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Teaching With Muppets

Discussion in 'Family Worlds' started by StreetScenes, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. StreetScenes

    StreetScenes Member

    This is a thread to discuss ideas for and experiences of teaching with muppets. Has anybody used Sesame Street or Muppet video in the classroom? Have anyone's kids learned something cool from watching muppets? Does anyone have ideas about how the art, music, or scripts could be used for classroom or summer camp activities? Has anyone thought about using the "methods" of muppets to inspire kids' creative projects? Is there a particular segment that illustrates sage advice about life better than you could ever hope to convey yourself?
  2. pressedsilk

    pressedsilk New Member

    Muppets in the Class Room

    :)Jim Henson's dreams live on in through education in the my 2008/09 art classroom and at the 2008 Wisconsin State 4-H Arts Camp held in WI. Dells.

    Jim and Muppets were great mentors to both the 4-H youth and my art students.

    Since Kermit was created from recycled materials (Jim's Henson's mothers coat). I incorperated recycling as part of my lesson plans.

    Jim created the first Kermit when he was in 8th grade. So this fact inspired my students that what they can create at an early age.

    So many aspects of Jim Henson's life, can inspire youth.

    He inspired my students and campers to follow their dreams and to think out side of the box.

    My two Kermit puppets would hang in the classroom everyday. I posted information about Jim Henson , the Muppets on my walls. I'd post Henson and Kermit quotes.
    I'd play Muppet music while we created artwork.
  3. StreetScenes

    StreetScenes Member

    ooh, nifty--behind the scenes muppeteer as creative role model is an interesting angle. did you show video clips, & if so which ones, and how did you talk about them & the relationship btw creator and artistic creation? what age group are the kids? were there certain characters they particularly liked? what did the parents think about the muppet-themed approach?

    what kinds of projects did they do? anything performative? if they did visual stuff, what did you show them for visual inspiration? (it seems that most of the muppet appreciation here is devoted to script writing, puppet manipulation, and character development, while the visuals tend to get ignored...but we could definitely have long conversations about the puppets, sets, and staging as visual art!

    ...sorry for all the questions...i've been wishing to talk about teaching with muppets for a while now... :wisdom::D
  4. pressedsilk

    pressedsilk New Member

    Muppets in the classroom

    My class time is very short and I only teach art twice a week, so i didn't get that indepth with my students.

    But your questions will help guide me in the future with development of new lesson plans.

    Some of my students had forgotten existance of the Muppets and they didn't know that Jim Henson was the creator.

    So my goal was to teach them about Jim Henson's life. When he started creating puppets, his drawings, his life story.

    I brought two Kermit puppets that I own and the kids would draw Kermit,as part of a drwing course that I offered.

    I didn't have a chance to touch upon staging, character development and so forth. but these are great ideas!

    Do you know many preschool children do not know who Kermit the Frog is? Why is that? I think it's very sad!:)
  5. pressedsilk

    pressedsilk New Member

    Muppet Documentory?

    :) Do you know if there is a documentary on Jim Henson and the Muppets? I'd love to find a documentary and show it to my art students.
    I'm hoping to offer a puppet session at this year 4-H Arts Camp.
  6. StreetScenes

    StreetScenes Member

    that is sad.

    that is even sadder.

    sorry, :o i overanalyze this stuff WAY too much, i know. (i'm a graduate student...) take my posts on the reader/performer/imagination relationships in the sesame street magic apple skit...absolute conversation killers. but once i started looking at that bit, i realized how brilliant it was & how much potential there is to run with the concepts in it.

    i haven't yet had the opportunity to use muppets in the classroom (doesn't help that i'm training to teach 15th-19th century history at the college level...), but i can't turn my teaching brain off when i watch muppets, so i end up with little disorganized observations about what the sketch is doing and what i could do either using the actual video, or modeling their methods, to teach different kinds of things to different kinds of people. i'm just hoping to have a conversation with some people on the forum, particularly people with varied kinds of teaching experience, to think about possibilities and observations as we watch muppets :)
  7. StreetScenes

    StreetScenes Member

    hmmm...the muppets' tribute to jim henson might be the best, because it talks about jim's life and introduces the muppet characters as well. here's the link to part 1 of 5, they're all on youtube. the of muppets and men documentary is on youtube in 6 parts. and i'm sure you could get a higher quality copy of those & anything else from the tape trading threads...some people here have crazy collections and most are willing to share :)
  8. pressedsilk

    pressedsilk New Member

    Teaching with the Muppets

    Thanks so much for the You Tube connection. This will be great to share with my art students.

    In the past 9 months I've introduced Jim Henson and the Muppets to over 200 youth at 4-H Arts Camp in Wis. Dells and at Immanuel Lutheran School in Marshfield WI.

    161 youth and adults ran around camp last October humming the Muppet theme song. My art students and the campers enjoyed listening to the 25th anniversary CD.

    I've been thrilled to be able to reacquaint so many people with Jim Henson and the Muppets.
    Thanks again for sharing this information with me.:)
  9. pressedsilk

    pressedsilk New Member

    It's a small world after all!

    I did get the information to Jane and Heather Henson.
    Someone in the community had read about my art lessons and his daughter is a friend with Jim Henson's wife and daughter.
    The man gave me his daughters email address and I sent her all the news articles and the TV news coverage.
    I'm happy to pass this on to the family members. But who would of thought that someone in Marshfield WI. would have connections with Jim Henson? :) It's a small world after all!
  10. pressedsilk

    pressedsilk New Member

    Your questions are very thought provoking! Great questions help me think on a higher level. So keep asking those in depth questions that make people open to ideas they might of never thought to pursue.
  11. rtgentry

    rtgentry Member

    There is a documentary called The world of Jim Henson. Its a vhs on ebay most of the time.
  12. pressedsilk

    pressedsilk New Member

    Thanks

    Thanks for the information about Jim Henson. I'll have to check that out!
    Thanks again!:)
  13. CoOKiE

    CoOKiE Member

    Interesting fact that most of you may not be aware of. Sesame Street, though used to help teach children, have MANY learning products for children to play with. However, are only used for children in their own home.

    I worked at a children's shelter for years, and i worked along side a head start teacher. one of the VERY interesting things she told me was, Sesame Street is not along in the classroom.

    WHAT?

    Apparently a lot of schools do not allow for any famous characters from television to appear in class rooms in any form... well other then clothing and back backs i guess.

    For instance. I'm sure Sesame Street has made cards with numbers and colors. I know i had a matching game. Though these are used to help teach children, they're considered a distraction. The child's eye becomes attracted to the character, and not the number/letter and therefore are not focused on learning.

    Maybe this should appear as a topic, but because this has to due with learning in the classroom, i thought you'd all like to know about this.


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