Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Qallupilluit (and messy fun)

The Qallupilluit are mythical creatures that live under the sea ice and gobble up children who go fishing alone. This myth was probably invented by parents to keep children away from the ice flows where dangerous creatures like polar bears and walruses might get them, or where they might fall through the cracks and into the ocean.

Robert Munsch was inspired by stories he heard from Michael Kusugak, an Inuit writer to write a children's book about the Qallupilluit called A Promise is a Promise.

Emma and I had already decided that we would like to focus on this theme using Robert Munsch's book and help the children interpret it with some kind of presentation or "ExtravaGAHnza" as Emma puts it.

Emma created a wonderful reader's theatre style script out of the book, which we read together and we started talking about the Qallupilluit and imagining what they might be like. I had the children draw some pictures to start with and they had great imaginations!

All the children knew about the Qallupilluit as well as you or I might know about the tooth fairy. These creatures are definitely a part of their everyday lives.

We talked about how we might illustrate the story with a play and about how we could make something to represent the Qallupilluit. We decided that we would create three huge masks and that's where the "messy fun" began...

Anyone who knows me knows I love paper maché... so I suggested huge paper maché masks, and we were off to the races.

Paper maché is always a hit with kids, but these guys were awesome at it. It was incredible to see the team work and cooperation. They sit at three tables, so each table was responsible for designing and creating a mask. They used newspaper and masking tape to give their masks some three-dimensional features, then the goopy, messy fun began!

I hope that we'll have enough time to work on all the little projects I have in mind for this... we need some scenery, and some props, and of course, we'll have to act it out. I am hoping to make some rainsticks with them so that we can use them for sound effects and instruments during the play- but the time is just flying by... I can hardly believe that my second week is almost over. 
If today is any indication, though, we are going to be able to get a LOT done in a very little time. These guys worked really hard and really well, and best of all, when it came time to clean up, they had that class looking better than it did when we started. WAY TO GO, 4A!

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