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discussions, exercises, games before and after the play
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Frankenstein Fun: Great Ideas for Classroom and Homeschooling
Summer Activities for Your Child to Enjoy
Humanities is recognizing the 200th birthday of Frankenstein by Mary
Shelley with a statewide read and celebration of the book. In the
book, Victor Frankenstein, a brilliant scientist, pushes the limits
of science to create a living being, but then he regrets his actions.
The book brings to mind questions like: What's right and wrong? How
do we understand ourselves in relation to the world around us? How
far is too far? What responsibility do we have for our actions and
the things we create?
classic book is written for an older audience, its themes translate
to a wide variety of ages-even young ones-and deal with many
questions that we're still asking today. Here are a few ways you can
use Frankenstein to have important conversations with your child,
engage with the humanities and have a little fun too!
and celebrate the book, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein."
Performance of Kid
Frankenstein - Pearl Theatre, Houston, TX
a young reader's or spinoff version of the book with your
child. There are lots to choose from for various ages:
BabyLit Anatomy Primer by Jennifer Adams for babies and toddlers
Samantha Berger for ages 3-6
If You're a
Monster and You Know It by Rebecca and Ed Emberley for ages 3-6 years
by Lola M. Schaefer for grades 1 through 3
Among Us (Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist) by Jim Benton for grades 2
Makes a Sandwich by Adam Rex for grades 2 through 5
read the book, have a conversation with your child by asking them to
identify any monsters in the book. Why is he or she considered a
monster? Do those reasons mean he or she should be treated any differently?
is full of ways to engage younger audiences."
Kid Performance of Kid
Frankenstein - Pearl Theatre, Houston, TX
Frankenstein's creature probably came to life with electric
circuitry. Kids can experiment with circuits in a variety of ways:
with kids using salt dough, LEDs and batteries.
Try creating a
circuit on paper using copper tape, LEDs and coin batteries. Children
can decorate their paper circuits to look like monsters.
strong magnets, a battery and a copper wire, children can make a tiny
train by attaching the magnet to each side of the battery and coiling
the wire into a long tunnel for the "train" to travel through.
a monster mash!
masks with your child using a paper plate, crayons and other
materials. Then have them dance with you to "Monster Mash"
by Bobby Pickett or sing "If You're a Monster and You Know
It." Other monster songs include "The Purple People
Eater" by Sheb Wooley, "Monster Boogie" by Laurie
Berkner Band and "Calling All the Monsters" by China Anne McClain.
Dr. Frankenstein and make a scribble bot!
whether, like Victor Frankenstein, the inventor of a creation is
responsible for the actions of that creation.
This craft uses
a few supplies to make a little robot that draws entirely on its own.
The question then asks: Are its scribbles "art"? If so, who
is the artist-you or the bot? Is the bot alive, or does it just seem
to be? What can you change to make your scribble bot move differently?
need: A 6" length cut of a pool noodle, 3-4 Thin markers,
2 Rubber bands, Craft materials for decoration (such as googly eyes,
foam stickers, chenille stems and feathers), Battery-operated
electric toothbrush, Spare AA batteries, Safety scissors, Tape,
Paper, Trays to hold the paper and contain the bot while it
scribbles, Activity booklet, Sign holder and table sign.
How to make
it: Build the body. Use rubber bands to attach three or four
markers to the pool noodle. These will be your creature's legs.
The drawing tips of the markers should point down and extend past the
bottom of the tube. Now make your creature unique. Decorate it and
give it special features. Share!
Though it may
seem like a book for older children or grownups, Mary Shelley's
Frankenstein is full of ways to engage younger audiences. Create
anything cool? Be sure to share your Franken-fun on social media by
tagging @INHumanities and using the hashtag #itsalive! Most of these
activities are drawn from the Frankenstein200 kit created by Arizona
State University and the National Informal Science Educators Network.
The kit is free for download at http://www.nisenet.org/Frankenstein.
You can also find more adult-friendly Frankenstein content on our website.
was written by Bronwen Carlisle, executive assistant and program
associate at Indiana Humanities, which connects people, opens minds
and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that
encourage Hoosiers to think, read and talk. As a convener, leader and
partner, Indiana Humanities promotes the public humanities and
engages Indiana's community of minds to create stronger, more vibrant
communities. Learn more at www.indianahumanities.org.
