We started by making shadow puppets (the week's poem was also about the shadow theme). I bought the Moulin Roty Fabric Shadow Theater Set so we had an example to study:
We then made our own characters and props. We traced the outlines of interesting images from books, transferred the outlines to crafting paper, cut the shapes out, and taped chopsticks and straws on the back.
We then wrote our first simple script together as a group (the children came up with the story and I wrote it down):
Then we performed it! Each child also performed an improvised robber story using the Moulin Roty characters (I let them choose if they wanted to perform solo or in pairs):
The following week we learned about making storyboards. We looked at some examples (including this Alice in Wonderland sneaker commercial storyboard I found on DeviantArt), then made our own ones. The template used here is the 3x4 aspect ratio template 01, available for free download from Flying Animator:
We're now ready to create our first play! Hopefully under the direction of a friend who is an award-winning playwright and actor. Stay tuned...