Human Impact on OUR OCEANS – SHORT STORIES with a Shadow Theatre

Telling a story about human impact on the ocean with a show puppet theater and documenting the story with a tablet to make a very short video. Prior to this exercise, the students already studied some aspects of human impact on the ocean, they are familiar with the subject.

1. The students watch a video about a story told with shadow puppets: “Where the Wild Things Are” made by young students like them, and based on the book by Maurice Sendak.
Discussion about what makes a story a story and the shadow puppet technique.
2. The students form groups of 3
3. Each group choose a story within the array of scenarios that are proposed:

  • Story 1 / Harvesting seafoods / Overfishing
  • Story 2/ Harvesting seafoods / Damaging the Seafloor
  • Story 3 / Harvesting seafoods / By-catch (birds)
  • Story 4 / Harvesting seafoods / By-catch (whales, sea turtles, sharks)
  • Story 5 / The impacts from our activities on land
  • Story 6 / The introduction of marine pests / the northern Pacific sea star
  • Story 7/ Careless tourism / the coral reef
  • Story 8 / Plastic Pollution / Beach Clean up!

4. Students study the scenario,  look for documentation and write a simple story board.
5. The students write the text that they are going to say out loud during the presentation.
6. Short demo on how to make the props (with construction paper, skewers, and tape)
7. Students make their props, using precise documentation for their shapes (fish, shark, turtles, fishing boats, coral, etc.)
8. Students start rehearsing  – one student tells the story, two students animate the props.

The folder in Vimeo with the short videos is here. 

Village Elementary School, 2nd grade, Campbell, CA, Spring 2016.
Montalvo Arts Center / Teaching Artists Program / 10 session project.