AND THE BEAST: Fun Activities, Exercises
theatre and what a play is. What other plays have you
seen? Describe them to the class. Why do you think
certain parts of those plays are memorable to you? What do you
expect this play will be like? What is the difference between
seeing a play on television or movies and seeing actors perform it live?
students the proper etiquette for audience members during a live
performance. Impress upon them that the actors they see are
live people who care very much how you respond to the work they are
doing. Young audience members should learn the meaning of
applause and laughter and that they should be polite to the people
who are performing for them.
original story and the synopsis of the play that appear in this
Teachers Guide. How are the stories alike? How are they
different? Talk about the practical consideration of putting on
a play and why the actors might need to adjust the story in order to
present it on stage.
The play takes
place in France where they used to tell fairy tales. Look up France
on the Internet and in books, locate it on the globe. Talk
about what we know about the country, history, music and the
people. What kinds of clothes do they wear and what did the
wear in years past? Remember your answers when you see the
actors in their costumes. Or if you are performing in the play
use the pictures you find to help create your costume.
play, children will be asked to participate by helping make sounds,
wind, music, wolves, etc.. Describe a storm, scary forest,
angry mob or ferocious wolves and talk about how they sound and
move. Point out the actual events or other plays or movies you
may have seen. How does your play relate to events in "real
life or other "fantasies?
clothes and what they say about your personality. Name some of
your favorite movie stars or musicians and how the clothes they wear
shape the image we have of them. What makes some clothes come
into fashion why others go out of style. Describe your favorite
shoes, hat and coat. What makes you like them? How do you
feel when you wear them?
Discuss in more
detail the play you have just seen. Who is your favorite
character and why? Talk about how the actors created the
illusion of many things such as the castle, the forest, the
marketplace and the invisible painting that Marcel sets up.
Talk about how you were asked to sue you imagination as opposed to
movies and cartoons that show you a picture of everything.
Talk about some
of the characters you saw in the play such as the Villagers and
Household Servants. What did they do with their voices and
bodies to convey their character to you? Would you like to try
your hand at acting? Write down the names of characters such as
Beast and Wolves. Come up with crazy names as Huey Kazooie and
show the class how Huey would act and talk. Choose other
characters, perform them and ask your classmates to guess who you are.
Perrault wrote many play besides Beauty
and the Beast. What titles are you familiar with?
Can you recount these stories? Which do you like best and why?
What do you
think a magical Prince-turned-Beast would actually look like?
Draw a picture of the Beast showing how he thought he looked once
like a Prince. Draw a picture of the Prince before he turned
into a Beast.
What is the
meaning of this famous story? When people say "his bark is
worst than his bite what do you think they mean? The
Prince embarrassed when he realized he had been tricked and turned
into the Beast. What might he have done to prevent this embarrassment?
you have the courage to meet the Beast?"
and the Beast, Monkton Central School, VT
STORY: Read a version of the story as a class. View an
animated version and compare the two. After seeing the show,
compare all three genres.
HERO: Ask the class what it means to be a hero.
Brainstorm a list of qualities that make a person seem like a
hero. In groups, pick the most important qualities and identify
heroes today. Share as a class. Discuss whether or not there is
a hero in Beauty and the Beast.
ACTIVITY: Have students imagine that they are in Beautys
shoes. In order to save their fathers, the students have to
live with a terrifying beast. What would it feel like? Would the
students have the courage to do it?
"YOU ARE A
HERO!: Ask students to write about a time in their lives
when they had to overcome something or helped someone.
OUTSIDE IN: Have students imagine that they could only show
people their worst qualities. No one would ever know the good
qualities they had deep down inside. What would that look
like? What would it feel like? Have students draw what
that person would look like, and write a story to go along with it.
FUNNY: Have students write a fractured version of Beauty and
the Beast. Explain that a fractured fairy tale is made to be humorous
by changing the story in a surprising way; like changing a character
or adding todays language and events to the story.
Encourage the students to take creative risks.
NOW YOU SEE IT,
NOW YOU DONT: The element of magic is common in
fairytales. In Beauty and the Beast, things arent always
what they seem. Explore optical illusions. Look at
examples as a class. View optical illusions as a class using
the internet and books.
WORLD ONCE UPON A TIME: Research different fairy tales from around
the world and different times.
