The fall holidays are by far my favorite ones to celebrate! Although it doesn’t always feel like fall in Miami, I still find ways to incorporate harvest and Halloween themes into my sessions at UCP’s Early Beginnings Academy. This year, I decided to be bold and try something I’ve never tried before…a Halloween Musical! This is a huge endeavor, but with a little delegation and a lot of help from my wonderful intern, Meaghan, I believe it is going to be a success.
This is going to be a multi-part series because I want to take you through the process of creating the musical from start to finish. I believe it is meaningful to have the children be a part of the entire creative process, so I’ll be sharing with you everything they’ve been up to. Here’s what the children have accomplished so far…
Creating the story
The children had already been buzzing about Halloween, so we talked and made a bubble map with ideas for the story line.
Based on the children’s ideas, we came up with the following story line:
One dark Halloween night, four trick-or-treaters get lost in the woods. As they walk to find their way home, they run into different characters and animals. First, they come across a group of owls. The trick-or-treaters ask “Do you know where our home is?”, but the owls don’t know. The trick-or-treaters keep walking and next they come across a group of spiders. They ask “Do you know where our home is?”, but the spiders don’t know. The trick-or-treaters continue to walk and run into….a T-Rex! (I mentioned that the story was written by the children, right?!) The trick-or-treaters are scared, but the dinosaur assures them he is nice. They ask the dinsosaur if he knows where their home is. The dinosaur says no, but that he will help them. So they all continue to walk together until they run into…a monster! But don’t worry…it’s a nice monster! His name is Mimi, he’s black, and has pink and blue hair (ahh, the mind of a preschooler!) The trick-or-treaters ask the monster if he knows where their home is and….he does! He walks with them until they make it safely home. The End!
The children looked at books of owls to determine…What color are owls? What do their feathers look like? and How can we create owl costumes?
The children looked at pictures of spiders and a *real* spider to determine…What color are spiders? How many legs do they have? and How can we create spider costumes?
Designing the background scenery
Because the story takes place in the woods, the children looked at books with pictures of different kinds of trees and went outside to look at trees. Then they sketched and colored trees of different colors…
Creating signs to advertise
The children looked at examples of real signs that advertise plays. Then they created their own signs for the play. The children that were able to write were given samples and wrote the title of the play, the date, and the location.
Creating tickets and programs
The children looked at examples of real tickets and programs for plays and then created their own. They sketched and painted pumpkins for the program cover…
In the next post of the series, I will be sure to discuss how the MUSIC fits into all of this and how the play becomes a true musical. Stay tuned because I will be sharing:
* Some songs from the musical
* Ideas for instruments as sound effects
* Piano accompaniment for characters (i.e. monster music!)