It's the story of the
famous mime, Marcel Marceau.
"He wanted to bring
peace," Caleb Kruger said.
And second-graders at the
St. Xavier School in Winooski know it well.
"It is basically
about him as a little boy," Ava Cifrian said. "He tried to help
But this lesson in
literature does not end in the reading corner of their classroom.
"We painted our face
and it was fun because we got to act like a mime and see what it feels
like," Ava said.
Transforming these 19
youngsters into budding mimes was a real team effort that took center stage in
"We talked about what
miming is, how we go about portraying what you are trying to get across without
using your words, which is sometimes difficult," said Brian McClintock, a
physical education teacher.
With the help of
McClintock, each of the performers put on a show.
"I tried to imitate a
ballerina," Ava said.
Caleb Kruger took his turn
on a tight rope.
"I got to pretend to
fall in water," Caleb said.
And Isabelle Schafer's
imagination meant she spent the afternoon as a lion tamer.
"I knew it would be
hard to guess and it would be hard to practice," Isabelle said. "I
like to give myself a challenge; that's why I did it."
And for this show just one
talk," Caleb explained.
It came as a challenge for
this typically chatty bunch.
"If you made a
mistake, you can't say, 'Oops, I made a mistake, let's do it again.' You had
to, if you made a mistake get up and try it again," Ava said.
All the fun capped off two
weeks of work that incorporated the literature across the curriculum. The
performances were matched with work in the library, as well as creative writing
and art projects.
"I can introduce
books to kids in the library, but I only see them once a week. And so it
is wonderful to extend it into the classroom and into the classroom teacher's
curriculum," said Kathleen Finn, a library media specialist.
If you're wondering if any
of these kids are eyeing a future with painted white faces and bright
red lips where talking is off limits-- I wouldn't count on it!
"I usually talk a lot
and it is really hard for me to not talk," Isabelle said.
But for just a day these kids seemed perfectly content keeping quiet.
The picture book on Marcel
Marceau is one of 10 the kids are reading as part of a statewide initiative to expose
students to quality literature. The next title they'll tackle is the
"World's Greatest Lion." No word yet on how they plan to bring that
one to life!
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