INFORMATION DOWN GENERATION TO GENERATION: Gather students on the rug
and have them sit in a circle. Explain that fairytales were
handed down through word of mouth. Pretend that each student
sitting in that circle is another generation. Play a game of
"telephone (one person thinks of a sentence and whispers
it in the person sitting next to him/hers ear, and that person
passes, and so on) to demonstrate how stories change.
HISTORY: Ask students to rewrite the ending of Beauty and the
Beast. What would the play version of this look like?
After rewriting the way the story turns out, have students design a
scene from their versions (the castle, forest, etc&ldots;) using only
their imaginations to guide them.
PICTURE: Have students design what the costumes would look
like. Remind them that the story can take place anywhere and in
any time period.
BEAUTY IS: Ask
students to define beauty. This can be done through words or pictures
Christmas Carol Classroom Activities
Discussions for ArtReach's A
Read the original story A
Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens or the ArtReach School
Play, adapted from the Dickens Classic. What do you think is
the "main theme of the story? Consider other stories that
the students are familiar with such as Cinderella,
Snow White and the Wizard
of Oz. What aspects of these stories are the same? Which are different?
1. What mistakes do you think
Scrooge made in the story? When is he selfish? When
is he kind and generous? What are his consequences and rewards for
2. Can students think of times
when theyve felt or acted like Scrooge?
3. How does Scrooge change
throughout the story? What is his "character development?
develops from a grumpy old miser to a happy, generous person. He is
shown that life is short, and that it is a person's responsibility to
look after others. He comes to realize that it is possible to be
happy, and happiness has nothing to do with money.)
discover Charles Dickens classic."
Community Children's Theatre, Paris TX
4. What specific things does
Scrooge do to show he is a bad person? To show he is a good person?
(Bad: mean to
Cratchit; refuses to give to charity; doesnt like Christmas;
etc. Good: gives Cratchit a raise; gives money away; sends turkey to
Cratchits; cheerful about Christmas; etc..)
5. What would be a good essay
or discussion topic for the story (something about why so many
people, especially children, love the story).
(For one thing,
the story is simple the lesson is to be good to people,
because that is the only way to be happy. Children can relate to the
metaphorical characters: the grumpy old man, the poor clerk, the
joyful nephew, the saint-like little boy. The story is stark and
vivid. It is easy to understand but hard to forget.)
Animals in Preparation for The
Look closely -
There are pictures of animals all around us
Animal Awareness: Look
around your classroom for depictions of animals everywhere.
Look on each others clothing, on the illustrations on your
shoes and backpacks. Outside of the classroom look for
illustrations of animals on wallpaper, carpet, jewelry, sculptures
and designs on architectural buildings. Humans have always used
animals for design, art, function and pleasure! Keep your eyes
open and always look for the animals that are all around us!
The Best Activity Ever!
Go to the Zoo! Early on in the rehearsal process, see if you
can arrange to have the whole cast to take a trip to the nearest
zoo. Have all performers go to each of the animals that will be
represented in play. While there, in front of the animal,
discuss the looks, walk and sounds that the animal makes. Let
everyone play around with imitations. These tiny performances
may be funny and silly. Back at the rehearsal site, recreate
these imitations and see how they effect the mood and personality of
the character they will play. Use what you have learned
at the zoo to play your Jungle-Person!
of animals are everywhere!"
Happening at the Zoo-Who!
Peace Monument - Hiroshima
http://www.pcf.city.hiroshima.jp/kids/KPSH_E/top_e.html; PCPA -
Pacific conservatory of Performing Arts - Study Guide for "A
After Sadako died, her
classmates said to each other, "Let's do something for
Sadako." That they, her friends, were able to do nothing for her
left a painful feeling in their hearts. Someone said, "Can we
erect a gravestone for her? If it is nearby, we can visit it every day."
no more children fall victim to an atomic bombing."
Gemini Collective, Adelaide,
AU - Professional Production
Sadako's classmates take
action. "What if we make a monument in Peace Memorial Park? Not
just for Sadako, but for all the children who died from the atomic
bomb." "Do we have what it takes to do something like
that?" The students were worried. "But I really want to do
something for Sadako." "I want to get rid of atomic
bombs." These were the emotions that moved the group to action.
