Sunday, February 19, 2012

A waspish sort of problem

This drama day was based on the wonderful book 'The Giant Jam Sandwich' by John Vernon Lord and Janet Burroway. They have kindly allowed permission to show the pictures, so that you can see how books can be used to inspire some drama in the classroom. The children were from year 2/1 classes in our school cluster, so new to the school and each other.

It all started with a bag, that had been found in the middle

of the road ...

We weren't sure what to do with it. Some thought we shouldn't open it in case it contained dangerous or private things, others thought we should open it to see if we could find out who it belonged to.

We needed a decision alley!

This helped us decide whether to open it or not, but before opening it we did some thought-tracking about how the person who lost the bag must be feeling.

Then finally we looked inside the bag ...

The bag had some curious items in it including: wasp spray, a fly swat, anthisan cream, a wasp leaflet, jam, flour, sugar, a rolling pin, an apron and a white jacket. There was no name unfortunately.

So we thought about what kind of person owned the bag, to see if that would help us find them.

There were some wonderful ideas!

Some thought it was two people. Lots thought it was a baker or a cook. Others thought the bag belonged to a beekeeper.

There was lots of reasoning and sharing ideas!

We then stepped back in time to the day before the bag was found. There was some interesting news!

Some of the villagers shared their thoughts too!

We imagined what it would be like to live in that village, through freeze framing, soundscapes and performance carousel. We agreed it wasn't nice to live there!

We decided that the bag must belong to the baker and that we should take it back to him. We thought about questions we would like to ask him. We had ideas about how he had lost the bag, but we wanted to find out for sure.

We asked lots of great questions and found out exactly how he had lost the bag and how the baker was feeling.

The baker told us that there was going to be a meeting for all the villagers, to try and find out how to get rid of the wasps. He said that all the villagers were welcome, so we became the villagers. We did a lot of different jobs and had a lot of different skills that we thought would help us get rid of the wasps.

Creating quick profiles of the villagers.

The meeting!

The mayor and the baker led the meeting. There were lots of villagers at the meeting including a footballer, a dog trainer, a pet shop owner and a racing driver. They all had fabulous ideas, like using smoke from the racing car to kill the wasps, but they weren't really sure what equipment was needed to do this. The baker was slightly worried because everybody wanted to use his jam! How would he make his prize-winning donuts? He would have to make jamless ones! The mayor suggested that they meet back later, when everyone had good ideas about what they needed to kill the wasps.

The villagers decided to design some wasp killing machinary. There were so
many ideas!

'We could use a giant donut and they will get stuck in the jam!'

'We could use a big bell jar with jam in that they can fly into and fly out of!'

Before we went back to the meeting, we tested out our machines

Then, when we returned to the meeting, we shared all our wonderful ideas - and the baker rewarded us with some of his fabulous baking!

We decided that the best way to get rid of the wasps was to work together with all our ideas. That would surely get rid of them!

Author note: This was a fabulous day that ended with thumbs up from all the children. They were buzzing when they left and I could hear some of them retelling their day to others. We had achieved so much, but unfortunately ran out of time for the last thing on the plan - to read them the story from start to end. This is something that will be left to their class teachers, so that all their classmates can hear it.

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