We here at CARE Actor believe in kindness towards the Earth. After all, it's our one precious home. Today we'd like to share some ideas of how you can celebrate EARTH DAY with your child no matter the age!
FEATURED BOOK: THE GREAT KAPOK TREE
This lively book by Lynne Cherry is one of our favorites! Take your child into the wonderful world of the Amazon rainforest where sloths and snakes alike whisper into the ear of man with the ax to save the Great Kapok Tree. "Senhor," they cry "if you cut down the forests you will destroy that which gives us all life."
After reading the book here are a few questions to ask and activities you can do:
Want to add this book to your library? We put together an EARTH DAY book list that has the GREAT KAPOK tree along with several other amazing picture books and resources for your kiddo to check out!
ART ACTIVITY: FLOWER-FUL NATURE PRINTS
EARTH DAY BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE THREE RRR'S
Today I want to share a fond memory from the first year of CARE Actor. In Fall 2009, I had the privilege of working with a group of 1st & 2nd graders at Timber Lane Elementary School in Falls Church, VA during their two week intersessions--a program where students took a break from regular school studies to participate in enrichment programs. The class was called ARTISTRY IN MOTION. The idea was similar to what we now call DRAMATIC KIDS! where we take a positive value & topic and turn it into an entertaining, yet informative play. I was still getting familiar with the process of working with a group of students to put together a play. And I remember one of the exciting, but scary parts of starting over with a new group of students was not knowing if they were going to enjoy the process or resist it. But this group of eager, bright eyed students loved it!
That week, I wanted to explore the concept of kindess towards the environment. Specifically, RECYCLING, REUSING, and REDUCING. Again, I would worry they would lose their attention and get bored because sitting in a circle going over a packet of information would feel like school, but to my surprise they were into it. And their concern for the planet was touching! And not only that, they brought up extremely good ideas on how to be more kind to the Earth. Wish it could be so easy with adults! Just saying...but I digress...
After that my job was super easy! From brainstorming to storyboarding, to improvising scenes, we created one of the funniest stories I've ever written with kids about a group of pirates spreading the word about the Three R'S or ARRRGH's as the pirates would say! It was simply genius! On the day of the performance the children were so excited to present their story to the entire school! Their enthusiasm filled me up. I will never forget the moment of pride I felt for them. I hope they don't either. And to this day it's one of my favorite experiences working with CARE Actor. To me, theater is such a powerful tool to inspire creativity and educate each other. Thanks for reading!
We welcome you to celebrate Spring with us as we usher in a new season of classes with our CARE Actor Kids!
We hope you find some inspiration in our first blog post as we awaken our creativity together!
Adding some "Oomph" to Your Favorite Stories
Looking for your favorite Little Stars! or Act it Out! stories ? Follow the links to our book titles (above) and consider exploring what may have happened before and after the story. Here are a few examples:
Please note: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
We're Going on an Adventure!
Inspired by We're Going on a Bear Hunt? If you're looking for some special gear to take with you on your adventure, check out the binoculars we made from some recycled households items in our own arts & crafts supplies.
1. Start by adding strips of decorative washi/masking tape* to 2 paper rolls (adding a little butter or oil to adult scissors makes it easier to cut through the masking tape).
2. Add 2 rubber bands to hold the rolls together.
3. Use a hole-puncher to add a hole to side of each roll and tie on some string.
4. Add a little glitter glue to the rubber bands for a little extra sparkle!
Now we're ready for our next adventure!
*Note: Washi masking tape can be found in the craft section at Walmart or Target or in specialty stores like Michaels or Jo-Ann Fabric.
STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: The Language of Theater Arts
Coming to a theater class when English is your second language is not easy! Our Teaching Artists continue to marvel at the bravery and ingenuity of David, a joyful 5 year-old CARE Actor Kid. David doesn't speak English fluently. Yet, his Mom didn't let any language barriers discourage him from being a part of our Act it Out! class. It is amazing how much can be communicated through body language, silly noises and smiles!
Thankfully, the theater arts capitalizes on the many languages of children to help communicate ideas. We also partnered closely with David's Mom to make sure David was engaged in the class. David's Mom previewed our stories with David before class and we incorporated David's likes and dislikes into our class sessions.
It was amazing to witness David as he dove right into characters on stage. He would often tug at his Teacher's sleeve during improv games to share his bright smile of approval too.
It was wonderful to partner with David's family and help support him in our classroom. That partnership helped us reach our goal of creating a sense of belonging and community in our classes.
Even though we may not share common words, it is wonderful to make connections through facial expressions, movement, music and play. We encourage you to try this at home with your kids and discover the ways you too can share ideas.