Duffy Theatre 2015 – Teachers’ Notes
Duffy and the Library Adventure
Introduction to Teachers’ Notes
Kia ora koutou nga kaiako,
The Duffy Theatre show for 2015 is Duffy and the Library Adventure and we're bringing it to your school to promote the Duffy Books in Homes message: “It’s Cool to Read and it’s Cool to Achieve”.
Last year we spent a fun day in one of our Duffy schools running a workshop with the kids to learn about their reading challenges, what inspires them and what they'd love to see on stage. What stood out was their wonderful connection to their local children's librarian, their interest in the natural world and their love of zombies!This got us thinking about books as doorways to new worlds where the children are in charge and on a path to self-discovery.
This year Duffy meets Sienna, a ten year old girl who doesn't like to read. Duffy makes it his mission (with the help of the audience) to introduce Sienna to the wonders of the local library where your library card is your passport to the universe! Together they leap in and out of books, exploring the worlds of Ancient Egypt, Harry Potter, dinosaurs and the Maui tales. Finally Sienna's imagination is so fired up she begins writing her own stories about Terry the Gardening Fairy and discovers her own passion for gardening.
This year's play helps us understand that you don't have to be an amazing reader to enjoy books; the local library is a wonderful free resource designed to help kids learn and explore new interests; that reading puts kids in charge of their learning; and that we can learn a lot about ourselves when we read.
Jeff Szusterman and the cast have had a great summer working hard to make the show fun, musical and full of surprises. We think your tamariki will love all the funny costumes, props and the magical set (designed by the renowned John Parker). We'd love to hear your feedback and to keep learning what works for you and your tamariki. If you'd like to send us your thoughts please contact our Production Manager, David Rumney:
Nga mihi mahana
During the show the performers will interact with the children to encourage them to engage with the message that "It's Cool to Read. It's Cool to Achieve." We appreciate your understanding in allowing your students to express themselves during the performance.
These Teachers’ Notes offer some suggestions about how you might prepare your tamariki to participate in this year’s show and provide some ideas for discussions and activities after the show.
- In the show Duffy and Sienna jump in and out of different books, exploring new worlds. If your tamariki could travel anywhere in time or space, what sort of worlds would they love to explore and why?
- Sienna loves watching TV, while Duffy loves to read. While nearly all of us enjoy some screen time most days, books help us access stories in a different way. What are the differences between watching TV / playing on an iPad and reading a book?
- Schoollibraries and public libraries offer children a range of media, toys and books for free. How many of your tamariki are library users? Why / why not? What do they enjoy best about the library and what do they find tricky? Who takes them to the library and when?
What’s more valuable? Being the best, most amazing reader or being someone who likes learning to read and doesn’t mind making mistakes? By being brave and giving reading a go, Sienna discovers her love of gardening (even if she still mixes up her words from time to time).
How can we support others in their reading journey?
Pre- or Post-ShowActivities
In “Duffy and the Library Adventure” the audience will be asked to help Sienna and Duffy by calling out suggestions and joining in with songs. The following games and activities will encourage the kids to participate and underline the main themes of the show.
1. Garden Salad(adapted from the drama game "Fruit Salad")
It's easy to make a yummy salad fresh from the garden. The children start sitting on chairs in a circle. One child stands in the middle. Label the children one of three veges (that you might grow in your school garden, e.g. lettuce, carrot, bean). The child in the centre calls the name of the vegetable and everyone with that name has to jump up and run to another chair. The person in the middle also runs to a chair, leaving one person standing. Just to mix it up a bit, the person in the middle can also call two vegetable names or "garden salad" at any time, which means everyone must stand up and run to another chair.
2. The Library(adapted from the drama game "Bus Stop")
All sorts of people visit the library. On slips of paper describe different types of characters (e.g. a five year old child, a busy business person, an elderly lady, a clown, a robber, a grouchy chef, etc.). Place these in a bowl. Arrange some chairs as if they are the reading area of a library. Three at a time the children will enter the library, find a book, sit and read it for a while, then check it out and go home. Before each child enters they will choose a slip of paper from the bowl. Their goal is to use their voice, body and behaviour to portray their character while in the library. After they exit the audience can guess the character of each child.
3. Jumping into the Story
In the show, Sienna helps Maui slow down the sun. Read a well-known story (perhaps a myth or legend) to your tamariki then have them rewrite the story in their own words. The twist is, they include themselves in the story so they can retell it from their own point of view. If the children are small, have them draw a picture of a favourite moment, including themselves in the scene.
4. Library Visit
Arrange a trip to the school or local library and ask the children what Sienna discovered in the play, e.g. the self-check machine, the Dewey Decimal System, books, magazines, CDs, puzzles. Arrange a library tutorial with the children's librarian.