Target 1 – Student Centered Learning: FWSU students will engage in personalize learning involving collaborative inquiry, problem solving and creative learning opportunities.
Action Step: Students will engage in personalized learning involving collaborative inquiry, problem solving, and creative learning opportunities.
GEMS was privileged to have Professional Puppeteer Sarah Frechette conduct an Arts Mini-Residency with second graders during the final week of January. Sarah is a GEMS alumnist who has regularly returned to the school to inspire students with her puppets!
Sarah’s residency at GEMS focused on developing original puppet shows with the second grade classrooms. In preparation for the show, Ms. Frechette guided students in writing their own songs and dialogue as a collaborative group. Individual students then created their own puppets with Sarah’s support. These second graders did an amazing amount of work!
In preparation for the puppet shows, students researched different helpers within the Georgia community. They learned what tools the helpers use, where they work, and why are they important.
The first day of Sarah Frechette’s residency showed students how to create Rod Puppets. Using a mixture of recycled and specially-selected art materials, the second graders designed their own unique Community Helper!
The second day was spent developing monologues and scenes for the show. The students wrote dialogue using the special voice of their puppet character. Then, with the scenes written, it was then time to rehearse! The students ran through their scenes in the classroom as well as doing a rehearsal with microphones on the small gym stage.
The program culminated with a brilliant final performance. The second grade students invited their grade parents and family to this special production. The students not only presented their puppet scenes with wonderful spirit and delight but they sang original songs! Mrs. Jessica Sweeney had worked with the second graders throughout the prior two weeks to create whimsical songs about their Community Helpers.
The Community Helper Extravaganza was a great blend of entertainment and educational content. This Puppetry Program was a great example of what makes the students of Georgia and the Helpers in our Community so unique.
One student said, “This is the most ‘awesomest’ thing we have ever done! Parents shared that their children were so excited that they came home and talked about their puppets all night long!