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Jet Packs

I’m teaching an after school drama club at the Boys and Girls Club Center for the Arts. Elementary aged kids. They are crazy and hilarious. 

Two weeks ago a new kid, T, came into class. He had a mohawk and a little sass, and I was hesitant. We were getting ready for the end of the year performance, which was enough work, and I didn’t know how dealing with a mohawk would go. The Director asked me to let him in, if it wasn’t too much of a problem. He was a kid who came and went, and they wanted him to stick around for a while. I said yes.

The kids created a play and I scripted it for them. It is called SuperStar/SuperSpy. The Spies chase the Stars. They want a Jewel. In the end (SPOILER ALERT!) there are two Jewels, they each get one and then they all party. The kids always want to wear fancy costumes and have lots of props, but that isn’t really my thing. I like teaching them to use themselves and MAYBE what is around them to create. So when the spies wanted Jet Pack and Race Cars, I said we weren’t going to work on that in class, but they could make a jet pack at home out of soda bottles and wear that if they wanted to.

And T did. He came in today with two jet packs, one for his buddy M made from a box and streamers and one for himself made from 2 soda bottles (he drank all the soda himself, he told me proudly) and a whole roll of duct tape. They also brought a car that they made from a big box, colored construction paper, and more tape. 

This is why I LOVE teaching. I get so much inspiration from these kids. They have so many ideas and they need more people to tell them YES! GO! MAKE! They don’t need any fancy costumes or sets. They have everything they need. 

3 thoughts on “Jet Packs

  1. YES! YES! YES! I remember my first drama experience. It was a summer drama group started by two librarians, held at our local branch. Some of the kids quit after a week or two — it just wasn’t their thing, I guess. But I loved it. I loved coming up with ideas for the skits we did, I loved making all of our costumes and props, and I loved the librarians who willingly gave their time to make our little performance happen! (It was mostly led by Mr. Douglas, a big, funny, hairy guy with a great sense of humor who seemed to really love working with us).You’re helping to give these kids an unforgettable life experience. GO, VICKI!

  2. This took me back to elementary school, reminded me of 2nd Grade when Mr Fehr had us paint card board boxes red & blue and assemble any way we could which became something in pour imagination group town which we lead like a government of sorts. So Yeah you planted the seed to perhaps something these kids will never forget like I haven’t 34 years later.

  3. Vicki, so happy to find your blog! On your post: I think this is wonderful. I wish I would have had someone give me direction and show me they had faith in me during my junior high years. I went through a period where I was so lost. You have an opportunity to have such a powerful and positive impact on these kids. I’m glad you are taking advantage of it!

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