Pronunciation of Japanese Names
Sadako Sasaki: Sah-dah-ko
Sah-sah-kee (the "d" is almost like a "th")
Obaa Chan: Oh-Baah Chahn
Hiroshima: He-ro-she-mah (the
"r" is slightly trilled)
Araki: A-rah-kee (the
"r" is slightly trilled)
Yaizu River: Yah-eez-oo
Children around Japan
cooperate with the movement. Sadako's former Bamboo classmates began
a movement to raise funds for a monument. Their call elicited a huge
response that they had not anticipated. More than 3000 schools around
Japan sent money and letters saying, "Please use this to help
build the monument." In January 1957, it was officially decided
to build the Children's Peace Monument in Peace Memorial Park. The
statue was completed on Children's Day (5 May) in 1958, two years
after Sadako Sasaki's death.
Though Sadako and the other
children who had passed away would not return, the inscription carved
into the stone in front of the monument at least carried the hope,
"Let no more children fall victim to an atomic bombing."
Jungle Book Classroom Activities
Discussions for ArtReachs The
LOVE your version of The Jungle Book. I have looked at 5
different versions and yours is the best! I love the fact that
there is the focus on Community and that there is such flexibility as
far as roles. We have done the Disney Jungle Book but that
doesn't have the heart that yours has."
Diana Guhin Wooley, LAMB Arts
Ltd, Sioux City, IA
Take a look at the list of characters at the beginning of the script.
Look at each name and consider the personality traits of each one.
What words would you choose to describe Mowgli: Brave, strong,
curious, impulsive, funny, adventurous? What kind of traits would you
use to describe yourself? If you are brave, give an example of when
your bravery was present.
Battles the Mighty Shere Khan!
Audience becomes the
Man-Village helping Mowgli save the Jungle.
Create Your Own Jungle:
Discuss the various things you might find in a jungle such as plants
and nature: flowers, trees, vines, moss, rocks, creek. What kind of
animals would you find there? Snakes, frogs, vultures, lions,
elephants, butterflies, mosquitoes. Have students choose a jungle
"thing. Dont tell each other what you have chosen.
Now draw a circle on the floor and have a few students go into the
circle and become their "thing. Have others enter the
jungle and try to guess what the "things are. You can also
do this activity without the guessing game. Have students enter the
"jungle and simply enjoy it.
Moral of the Story:
Think of aphorisms such as "a bird in the hand is worth two in
the bush. What aphorisms would you use to describe the message
of The Jungle Book? A moral is: A lesson that is learned from a story
or an experience. Think of stories that have morals at the end like
Aesops Fables. What do you believe is the moral of The Jungle Book?
Magic Near Your Home:
Have you ever encountered a wild animal where you least expected it?
A deer in your backyard, a turtle crossing the road, an opossum in an
alley, a snake slithering in your garden? Tell the class about your
experience. Why is it so exciting to encounter wild animals in a
human setting? Should we continue to have these encounters or should
we work to have animals and humans live apart?
Raised by Wolves:
What do you think it was like for Mowgli to have brother and sister
who are wolves? What if you were raised as an animal in the wild?
Consider if your family was made up of porcupines, lions, elephants
or squirrels. What would you wear? What would you eat? What sound
would you make when you are hungry or frightened?
Study the effects of water on human civilization and on the plants
and animals of the world. Too much water can cause floods and
drowning while too little water can cause drought with thirst and
hunger as a result. Think about your day as a human and look back on
your activities to remember how many times a day you needed water.
How would you brush your teeth without water? How would you take your
vitamin pills without water? What if you had to go for weeks or
longer without a bath? Write a paragraph on what water means to you.
Pets as Wild Creatures:
If you have a pet at home, its likely to be a cat or dog. Your
cat may be a descendant of panthers like Bagheera. Your dog may be a
descendant of a wolf like Akela. Imagine your pet in the forest
alone. How would your pet handle an encounter with Shere Khan? How
would you train your pet to live in the jungle?
Look around your classroom for depictions of animals everywhere. Look
on each others clothing, on the illustrations on your shoes and
backpacks. Outside of the classroom look for illustrations of animals
on wallpaper, carpet, jewelry, sculptures and designs on
architectural buildings. Humans have always used animals for design,
art, function and pleasure. Keep your eyes open and always look for
the animals that are all around us!
Wilder: Voice of the Prairie
Study Guide by
The Rep, Imaginary Theatre Company, St. Louis
Here are some excerpts from
The Rep's Study Guide which is a component of a recent tour of Laura
Ingalls Wilder: Voice of the Prairie to local schools. You
may access the entire Study Guide here: http://www.repstl.org/study-guide-archive/
Tour photo, The Repertory
Theatre of St. Louis
to the Wise (Glossary)
Covered Wagon: A large
covered wagon with an arched canvas top, used especially for prairie travel.
