Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Mummers!

The Rookie Rhetoricians of the Year (students from the Lost Tools of Writing class) gave an amazing performance last Sunday night at the annual WISH Christmas Party to an audience of over 70 children and adults.

Last Fall, while perusing my materials for a possible Michaelmas Day script, I happened upon a book that I must have picked up at a yard sale or thrift store for about 10 cents. It's a children's book written in script form, but with enough prose in between that you could read it like a story book. You can find the book by Katherine Miller, here.

As a humorous play, it would not be appropriate for Michaelmas. However, I saw this as a great opportunity for our older WISH students to gift the younger ones at our annual Christmas Party. So I told them they had to "keep mum" about it in order for it to be a surprise at the party. Of course, they immediately took to the idea of keeping a special surprise secret from all of the other children and even their parents (well, sort of . . . I had to let them know a bit of what we were up to!).

And what a hit it was! The children were delighted! They laughed and laughed. And the spontaneous applause at particular key points was a pleasant surprise.

The class, which I used to refer to as "the writing class" and on this blog "The Lost Tools of Writing" (after the curriculum we are using) has chosen a new name: Rookie Rhetoricians of the Year. I asked them to come up with a name that included the word Rhetoric (now that they know the five canons of Rhetoric!) because I intend to continue practicing all five with them rather than just the three that apply to writing.

Engaging in the Mummers' Play seemed a fun way for them to practice the two canons of Rhetoric which apply to speaking: Memory and Delivery. They learned a lot, had a great time, and became more bonded as a class.

I am looking forward to 2011 with my RRYTers. We are all learning so much and having a great time.


Lisa said...

I so enjoy your blog Sandi, you explore so many good questions...I am passing on The Stylish Blogger Award to you. It is here:


Sandi said...

Lisa! Thank you for this. Not exactly sure how to follow the directions? Can you send me an e-mail? ( Thanks!