Although the boys resisted initially, this was a good stretch for them in the long run…
When our curriculum suggested that the students write a play about the siblings who discovered Uranus, I initially planned to skip that assignment. Maybe it was because of shying away from any more drama than normal, or maybe it was just because I feared the burden would somehow end up in my lap! If it hadn’t been for some friends of ours who used this same curriculum last year, who had also done this assignment, that I’d probably have gone with my initial impression. We aren’t into plays and shows, and don’t even have a tv! And I’m not a fan of silly skits that only leave you with the silliness!
Yet, the story was worth telling, and I did want the boys to begin to take more ownership of their education. So, I decided to give it a try! When I broke the news to the crew, I can’t say they jumped for joy! They would have preferred to just do a spelling and grammar lesson and be done with it! I explained that they could work together to come up with a way to present the scenes, and their scripts had to coordinate with each other’s! That proved to cause the most frustration! Speedy zipped along writing out the first two scenes from his perspective. Good lines. Only problem was that the brothers hadn’t even figured out what to do! So, this took much patience being exercised as three different boys, with three very different speeds were forced to work together. 😏
It took quite awhile for all three to figure out this project! After two short scenes were written that first day, we had to drop it for awhile. It was a steep learning curve. But, by the next school day, all three had gotten more of the hang of coordinating their work, and the next three scenes didn’t take nearly so long to write. I thought about bailing them out and helping them write it all out while they dictated to me, but my curious side won out, and I let them see what they could come up with on their own!
I’ll have to to admit that they pulled it together very well, with only minimal input from me.
Then came the practicing! Which turned out to be another lesson in working together and following directions. I can’t say that this was the favorite part–it took quite a long time to get it into the boys’ heads that this wasn’t a stand-up comedy act! And they’ve never seen a stand-up comedy act–it seems to just come naturally! I really think that they all felt a little self-conscious, and hence–silliness! And I can’t say I can blame them for a few laughs-after all, 8 year-old BamBam volunteered for the position of Caroline, and a few chuckles ensued. It’s just hard to get three boys serious about anything!!!
The boys finally got their lines down. Mean Old Mom made them!
Hand made invitations were designed and delivered to each occupant of this RV park, and every person promised to come! The set time was to be announced, but definitely at dusk, and definitely around the campfire!
Finally, the appointed time arrived! Eager and curious faces gathered around the fire, and nervous boys took their spots. A general twitter of laughter occurred when precious little BamBam, dressed up as Caroline Hershell, made his appearance, complete with skirt, shawl, and head covering! I’m afraid Daddy about fell on the floor! But, after the initial scene, where they forgot to stop playing their music on and on, they did their parts really well!
With paper towel and wrapping paper tubes for telescopes, and other improvised props, the general theme of the story was told. Everyone loves children who are willing to try, and all in all, the play came off pretty well! For all the preparation and practice, it only lasted 5-10 minutes. Since I was narrating, I couldn’t video it, but Daddy caught a little bit of it. I wouldn’t dare post a picture of the boys, for fear of embarrassing them, but we did get a good shot of BamBam, aka Caroline, for Grandma. 😉
We were so glad that everyone came to see what we’ve been learning and working on! I don’t think that our boys will forget (at least for a good long while) how and when Uranus was discovered!
Good job, Boys!