“Children build their imaginations by experiencing imagination….From these imaginings, creativity is born.” Tao of Montessori
Sparking the children’s imagination is done on a daily basis in the classroom. Each classroom provides the children with works that they can imagine, therefore, help build their creativity. The arts play an integral part in that creativity.
On Friday, the school sponsored a performance by the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. The primary I classroom was transformed into the backdrop for The Lion and the Little Red Bird. Three talented actors from the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte created a set in our classroom and presented the show with a mixture of puppets, costumes, multiple backdrops, music and dialogue.
“In this delightful tale of an inquisitive bird and a good-hearted lion, a friendship unfolds as the Little Red Bird sets out to discover why Lion’s tail keeps changing colors. Based on the book by Elisa Kleven” (From the Teacher’s resource guide)
All classes join together in the Primary classroom for the show. (The younger children that were overwhelmed were comforted by their teachers, but the few that still did not feel comfortable, were taken to the playground. While we want to encourage live arts, it is completely age appropriate for toddlers to be fearful of new situations and large costumes.)
The three actors represented characters of Little Red Bird, Lion, and various animals including a frog, a caterpillar, butterflies, and fish. The Little Red Bird was the only character that used words to express her ideas, while Lion used body gestures to communicate. In addition to several different backdrops, many other props were used to set the scene for the children…flowers, green artificial grass, blue fabric to represent water, a black curtain that doubled as Lion’s cave and a representation of night time. All of these elements obviously encouraged the children to use their imagination to understand the story.
In addition to using their imagination, the children also problem solved with Little Red Bird, learned about compassion by the Lion’s acts of kindness, predicted what may happen next, understood what it means to be a part of an audience and most importantly enjoyed an entertaining show. Charlotte Montessori is appreciative to Children’s Theatre of Charlotte for bringing live theatre to our school and providing an enriching experience to our children.