Louisiana Story Fest Residency Day 3

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LA Story Fest Residency - Bayou Backdrop 2-13-08


It was another fabulous day at the school where I am doing a Louisiana Story Fest Residency. The picture above is a backdrop of a bayou on the school cafeteria stage. Just beautiful.

I am just in love with the teachers, staff and students at this school. We are having a fabulous time sharing Louisiana folktales, performing story theater, and exploring Louisiana music. The picture below is of kindergarteners working with scarves. This time, we explored Dixieland Jazz music (Johnette Downing & Jimmy LaRocca’s new CD, Dixieland Jazz for Children). With our scarves, we played all the instruments in a jazz band – the drums, the bass, the trumpet, the trombone, the piano and the clarinet. We also waved like the Mississippi river and created a collage of scarves as colorful as New Orleans. Take a look…

LA Story Fest Residency - Kindergarten 2-13-08

The picture you see below is of two third grader students. During this role playing activity, I require that the students pair together in boy-girl partnerships. The students below objected so strongly to working together. In the end, they made the best partners and exhibited the most cooperation amongst their fellow classmates. They worked as a unified team and had fun together. They are portraying a bride who has been left at the alter and the mother comforting the bride. The boy even had the courage to take on the role of the bride. This was a perfect example of story theater in action!

LA Story Fest Residency - 3rd Grade Mother & Bride 2-13-08

A fifth grader gave me this beautiful flower made of out paper. He agreed to teach me how to make one. I can’t wait to use it in a story. Children are so creative and inspiring!

LA Story Fest Residency - Paper Flower 2-13-08

My day ended with second graders who were an absolute delight. It was magic in the classroom. When I told stories, they listened so intently; it was like we were engulfed in a magic story bubble. I love those enchanted moments! Plus, they have a dream teacher — so patient and warm. I wish she was my teacher!

Before I left the school, I visited the librarian. She brings books to life through creative drama. I love that. This week, the students are working on The Hat by Jan Brett. The librarian printed out the masks from Jan Brett’s website. The kids use them as they act out the story.

LA Story Fest Residency - Library - The Hat 2-13-08

She took the story even further and re-created the clothes line featured in the tale. Ingenious.The librarian and I agreed that THIS is the way that children should be taught. They are too overwhelmed with standardized testing. It takes all the fun out of learning. And learning should be fun!

LA Story Fest Residency - Library - The Hat Clothesline 2-13-08

I am blessed to be able to do what I do. My work allows me to teach, enrich, and inspire children. But more than that, the children teach, enrich, and inspire me!! Tomorrow is going to be another great day -PLUS it’s Valentine’s Day! I love Valentine’s Day! Happy Hearts Day to You!

Warmly, Dianne