to include many important story elements such as a beginning/middle/end, as well as a problem and solution!

You’ll also notice that several students choose a character but then do very little in the actual play. Typically, we start each script writing session by acting out the story line that was previously written on another day. This helps the students to see how big or small their roles are and then gives them an opportunity to change it (if they so choose).

The students were allowed to make as many changes as they wanted to their characters or the story line until the beginning of March. Since then, we have begun practicing our lines and designing our costumes and sets.  On May 8th, we have invited our videographer friend, Weird Eric (of WT Summer Camp and Applefest fame), to help film and turn this fantastic story into a movie! We are very excited to dive into the movie making process!

But first, please enjoy this little window into an exploration in script writing!

 

 

First Draft

N.M. – a  flower

V.H. – Anna

Z.W. – Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

R.M. – a rainbow flower without a stem

A.H. – a baby unicorn

Z.B. – Elsa

P.M. – Mickey Wizard

L.W. – Woody the cowboy

L.L. – Snow White

J.K. – a forest guy

 

Once upon a time, Woody found a cage and he looked in and he said, “Wow there’s a little dog. Hey, you wanna play?” and they played together and he said, “I’m going to throw this football like a quarterback.”

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse plays football too and then he paints with his brother and then he calls the mickey wizard to come over to have a big party and they all play with their family. Then they have a sleepover. They heard Mickey Wizard crying. He’s crying because he lost his magic wand. Now he has to get a new one. So Mickey Wizard goes to the store to buy a new a wand.

Just then, they see a princess named Anna. Woody says, “Anna would you like to stay over”. And Mickey Mouse Clubhouse says “ok, we have 400 beds for you sleep in” and then Elsa comes and they invite her to stay. They tell her that there are 400 beds and that she can sleep with her sister and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse will stay with his brother. Just then, Mickey Wizard comes back from the store with a wand and he feels happy.

“Hello, Mickey Wizard,” they say. They tell him that there are 400 beds and he can stay with Woody in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse’s bed.

Elsa sees Snow white who is riding in on a baby unicorn and everyone invites them to stay for the sleepover. Everyone gets tired and they all go to sleep.

The next day everyone wakes up and they decided to go outside and play. When they get outside, they find two beautiful flowers and they pick the flowers. The forest guy says, you have to put those flowers into the water. So they take the flowers inside and put them in some water.

Then the baby unicorn gets lost! So everyone goes to look for the unicorn, except for Anna who stays home to take care of the flowers. They looked around and they realized that the monster had taken her into the cave. The forest guy hears a sound and he thinks it’s the baby unicorn and it was the unicorn. But Snow White says, “this will take forever to find the unicorn!”

Mickey wizard breaks the cave with magic from his wand and he uses his magic wand to bring the unicorn to him and to safety. The baby unicorn made it back to the house safely. Everyone says, “YAY!!!”

The End.


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Post-Filming

050714_4109As most of you know, we filmed our movie on Wednesday.  Our Cinematographer, Coty Giannelli, arrived right on time and ready to roll. The costumes had their last minute fixes and we were off!  We ran through the scenes, and ran through the scenes, and ran through the scenes again.  Almost all of the costumes stayed together, with only a couple of heads rolling away.

Though a bit taken aback that the process lasted so long, the children were surprisingly patient and resilient.  Two and one half hours and one newly altered squid head later….we finally said, “Cut!”

050714_4112Of course, we didn’t make the children spend the entire two hours filming.  Our original plan had been to spend some time outside in between scenes.  The weather simply didn’t get the memo.  As we switched between scenes, small groups went around the corner to read in the library.  Sometimes I read to them, sometimes they read to each other.  Generally, we relaxed between takes.

When we asked the children what the most challenging parts of movie making were, they offered many suggestions.

  1. Making your costume
  2. To decide what character you want to be
  3. You can’t take a drink when you are filming
  4. Keeping your costume from getting broken
  5. It takes a long time
  6. Remembering your lines

050714_4110Although none of the children mentioned it, we’d like to add one more challenging aspect:

Staying frozen when you are a four or five-year-old actor who is supposed to be an inanimate object

….but maybe that goes without saying.

 

We are looking forward to the final cut from Coty within the next few weeks.  Your invitations to the PKN Movie Premiere Night were sent home in your child’s backpack last Friday.  It will be held on May 29th in the evening.

