The olders of the Islesford School will be performing a play in February! The play will be about the Wabanaki, the Aztecs, and the Incas, as well as the explorers who conquered or “discovered” these tribes: Champlain, Cortez and Pizzaro. We have been studying these Native Americans for the better part of the year.
When we were first discussing how we wanted to go about showing what we had learned, we decided we wanted to perform a play for the community. We sat together at the table as if we were ready to do our monotonous homework. We each took a few minutes to write down our ideas of what we wanted the play to look like: how we wanted the stage to be set up, if we wanted props and scenery, and if we wanted dialogue or a narrator, similar to making a to-do list. We then made a world map to use a background, and painted it. Then we started to write the play. Starting with an introduction to the play, we each wrote a paragraph about what the daily life of the people we studied would be like, including where they lived. Editing and revising came next. When this was done, we began actually putting the play together, and deciding how we wanted the youngers to participate. Reading through the whole thing and we assigned parts to who we thought would sound best reading the part, and what should be going on in the background.
One day when we were catching up on Simon Isaac’s climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro, we heard the door open. A rush of cold air swept into the room, then it was over and Henry Isaacs and Ashley Bryan walked into the room carrying big rolls of brown paper. I was so surprised to see them there because I had had no idea they were coming. Then I felt just plain excited and happy that we would have them helping out with the artwork. A few days later the sound of the door opening tells me that they are here to help out. Henry carries big snowy white rolls of canvas in plastic wrappers. We cut them open and roll out the canvas, which makes a sort of hissing sound as it rolls. We draw in outlines, scribbling and erasing, turning our fingers black as ebony and smudged. I can’t wait to paint, mixing a glorious rainbow of colors that seem to glow with their radiance.
grab the reader. The youngers helped with the painting because the backdrops were so big and we wouldn’t be able to do it alone.
We performed the play on February 5th, on Great Cranberry at 9:30am and on Islesford at 1:30pm. Cameras clicked, flashes flashed, the audience applauded at the end. It all went very well. At the end, people asked questions about the research, "How did you do the research?" "What tools did you use to do the research?" After the performance on Islesford we had the rest of the day off.