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Folktale: Act Out the Enormous Turnip with Musical Refrain--Russian (elementary)

Last changed: 05/29/2019 11:04am
K , 1 , 2 , 3 Theatre Music
Theatre English
Both Grade Level and Arts/PE Program Alignment
1 45 min
1 45 min
Flexible, can run shorter if you prefer.
In-School Workshop
All year, especially love fall-Dec., but I love to hear what works for you and yours, so let me know what you'd like, please.
$10 0
$200 0
no Phone , Email
Costumes, guitar (accompaniment)
Nothing, but if you wish, you could prepare students by talking about folktales, Russia, definition of turnip, before I come, for more context. Ask me for help, if you wish--by email is preferred, please.
Perimeter of classroom usually works fine. Students are all invited to participate as individuals and as a group, and we end up with a line of students curving around the room. Easy. One student chair, please. A table or desk gives me a place to pile costumes. Very easy and quick! Safe and super fun! Terrific language workout through children's natural instinct to learn through playing.
I can create and act out a character role in an imagined world and in a dramatic theatre work. I can recount a folktale from a different culture and determine the central message or lesson. I can listen to and follow directions. I can work with others as a person and one part of a bigger group. I can use a character voice. I can sing in a chorus.
Teaching artist serves as narrator (initially) and director of a student enactment of a Russian folktale (chain, or cumulative tale) w/100% participation. Terrific literacy work built on children's instinct to learn through play. I define needed vocabulary ("turnip," "enormous," "stubborn,") provide setting and begin orally telling the story, gradually inviting individual student volunteers to the classroom "stage" to play the characters: Stubborn turnip, grandpa farmer, grandma farmer, their children, grandchildren, dog, cat, mice...till all students form a line of actors all miming the effort of trying to pull the turnip out of the ground. With each character added to the cue, the whole group first chants, then sings a refrain to my guitar or ukulele accompaniment. "They pulled and they pulled...but they couldn't pull the turnip out."As the story progresses, repetition with variation becomes obvious, and students volunteer to be the storyteller, recounting the action, e.g., "The boy held [grammar practice ensues here with use of past tense of the verb "to hold"] onto the Mama, the Mama held onto the Papa, Papa held onto Grandma, Grandma held onto Grandpa, and Grandpa held onto the Enormous, Stubborn Turnip." Group chorus repeats, then another character helps to "pull" out the Turnip. We play safely and cooperatively. The students, in group retelling as narrator, use memory and observation of the growing line of characters, till they successfully extract the "Turnip." This way, the repetition never dulls, in fact, it gives all students a chance to practice retelling a story with the visual cue of the actors and the repetition of naming each one. Thus we succeed in the national art standard of creating roles, imagined world, etc. And we serve the CCSS standard of recounting a folktale and describing characters in a story. Teachers help coach as needed, and can help by gently reminding children how to join in and play safely. It works like a charm. Very fun!
This program still happens in one session, and if group is very large, then some play roles on stage just as in Grade Level program, and others in seats sing along, join in all the gestures, tell the story aloud along with the varying narrators. These audience participants also have the benefit of seeing the line of actors grow and watching the drama, for the big perspective that is like going to the theater.
Very fun! Terrific literacy work built on children's instinct to learn through play.
Caregivers can help, depending on the need/group, by being near the line of actors and helping them with costumes, or with gentle prompts, following the guidance of the teaching artist. Easily managed.

Grade K

Grade K: Reading Standards for Literature: Key Ideas & Details: #2: With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.
Grade K: Reading Standards for Literature: Key Ideas and Details #3 With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.
Grade K: Theatre: Creating: Anchor Standard 1: Generalize and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. a. With prompting and support, invent and inhabit an imaginary elsewhere in dramatic play or a guided drama experience (e.g., process drama, story drama, creative drama).
Grade K: Theatre: Creating: Anchor Standard 1: Generalize and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. With prompting and support, use non-representational materials to create props, puppets, and costume pieces for dramatic play or a guided drama experience (e.g., process drama, story drama, creative drama).

Grade 1

Grade 1: Reading Standards for Literature: Key Ideas & Details: #2 Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
Grade 1: Reading Standards for Literature: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: #7: Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.
Grade 1: Theatre: Creating: Anchor Standard 1: Generalize and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. a. Propose potential choices characters could make in a guided drama experience (e.g., process drama, story drama, creative drama).
Grade 1: Theatre: Creating: Anchor Standard 1: Generalize and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. c. Identify ways in which gestures and movement may be used to create or retell a story in guided drama experiences (e.g., process drama, story drama, creative drama).

Grade 2

Grade 2: Reading Standards for Literature: Key Ideas & Details: #2 Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral. I can talk about characters and why I'd like some to be friends and others not.
Grade 2: Reading Standards for Literature: Key Ideas & Details #6: Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.
Grade 2: Theatre: Creating: Anchor Standard 1: Generalize and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. c. Identify ways in which voice and sounds may be used to create or retell a story in guided drama experiences (e.g., process drama, story drama, creative drama).
Grade 2: Theatre: Creating: Anchor Standard 1: Generalize and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. b. Collaborate with peers to conceptualize scenery in a guided drama experience.

Grade 3

CCSS: Reading Standards for Literature k-5: Grade 3: Key Ideas and Details: 2. Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
CCSS: Reading Standards for Literature k-5: Grade 3: Key Ideas and Details: 3. Describe characters in a story (e.g. their traits, motivation, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.
NCAS: Theatre: Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. 3. TH:Cr1.1.3a: Create roles, imagined worlds, and improvised stories in a drama/theatre work.
NCAS: Theatre: Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. 3. THCr1.1.3 c.: Collaborate to determine how characters might move and speak to support the story and given circumstances in drama/theatre work.