Scarlet Fever: A
disease occurring predominately among children and characterized by
who ventures into unclaimed or unknown territory to settle.
Dakota Territory: A
territory of the north central United States, organized in 1861 and
divided into the states of North Dakota and South Dakota 1889.
Bushel: A unit of
dry measure equal to four pecks or 2,152.42 cubic inches.
disease of the throat and other respiratory passages, causing
difficulty breathing, high fever and weakness.
type written or handwritten version of a book, especially the
author's own copy, prepared and submitted for publication in print.
for a small person or animal, also Pa's nickname for Laura.
Rep St. Louis, Imaginary
Theatre School Tour
Laura Ingalls Wilder is
a strong willed girl, in the wilderness of the American Frontier.
Carolina Ingalls (Ma)
is Laura's mother. She is a brave woman who works hard to keep
her family safe.
Charles Ingalls (Pa) is
Laura's father. He has a strong sense of adventure and longs to
build a good life for his family.
Mary Ingalls is Laura's
older sister. She is a kind soul who becomes blind after
suffering a stroke brought on by scarlet fever.
Almonzo Wilder (Manly)
is a good young farmer who helps the Ingalls family after a hard
winter. He and Laura fall in love and are later married.
Rose Wilder is the
daughter of Laura and Manly. She has the same sense of
adventure as her grandfather, which takes her on travels around the
world. Rose is a gifted writer who publishers many books of her own.
Alfred Knopf is a
publisher who Rose convinces to publish her mother's manuscripts.
Houston - The TallGrass Theatre Company, Gardner, KS
More About It
Want the learn more about
Laura's life or read some of her works? Check out these
selections, available at your local library.
Little House on the Prairie,
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
On the Way Home: The Diary
of a Trip from South Dakota to Mansfield, Missouri
in 1894, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, with a setting by Rose Wilder Lane
Pioneer Girl: The Story of
Laura Ingalls Wilder, by William Anderson
The World of Little House, by
Carolyn Strom Collins and Christina Wyss Eriksson
Little Author in the Big
Woods: A Biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by Yona Zeldis
McDonough, illustrated by Jennifer Thermes
Barter Theatre Production of ArtReach's Amelia
Play by Kathryn
prepared by Catherine Bush, Barter Playwright-in-Residence
Grades 4-12, Barter ENCORE Players - March, 2017
II presentation of Amelia Earhart
- what a great job! The three actors kept you captivated for 45
minutes. Very nice overview of Amelia's journey."
Review of Amelia Earhart performance on TripAdvisor, 2017
1. In this play, Amelia
Earhart is constantly compared with another groundbreaking American
pilot, Charles Lindbergh&ldots; Research the lives of Amelia
Earhart and Charles Lindberg, then write a paper comparing and
contrasting their childhoods, careers, politics, and place in
2. What is an altimeter? A
tachometer? How are they used in aviation? Why are they important?
What other instruments are necessary for safe flight? How many of
these instruments did Amelia Earhart have available for her use in
1937? Present your findings to the class.
3. At one point in her career,
Amelia Earhart became fascinated with a new invention, the autogiro.
What is an autogiro? How does it differ from an airplane? A
helicopter? Present your findings to the class.
Professional & High School stages across US!
Earhart on tour, Barter Theatre, Abington, VA
4. There are several theories
as to what happened to Amelia Earhart, some of which are suggested at
the end of this play. What do you think happened to Amelia Earhart? Discuss.
5. Discuss the existence of
gender inequalities in Earhart's time, and how these compare to those
that exist in the world today. Earhart once said, "There are a
great many boys who would be better off making pies, and a great many
girls who would be better off as mechanics." Do you agree with
this statement? Discuss the concept of gender roles and how this
comment might have been received in 1935. Why was this a bold
statement to make for the time? How would a statement like that be
received today, at your school? Discuss.
6. A pacifist, Amelia Earhart
believed that if there was to be a military draft, then women should
be drafted alongside the men for combat service. Can women be drafted
into military service in the United States? Do you think this is
fair? Why or why not? Discuss. How does the United States policy
about drafting women into military service compare with the country
of Israel? Do you think the United States should draft anyone,
regardless of gender? Discuss.
