Mime time for kids in Winooski - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Mime time for kids in Winooski

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WINOOSKI, Vt. -

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 people."

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 the gym.

"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 rule applied.

"You can't 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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