day, sometime between 500 and 1,000 A. D., somewhere in China,
Persia or India and (perhaps inspired by the riches to be made in the
Eastern silk trade), someone turned a spindle on its side, added a
pulley and connected it to a drive wheel. The spinning wheel was born.
the invention met strong resistance by the time it reached Western
Europe in the early 13th century. Wool merchants saw it as an
impairment in quality by producing thread that was lumpy and uneven.
spinners often used a distaff, (a stick with a fork or comb on the
tip used to hold long-staple fibers while spinning) to hold their
fibers while they were spinning with a spindle. Although time
consuming and awkward, the method produced more consistently even thread.
the machine was simply more economical, saving almost half the work
of hand spinning and, with the later addition of a foot pedal... the
spinning wheel was off and running.
Magic Flying Carpet
History of the
Before people would consider
space shuttles or even jumbo jets, they imagined a fantastic form of
aerial transport - a magic carpet or flying carpet. These fanciful
floorings could levitate great loads and travel at speeds then beyond
fantasy. From their beginnings in the ancient world, legends of
flying carpets have traveled across millennia and continents alike.
Magic Carpet in ArtReachs Aladdin
Cast, Solano Youth Theatre, CA
Origins of the
Legend has it that biblical
King Solomon owned a huge magic carpet - at least large enough to
bring the King's entourage along. Several hundred years later, the
enchanting queen Scheherazade told her husband stories of flying
carpets in Arabian Nights. Fortunately, the queen's storytelling
chops ended the king's practices of summarily beheading his wives
after one night.
Carpet in Western Lore
These Eastern stories have
enchanted the West for centuries; flying carpets pervade our popular
culture today. At the end of World War II, the United States turned
its aircraft carriers and other vessels into giant floating
dormitories, dispatching them to bring servicemen home from far-flung
lands. The armed forces dubbed this effort "Operation Magic Carpet."
Late 60s rock band Steppenwolf
rocked the chart with a far-out (and perhaps pharmaceutically aided)
"Magic Carpet Ride." More recently, animated plumbers Mario
and Luigi contend with rug-riding enemies in the Super Mario Bros.
While the original Aladdin
legend has the bandit using a rug as a getaway vehicle in ancient
Baghdad, Disney's westernized Aladdin whisks his midriff-baring gal
Jasmine on a carpet-borne dream date. Sadly, this is not an option
for modern sorcerers on the dating scene; in the world of J.K.
Rowling's teen warlock Harry Potter, the Ministry of Magic has
outlawed flying carpets.
Legend of Mulan Story
female warrior of ancient China
of Mulan is based on an ancient Chinese poem that has been the
inspiration for countless films, books and television productions
around the world. It tells the story of a girl who wishes
to save her father from forced conscription in the Chinese army.
Dressed as a boy, she becomes a distinguished warrior and
heroine. Mulans spirit of adventure and courage
makes it a beloved story for children everywhere.
The play begins with the
Ancestors of the Fa family describing the country of China and its
philosophy of "Yin and Yang. The Chinese Emperor is
introduced and his assistant Momo instruct all in this presence to
offer "respect and honor. The Emperor says that he
has information that the country will be safe if they trust in him.
The Ancestors direct us to a
valley where Mulan and her Little Brother are playing at sword
fighting. Mulan is much better than her brother and dreams that one
day she could grow up to be a soldier. Father and family love
her but disapprove of her aspirations and wish that she conduct
herself with more feminine modesty that will lead to marriage.
Though she promises to do better, Mulan asks her father if her dream
will ever come true. Her father promises that it will.
But war is stirring up in the
country and the Emperor issues a decree that every family must send
one adult male to the army. Little Brother is too young and
Father is too old. Mulan begs the family to let her go but they
tell her it is against the law for a girl to serve. Father is
resolved to join, though the prospect of military life cannot be safe
for him since he is in a frail state of health.
Mulan begs the Fa Ancestors to
help her save her father. They tell her that she must go and
introduce her to the rabbit Pika, and the Dragon Imoogi, who will
help her on her journey. Imoogi tests the girl in martial arts
and determines that she is worthy of the task. In the morning,
the Fa family wakes to see that Mulan has taken the horse and fled to
take her place in the army.