 

 

 

 

 


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Pre-k Play: Draft #2

In this installment of the Pre-k play, you’ll notice that the story has changed completely from the one they had previously created and many of the students have picked new characters. You’ll also notice that some students have picked a character, but never decided how they would fit into the story line. This is very common in the beginning of the story writing process as they begin to navigate voicing their thoughts and ideas.
A.H. – Belle
A.R. – Fairy princess
A.J. – a stink bug
D.K. – Ariel
E.S. – Ice Man
H.P. – Red Power Ranger
J.W. – A leopard
J.J, – Iron Man
O.M. – a Silver Power Ranger
O.A. – a giant bear
S.M. – a baby cheetah
S.B. – little red riding hood
S.C. – a cat
T.O. – a daddy cheetah

Story #1

Once upon a time there were two cheetahs and they were sleeping. A black bear is cooking dinner while the leopard played. The cheetahs woke up because it was too loud. The baby cheetah growled and the daddy cheetah said, “Can you please be quiet?”.
The bear said “Don’t worry” and then gave them their favorite food.
Everybody ate and the baby cheetah said, “It’s pumpkin pie”.
Then they want more food but the bear doesn’t have any more. So the bear has to go the store to get more. They all put their dishes away and they go to the store.
The End.

Story #2

First, Princess Belle doesn’t know what dress to wear to the ball. Little red riding hood said, “I know what dress you can wear. You can wear this dress that is yellow.” But Belle wanted the purple one with dots.
Then little red riding hood got mad.
“I’m angry” said little red riding hood.
The fairy princess is flying around the house.
Princess Aurora and the fairy princess chase the cat.
Little red riding hood was happy again.
Everyone gets ready for the ball while the cat slept. And then a stink big came and the princesses ran away.
The cat wakes up when the bug comes in.
The cat roars at the stink bug and the stink bug ran away. And the cat went home.
The End.


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What’s in a name?

Our play officially has a name! After some brainstorming, and careful consideration, the students unanimously voted for…”What do toys do at night?”. Now that we have settled on a name, it’s time to get working on our costumes and set. The fun is just beginning!

 

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The Pre-K Play: a first draft (2014)

We are excited to announce that our students have officially written the script for our upcoming pre-k play! We started writing our play in January, when we returned from winter break, and have been working on it ever since. The story and characters have changed many times as the students’ ideas have evolved. Below you will find the first draft of our play. You’ll notice that in the beginning stages, the students tend to write several separate stories and often leave out important story elements, such as dialogue. This will come later when they begin to better understand the various dynamics of story writing.

Enjoy!

 

Pre-k Play: First Draft

E.S. – Jockey
A.J. – Lion
O.A. – A giant bear a black bear
S.B. – the swan princess
S.M. – a pet black bear
(E.S.) I play music.
The swan princess decorates the Christmas tree. The lion is playing the flute. The black bear watches the swan princess put the decorations on the tree.
Once upon a time, there was a jockey and a lion and they were playing music. While they were playing music the swan princess decorated a tree, while the bear watched. The bear puts the star on the top of the tree. The swan princess leaves to go get a pet. The swan princess comes back with the pet black bear and the bear dances.
All of the sudden, Darth Vader uses the light saber and chopped down the Christmas tree and everyone said, “oh no!”.
“That’s not good we don’t like it. It hurts our chrismas party.” said the swan princess.
The pet bear said, “Darth Vader you should get us a new tree”.
So Darth Vader went and got a new tree and they had their party. It was getting very late and everyone went home.
T.O. – a bad clone trooper
H.P. – Luke Skywalker
J.J. – a bad Clone trooper
At Tatooine. There are two suns. It is very hot
The bad guys don’t like the good guys. They had an epic battle. Luke skywalker uses the force to make the clone troopers move back. The clone troopers fall down. The epic battle ended.
A.R. – a fairy
S.C. – Princess Aurora
D.K. – cat
H.P. – Wizard
T.O. – Black cat
The cat is the fairy’s pet. We’re in Princess Aurora’s house.
The fairy brought the cat to visit Princess Aurora. The cat sat. The fairy pets the cat. A wizard came. He put a spell on Princess Aurora and says, “You’re going to sleep for 100 years”. The wizard stays and waits for his black cat to come.
The fairy tries to wake her up with her wand, but the wizard puts her back to sleep again. This happens again and again.
The cat would hold the wizard by the arms so he can’t do his spells. The fairy uses her wand to wake up Princess Aurora. When she wakes up, the fairy uses her spells to make the Wizard and the black cat fall asleep. The wizard snores loudly and the fairy and princess and cat all run away.
The End.