Saturday, April 17, 2010

Old Rooster and Little Rooster

PHOTO: “Cock-a-doodle DOO!” That was the big problem in our first school play at Matamaka GPS, when Little Rooster forgot how to crow the proper way.

It has been such a joy working with the children on our school play called “Old Rooster and Little Rooster.” The play came from one of the School Journal books donated from New Zealand. We have been practicing and practicing for over five weeks before the big performance in front of the entire school and PTA members at the end of Term 1. To my surprise, the students memorized their lines very quickly and really got into the play. It was the perfect play, because there were exactly ten characters including the narrator. Remember, there are only ten students in my Class 4-6.

I was going to have auditions for the play, but it turned out unnecessary. I had the students read out the play first together and their characters just fit in with each of their personality. We did not have costumes for the play, but I prepared a picture of each animal character for students to put around their neck. The various animals included: old rooster, little rooster, dog, owl, pigeon 1 and 2, cow 1 and 2, mouse, and narrator. In addition, I taught them the song “You are my sunshine” for our second act of the performance. I tried to choreograph with simple steps and the students really got into it. It reminded me of the good old days when I was in elementary school.

PHOTO: The students singing “You are my sunshine.”

With the Class 1-3 students, it was a bit more challenging to do a play in English. Technically, the English language is not introduced until Class 3 here in Tonga. As a result, we did a medley of five songs with a short dance routine. Our song list included “Row row row your boat,” “The Hokey Pokey,” “Head shoulders knees in toes—in Tongan and English,” “Pepe,” and a traditional Tongan children’s hymn. We rehearsed so many times, but some of the students still did not know where their “head shoulders knees or toes” were. It was priceless.

In the end, I was impressed with the number of parents and family members who showed up for the event. Our library was jammed pack with people excited to see the children perform. Most of the children received beautiful flower necklaces and candy for the event (as did I). Now I have to start brain storming ideas for Term 2. Any ideas?

PHOTO: Some of the students and parents after the performances. Most of the people had left already…faka ‘ofa.

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