Mulan, with Pike and Imoogi,
travel to the Imperial Army camp. Pika attempts to teach Mulan
how to be like a man but Imoogi objects. The dragon tells her
that the way to convey strength is to summon the spirit of the sword
within her own heart.
The army Captain Cheng
attempts to ready his men for war. Momo, the Emperors
assistant is with Captain Cheng and believes the soldiers are of poor
quality. Captain Cheng says his problem is that there are not
enough men. Mulan introduces herself and shows him her superior
ability to use a sword. She tells him her secret is that she
trusts in her heart as well as her head. Captain Cheng is
impressed and asks her to fight by his side in the coming battle.
Becomes the Army! Defeats the Huns!
Legend of Mulan
Great opportunities for
students who study martial arts & acrobatics.
The Huns are headed by General
Lu Bu who believes that Captain Cheng has secret plans and sends one
of his men to discover them. Captain Cheng has sent Momo with
orders to the Emperor to send more troops. The Hun soldier Yu
Fie stops Momo on his journey, takes the orders and reports back to
General Lu Bu. With this information, the Huns now feel
confident that they will win the battle.
But the Huns had not expected
to encounter one such as Mulan (going by the boys name Me
Lang). Imoogi helps her and the audience conjure a chaos
inducing storm. Captain Cheng despairs and believes the storm
will destroy his battalions chances. Mulan reminds him to
use his heart. With Mulans encouragement he wins a sword
fight with General Lu Bu. Then, Mulan commands the army
(audience) to rise and raise their weapons to the Huns, forcing a
retreat. Mulan is hailed as a hero.
However, Captain Cheng has
been injured by General Lu Bus sword. As Mulan nurses him
to health, the Imperial soldiers tell her that she has been summoned
to the Emperor, who wishes to honor her bravery. Terrified that
this event will reveal her secret, Mulan runs away.
At the golden Imperial Palace
the Emperor asks to meet Me Lang but is told that the heroic soldier
will not appear. At last, Mulan does appear and finally reveals
to all that she is not a male soldier named Me Lang, but a woman
named Mulan. Momo insists she be punished, but the Emperor
prefers to honor her anyway. He offers her gifts and honors but
Mulan says she just wants to go home.
After the painfully long
absence, Mulan returns to her beloved Father and the rest of her
family. They are overjoyed to see her again. After
greeting her they ask who is the person standing beside her. It
turns out that Captain Cheng has followed Mulan from the Imperial
Palace to her valley home. He asks her father for permission to
marry her but Mulan says she has made up her mind. Though she
respects her fathers wishes this is her own decision. She
has decided to marry Captain Cheng.
The Ancestors welcome the
couple into the Fa home and into the family that they represent.
They speak of the Chinese belief in yin and yang, offering their
approval of the couple to be wed.
firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue."
-- Confucius, The Confucian Analects
Students Perform We
Are the Dream: the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
Community School, Ottawa
By Karen McGillivray, Learning
Junior students in grades 4, 5
and 6 at Riverview Alternative School performed Kathryn Shultz
Miller's play We Are
the Dream: The Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. as a
dramatic culminating activity to a term long unit on heroes in our
lives and as a special way of celebrating Black History Month.
special way of celebrating Black History Month."
Grades 4, 5 and 6 at Riverview
Alternative School performed We
Are the Dream
We Are the Dream is a
dramatization of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and the civil rights
struggle that took place during that period in history. The
play required the students to not only take on a role but to learn
words to a number of spiritual songs. Students reenacted
painful events in Martin's young life that helped him develop the
resolve to make a change in the world. They showed how Martin
and his wife Coretta returned to Alabama to lift their people up.
Particularly moving scenes involved students portraying the
courageous Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat and the Montgomery
bus boycott that followed as well as the Freedom March on Washington
when Martin gave his famous and powerful "I Have a Dream" speech.
The students enjoyed preparing props, rehearsing and performing for a
live audience. They learned a great deal from the experience
and are commended for doing a great job.
