What to do with a shoe box

October 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

This year I have a 6-year-old one-to-one student, who lived for some time in England. Now back in the Czech Republic her parents want her to keep her English. She’s into stories and arts and  crafts, so I decided to combine the two things.

In the first lessons we read ‘Winnie at the seaside’ together, and talked about what kind of holidays Anna likes and what she thinks Wilbur (Winnie’s cat) might like doing in his holiday. At home she drew a picture of Wilbur on holiday and in the next lesson she told me about it.

Then our little arts and crafts project started. The idea was to make a theatre which she could use to play out stories of Winnie the Witch. She brought a shoe box and I asked her what she might find in a theatre. She came up with some ideas including curtain and stage. Then I explained that we could make this with the shoe box and how to do it.

Anna's shoe box

So here the instructions for all arts and crafts fans out there:

Material: a shoe box (adult size), some coloured paper, crayons, felt pens, pencils, scissors, white carton, skewers, glue and sticky tape, Stanley knife

Instructions: Make a cut in one of the long sides of the shoe box and along the bottom, so that you have two flaps (which are your curtains). Decide what you want to have in the scene, colour the box from the inside or glue coloured paper onto the back and sides of the box. Cut out shapes for a house or trees and glue them to the bottom. And there you go, the little stage is ready. Just use your imagination, all my little shoe box theatres differ from each other.

But what is a theatre without actors, in this case paper figures. Draw the shapes of the characters you need for your play on cardboard, colour them in, cut them out and with some sticky tape fix them at one end of a skewer. Be careful, as you play from  the top the skewer should stick out from the top, otherwise all your figures are upside down. Something Anna and I tried out, but then changed it quickly again.

As we only have 60 min a week, we needed two weeks to complete the theatre. We started off with the theatre itself and Anna decided on the scene and the characters. We finished the box itself, but didn’t have time for the characters. So her homework was to come up with a story including all characters.

So in the next lesson she brought her story, written down by her older brother Adam And this is how the story goes:

We finished the characters, which took quite long as we had to play with them of course as soon as each of them was finished. At the end of the lesson we packed everything into the box, closed the lid and a very proud Anna took it home to reveal her ‘secret’ to her family.

Any ideas what her homework for this week is? Playing out the story with her family!

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