Fifth Graders Transform Tales into "Shows"
Teacher's comment: After looking at original Haitian
metal cutout sculptures and reading Haitian folktalesnoting
recurring character-types and themesfifth graders made shadow
puppets and wrote scripts for shows. The girls had previously done
the scripts for Aesop's Fables, which were simpler and therefore a
good opportunity to focus on format. For the more involved Haitian
tales, students could stay close to the original storyline, or they
could be inventive. Since most of the tales had no (or minimum) dialogue,
students had to create their own. The following fifth-grader's script
(shown exactly as she created and formatted it) demonstrates the challenge
of turning third-person narrative into first-person dialogue-and how
well she succeeded!
A Haitian Folk Tale
Cast of characters
MAN (enters) Oh money, the love of my life. My animals,
what should I do with them? Wait. . . wait. . . I have an idea! I
shall throw a big party, a bash! And I'll invite all my friends. And
I can't forget my animals, they must come: the Chicken, my Duck, the
Penguin, and the big fat Turkey! I shall ask them to put on a show
for my friends, and will name the best one of them Chief of all Birds.
DUCK (enters with Birds) I don't think this
is such a good idea!
CHICKEN I can't leave my 10 children in the house all alone.
DUCK And I can't leave the yard unattended.
TURKEY I don't care, I'm going. (Birds exit)
MAN (enters with Turkey) I'm so glad you could
make it. Come and sit down before the big show.
TURKEY Thank you for inviting me.
MAN You look so beautiful today Turkey. Come and take a tour
of my luxurious house. We'll start with the kitchen.
TURKEY I'd be glad to. (Man and Turkey exit on one side
and enter on the other)
MAN And this is the kitchen. (Two men walk in and snatch
away Turkey and exit) What a lovely dinner I shall have tomorrow.
DUCKLING (enters with Duck) Mommy, what happened
DUCK Let's just say, you should listen to the advice of others
and never show off that you know too much.