Comes Alive for School Students
the lessons of history into your heart
History is rich in drama and
intrigue perfect for childrens theatre scripts.
World famous playwrights, from Shakespeare to Arthur Miller, have
used the events of true stories as a basis for their most exciting plays.
ArtReachs plays AMELIA
EARHART, ANNIE OAKLEY
and LEWIS AND CLARK
are just a few examples of plays that bring history alive for young
audiences. Very popular, reaching thousands of school students
throughout the country, are the Cherokee plays YOUNG
CHEROKEE and TRAIL OF TEARS.
These plays bring to life the myths of the ancient tribe and tell
the tragic story of their removal from their native lands.
Carolina University Theatre in Education, Cullowhee, NC
ArtReach plays are well
researched, fast paced, with exciting audience participation.
Many of the plays come complete with Study Guides to give teachers
the resources for meaningful classroom activities that give a deeper
understanding of history.
Looking for a subject for your
next school tour? Turn the pages of time and discover a world
of thrilling drama!
Story of Sadako
Thousand Cranes is based on a true story!
Sadako Sasaki was a Japanese
girl living in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb was dropped on Japan
(August 6, 1945). In 1955, at age 11, Sadako was diagnosed with
leukemia, a type of cancer caused by the atomic bomb.
While in the hospital, Sadako
started to fold paper cranes. In Japan, there is a belief that if you
folded 1000 paper cranes, then your wish would come true. Sadako
spend 14 months in the hospital, folding paper cranes with whatever
paper she could get. Paper was scarce so she used the paper from
medicine bottles, candy wrappers, and left over gift wrap paper. Her
wish was that she would get well again, and to attain peace &
healing to the victims of the world.
Sadako died on October 25,
1955, she was 12 years old and had folded over 1300 paper cranes.
Sadakos friends and classmates raised money to build a memorial
in honor of Sadako and other atomic bomb victims. The Hiroshima Peace
Memorial was completed in 1958 and has a statue of Sadako holding a
golden crane. At the base is a plaque that says:
is our cry
is our prayer
in the world
Although Sadako died at a very
young age, her legacy continues. To this day, the paper crane is
probably the most recognized origami model. The paper crane is often
given as a wish for peace.
Sadako's brother (Masahiro
Sasaki), who is now over 70 years old, saved five of the original
paper cranes folded by his sister when she was in the hospital. He
hopes to donate the remaining 5 cranes to the the five continents of
1990: In Seattle, Washington,
USA, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Dr. Floyd Schmoe, built a life-size
statue of Sadako. The statue was unveiled on August 6, 1990, 45 years
after the bombing of Hiroshima. The statue is in the Seattle Peace
Park and often has paper cranes draped over it. [Photo from
wikipedia.com] Unfortunately, not everyone is at peace; the statue
was vandalized in 2003 and again in 2012. The statue has been repaired.
are Vital for Education
important -- not
Almost every day we hear it
from one of our teachers my school is cutting back on the
arts! Now its your job to tell the powers that be
why you absolutely must produce a school play this year!
Creative Thinking and Useful
Play! Kids learn how to use their own imaginations to confront
daily issues and learning experiences. Learning how to perform
a fictional character and how to convey ideas on stage light a
kids mind on fire. An exciting rehearsal will spark
inspired participation in class.
Teaches Kids to Work
Together! Kids learn to take time and show patience and
cooperation with their classmates and friends that may never happen
in a classroom sitting at their desks. Students read, move and
think together. Rehearsing a play invites everyone to put down
their phones and really listen to and enjoy interaction with others.
Builds Confidence! Real
confidence comes from real accomplishments. Nothing is better
for a childs self-esteem than applause. During rehearsal,
otherwise shy kids may trigger positive reactions from fellow
classmates. Laughing, clapping, participating together helps
kids find self-assurance and acceptance.
Improves Reading Skills!
Some kids are never going to sit down a read a novel. But they
will read a script because the script includes them! Maybe a
child is not clever and witty in real life, but for a moment he can
be those things in front of an audience. Suddenly they love
good writing and reading.
plays bring theatre into kids lives and improve their
ability to learn and enjoy life. This is not an option.
Its vitally important to every childs successful education.