7. In regard to Amelia
Earhart, a historian once remarked that "She was completely
committed to the commercial property 'Amelia Earhart,' and was
absolutely driven to make it a recognized name brand." What is a
name brand? Cite some examples of more popular name brands. How to
people turn themselves into name brands? Make a list of people who
have managed to do exactly that.
to Fold Paper Cranes
Activity for ArtReach's A
See the following diagram or
search the Internet for the many diagrams on "how to fold
If you want printed instructions, try those from Informed Democracy
at: PO Box 67 Santa Cruz CA 95063 USA, Phone USA 800-827-0949.
With only a little practice, each crane can be folded in less
than three (or even two!) minutes.
hands: Anyone from about 9 or 10 years old can
master this quickly - and it's a great family activity!
For really spectacular cranes, wonderful patterns and colors
of "origami" (Japanese paper folding art) paper can be
purchased from stationers or through specialist origami
suppliers. Colorful (but not always color-fast) medium
sized craft squares from a discount stationer cost about $20 for a
thousand. Also consider buying larger squares andhaving them cut down
to size by a friendly printer, as this can reduce the cost to less
than $8 per thousand. Just about any colorful paper can be used, so
if your budget is very limited and/or if you want to "do your
part" for recycling, offcuts of wrapping paper or even high
quality advertising brochures will generally take a good sharp fold
and will look great.The size of square you should use depends on what
you intend to do with your cranes:
If you will be sending your
cranes overseas, the need for economical transport suggests use of
squares from about 3½ to 5 inches. If you are displaying
flocks of cranes and not transporting them, then larger squares will
make cranes with a greater visual impact. Try various sizes and see
what you think! Hint: if you intend to transport your cranes, they
will be more compact and less likely to be crushed in packing if you
do not fold their wings down and do not spread or inflate their
bodies out as some folding instructions suggest.
You have many possibilities for arranging or
presenting your cranes: As individuals; Gathered in loops or
rings; Flocking together in garlands;
Glued onto boards
to make pictures and spell out messages.
you are making garlands of cranes, you can thread them on wool,
cotton or fishing line, using a needle to pass it through the base of
each crane and out the pointed top of the back. Secure both the
base and the uppermost crane with part of a match, toothpick,
bead or similar. Knot a loop in the top of each strand so that
they hang to the same length.
messages: Consider attaching a message to your
garland, ring or mobile of cranes or to each individual crane. You
can: Write concealed messages or wishes on the blank or white
side of the paper before a crane is folded, and/or;
Write a message on the wings of a folded crane, and/or Write a
message on a strip of colorful paper attached to a garland, ring
ormobile of cranes.
do we do with the cranes once they are folded?: You
can send your cranes to a Peace Park or Monument: Office of the
Mayor, City of Hiroshima, 6-34 Kokutaiji-Machi, 1 Chome Naka-ku,
Hiroshima 730, Japan. Some projects donate their cranes to
brighten the lives of residents Some projects donate their cranes to
brighten the lives of residents and patients in nursing homes or
hospitals, especially those treating leukemia or cancer, thus
developing a different sort of link to the Sadako story.
Washington Irving's The
Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Bio and Read
Washington Irving was born April 3, 1783, in New York
City. He was the youngest of a rich merchant's eleven children. In
school he was an average student who enjoyed music, books, and art.
Though he would practice law on Wall Street, work in his family's
cutlery business, and even serve (later in life) as U.S. Minister to
Spain, he loved books and writing. Much of his writing was influenced
by his travels including excursions up the Hudson River and a
two-year stay in southern Europe. While traveling, Irving filled
notebooks with his impressions of people and he wrote satires based
upon those notes. He published his first book, A History of New York,
in 1809, under his pen name, "Diedrich Knickerbocker."
Other famous books included The Sketch Book (1819, which included The
Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle), Tales of a Traveler
(1824), and The Alhambra (1832). Irving also wrote biographies of
Oliver Goldsmith, Mahomet, and George Washington. Irving never
married, being happy to spend his time at home with his brother and
five nieces. Washington Irving died on November 28, 1859 in
Irvington, New York.
Washington Irving's The Legend
of Sleepy Hollow was the first American work of fiction that achieved
acclaim in Europe. Set in New York State's Hudson Valley 20 years
after the Revolutionary War, Sleepy Hollow depicts the peaceful,
rural life of the early Dutch settlers in that area.
