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Lucas crowing about his creation!
First day back after the holidays and I was wondering whether much of the familiarising of characters and concepts we'd been doing with the kids last term would have faded away... Turns out that they were rip roaring and ready to go as soon as we arrived with Rooster in tow, lighting up as soon as the CD of his theme song was playing and then happily getting into today's "make and do" activity to create a "marotte" (wooden spoon-based hand puppet) mini rooster of their own, which we got to manipulate a little at the end of the sessions. Very heartening - and again underlining the intrinsic value of the whole "embedding" process we've been exploring in this residency. The gradual build up and re-enforcement of characters, concepts and sensations over time seems integral to providing  just enough "safety" for these kids to more readily engage with what they encounter in the story. I'm realising it's not about entirely removing any new experiences and sensations for them (because surely that's a key part of what visiting artists and a show should be providing for them) it's just about lessening the more frightening or confusing elements of what they're being presented with - kind of like the subtle difference between giving them "the shock of the new" and the more enjoyable "surprise of the new". Rooster is a good example of this -with his bulging eyes, pointy beak and proffusion of tickly feathers and the way he bounces around, Rooster is potentially the most confronting of the puppets for a lot of the kids. But today, after singing his song together many times, making rooster noises together, helping us use his  tail feathers to tickle their teachers etc, he clearly became far less threatening. Going on to make mini-roosters of their own (handling feathers of their own choosing etc) and making their mini roosters interact with the big Rooster puppet cemented this.
Again, we were happy with the way we'd prepared the craft activity - hitting the right balance between readily acheivable steps (such as pre-placed double-sided sticky tape to squash materials onto the base) and plenty of choices of colours for feathers and beaks etc - providing them with plenty of ownership and variable degrees of independence or hand-over-hand assistance as needed.
Highlights today included: All four boys in Bluegum class being sooooo present and engaged and obviously PROUD of their puppet-making - Travis an exremely accomplished Cockadoodle-doer and Robbie a fine peck-peck-er!
Harry in Room 2 using the Aided Language Display about Rooster to tell his classmate Katie she is also "bossy"! Abbey trying very hard to indepently lift her hand to her head to make the rooster's comb action - which requires a big effort on her part and delighted her teacher, Sarah.
Normally "tactile defensive" Aidan from Room 5 happily surrounded by a "flock" of tickling roosters during the singing at the end of the session! Watching Jayden from the same class reach straight for the 2D book of the Jub Jub Tree and turn to the Rooster pages immediately after the session!!

    
 


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