As area teachers, students, and families deal with school closures and a unique way of learning for many, the Renaissance Education Department presents the QuaRENtine Education Initiative which will offer a variety of educational activities designed with creativity in mind. The series, coordinated by Renaissance Resident Teaching Artist Dauphne Maloney, is designed to provide a wide range of engaging and fun theatre games, along with writing prompts and exercises, and other activities that foster collaboration, learning and creativity.
Beginning Wednesday, March 25th, 2020, the Renaissance will provide online materials which can be used by educators, as well as parents and students. Ms. Maloney suggests that the theatre games can also be fun for families looking to break up or enhance a day of traditional, core subject matter.
Intro for Writing Prompts:
Writing prompts help to provide a topic around which you can begin to write. They often move a writer past a writer’s “block’ by either allowing that person’s mind to wander over the subject—or to stick more strictly to the subject.
By giving the writer a “jumping off point,” prompts motivate many people to immediately start writing, instead of struggling with the thoughts of where to begin their writing. Prompts can also give the writer valuable practice (developing a writer’s “muscle memory”); and can allow the writer to see things from a different perspective, or point of view.
Each of the writing prompts provided feature a visual image from which to begin; followed by a brief amount of information; and, finally, some prompting questions. Feel free to use any or all, of the enclosed information to get your pen onto the paper (or your fingers onto the keyboard)!
Intro for Theatre Games:
Theatre games serve a variety of purposes. Often used in improv, also known as improvisation, each game has at least one purpose—and many times, more than one. There are theatre games used for concentration and focus; as physical warm-ups; for the purpose of getting to know other participants; and to encourage creative thinking. So, even though they’re called “games,” and they’re fun, there is a purpose served by each game.
The games provided here are pretty traditional, have been around for awhile, and come from a variety of sources. Some of them have been adapted over the years, to the extent that many of them can’t be traced to their original source. They’re great when used for their specific focus, or desired outcome; but they’re also just plain fun—and a great way to break up a day.
Have fun, and share these with your family—especially since they’re often your learning partners!
BONUS: For Daily Practice!!!
Tongue Twister/Hand Washing Warm-Up
In theatre and improv, we often use tongue twisters as a “warm-up” style activity. They allow us to become more focused and relaxed; and assist with enunciation and warming up the voice. When done in a group, they also allow us to work as a team while having a lot of fun.
Because we won’t be performing a lot of our usual activities without practicing good physical/social distancing, and hand washing, we’re using our tongue twister warm-up as a hand-washing warm-up exercise!
Below is a list of tongue twisters which, when recited for the appropriate number of repetitions, will allow for 20 seconds or more of hand-washing. Before you know it, you’ll be a master at these…AND have cleaner, safer hands!
Good luck! (Oh, and this may work best if you have a partner, standing 6 feet away—of course, helping you count how many times you say the tongue twister. I mean, you can’t exactly count on your fingers as you’re washing them…or CAN you???)
- A big black bear ate a big black bug. (repeat 8-10 times)
- A fat-free fruit float. (repeat 10-12 times)
- Ape Cakes, Grape Cakes. (repeat 8-10 times)
- Caution: Wide Right Turns (repeat 10-12 times)
- Fat frogs flying past fast. (repeat 8-10 times)
Tongue Twister/Hand Washing Warm-Up…
As we noted previously, we often use tongue twisters as a “warm-up” style activity when we prepare for a theatre class, rehearsal, or a performance. This type of warm-up gives us the opportunity to set our minds more fully on the task ahead of us—whatever that task may be. Right now, a lot of the things we’re doing are activities in which we usually participate: the activities just happen to be in our homes. One of the activities we’ve always done is hand washing...and now, we focus on that activity even more (and probably, for even longer).
We’re still using tongue twisters to remind us that we should be washing our hands for at least those twenty seconds we’ve been told about. We’d like to add one suggestion, if you’re having trouble remembering exactly how MANY times you’ve repeated the tongue twister. After each repeated tongue twister, say the number for that repeat. (For example: ‘A big black bear ate a big black bug-ONE. A big black bear ate a big black bug-TWO.” And so on, until you’re done!)
Below is a NEW list of tongue twisters which, when recited for the appropriate number of repetitions, will STILL allow for 20 seconds or more of hand-washing. (We’re assuming that you’ve mastered the first five and need these new additions to add to your list. Speaking of lists, it’s helped some people to print these out and put them close to the sink.)
Best of luck with this new challenge! Let us know how it goes!
Tongue Twisters – Set #2:
- Silly sheep weep and sleep. (repeat 10-12 times)
- Three short sword sheaths. (repeat 10-12 times)
- He threw three balls. (repeat 8-10 times)
- I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! (repeat 8-10 times)
- Pirates Private Property. (repeat 10-12 times)
For Information on 2019-20 MindSprouts, click here.
Creative Writing Prompts - Spring 2020
Who doesn’t love a great, adventurous fairy tale? Fairy tales are a big part of our lives as we grow up, and move through life. Virtually every culture in the world has their own collection of well-loved fairy tales (and folk tales). Even as we listen to another culture’s story of a child who wants to be royalty, or another who wants to travel an adventurous path toward their destiny, we recognize common elements found in most fairy or folk tales: that desire for a life that’s different than their own…an adventure to distract them from their day-to-day routine…the drive to serve others as only they can. And, we LOVE using our imaginations to traveling make that journey with them.
During the last few years, the Disney organization has produced their own re-imaginings of fairy tales. While some may be more familiar to us than others, they capture our hearts as the story unfolds. And, for that time we’re listening to the words of the characters as they speak, and watching them as they overcome obstacles and joys along their way, we are transported to another place and time.
Like other artists, theatre artists strive to tell a story in the best, most creative way possible. Many of our area theatre groups have produced live, on stage versions of fairy tales as created by Disney. Among those stories the MY (Mansfield Youth) Theatre has performed are titles like: Frozen, Jr., The Little Mermaid, Jr., Beauty and the Beast, Jr., The Lion King, Jr., and Aladdin, Jr.—to name a few. All of these shows have been great fun for our family audiences, as well as the young people who perform them. And, they’re all based on stories told by generation after generation of people, in their own way, across the globe! Now it’s your turn…your chance to learn a little more about some familiar fairy tales; to create and write a little; AND we’ve even included some links to a few Disney resources. Have fun!
(NOTE to PARENTS: Along with these prompts, we’ve included some links to additional resources developed by the Disney organization. Please feel free to check out the links before allowing your child to access them, in case you’d prefer to follow the links with them—and maybe sing along with them, too!)
As always, have fun! Imagine! Make an old story new again! But, first and foremost, make it YOUR OWN! There should be limits to what you can imagine!