Hollow depicts the peaceful, rural life of the early Dutch settlers."
Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Jonesborough Repertory Theatre, TN
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is
a wonderful read aloud, filled with marvelous descriptions and
humor. Once you've read it, choose from these cross-curricular
connections to extend the learning and the fun.
The important characters of this story are described
in lively language, with lots of detail. Katrina van Tassel, the girl
whom both Ichabod and Brom are courting, is described only in terms
of her appearance, with a passage later about her parents suggesting
that she might be spoiled. Have students flesh out the character of
Katrina in a character sketch.
Many people have made plays
from this story - your class can do it, too! Write and stage the play
for your school, or film it for your class website.
While this story is accessible
to younger readers, the vocabulary can really be challenging. Collect
words from the story in a pocket chart or on chart paper and see how
many new ones you can learn while you're reading the story.
Studies: Sleepy Hollow is a real place, and the
character of the place is important to the story. Irving says that
the people of Sleepy Hollow are inclined to see ghosts, and says of
visitors to the area, " However wide awake they may have been
before they entered that sleepy region, they are sure, in a little
time, to inhale the witching influence of the air, and begin to grow
imaginative, to dream dreams, and see apparitions." There is no
Google Earth Tour online yet for this story, so here's your chance!
people of Sleepy Hollow are inclined to see ghosts."
Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Jonesborough Repertory Theatre, TN
Smithsonian: The Smithsonian has
an intriguing lesson using "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" to
explore contagion. With measles, Zika virus, and other contagious
diseases in the news, students will get a new perspective. (https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/what-legend-sleepy-hollow-tells-us-about-contagion-fear-and-epidemics-180953192/)
The life of a teacher during
Colonial times (and after, in many areas) was difficult. Ichabod
Crane, like most teachers, earned very little and was given a place
to live by parents of his students. Things were different for
students, too - not least because of the use of corporal punishment,
which is described in the story. Use a Venn diagram to compare school
in Irving's day to your modern school.
Sleepy Hollow had lots of
local ghost stories, the most exciting one being the story of the
Headless Horseman. Have students research local ghost stories. If
there are no local ghost stories where you live, discuss why that
should be. Is Irving right in thinking that some places encourage
superstitious attitudes? Is your town too new to have developed any
ghost stories? This is a good opportunity for surveys and oral
Think I Can: ArtReach's Small Cast Musical Play
Activities for School
Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Lisa Chase, Artistic Director Erin
Katzker, Educational Theatre Manager
1. I Think I Can is a story of
how a young girl named Becky conquers her fears and learns to believe
in herself. At the beginning of the play, Becky doesn't think she can
do anything, because she doesn't realize she has great qualities that
will help her accomplish anything she puts her mind to. Think about
your great qualities. Describe yourself using the letters in your
first name as the first letters in each of your great qualities. For
example, Becky's List of Great Qualities might be: Brave,
Enthusiastic, Caring, Kind, and Youthful.
2. In our story, Becky tries
several new things that are hard for her at first. Think about a time
you did something that was difficult for you. Draw three pictures of
that situation: 1) the beginning, 2) the middle, and 3) the end of
the story. Using your pictures as a guide, tell your classmates the
story. Make sure you tell them where you were, what you were doing,
and how it ended up!
Think I Can: "Be Brave,
Enthusiastic, Caring, Kind"
Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, NY - I
Think I Can, Musical for Kids
1. Becky spends most of the
story trying to decide what she wants to be when she grows up. What
is your dream job, and why? Draw a picture of yourself doing this
job. Remember, just like Becky, it's okay if you don't know what you
want to be yet! Just draw a picture of a job you might like to try
2. Professor, Becky's house
cat, also serves as her personal advisor, helping her with difficult
homework assignments and giving her encouragement and confidence. Do
you know anyone like Professor, who encourages you to always try your
best? Write a letter to this person thanking them for their advice
and encouragement. Include what you would say to this person if they
needed you to help boost their confidence.
3. In our story, Becky is
elected President of the World! What would you do if you were
President of the World? Work with a classmate to create a world with
you as the President. What is this world called? What holidays do
people celebrate? What would kids learn in school? When would people
go to bed? What would people eat? Present to your class about what a
typical day would be like in your world. You can draw pictures, make
a collage, write a story-whatever you want! Be creative!
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