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Tomie DePaola's STREGA NONA

Arts Education for Young People 2010-2011 Season


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"#$%&'(&')!*&+,&'!-&'%.'/0+1&2!3!4#&&+2!*.55&)&! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ! The Teacher Guide is a convenient source of background information, mini-lessons, and pre- and ! post-concert activities that coordinate with the performance and Student Guide to encourage ! learning across the curriculum. Most activities can be easily adapted to suit different age groups. ! This Guide supports the "Blueprint for Teaching & Learning in the Arts," and includes City and State ! Learning Standards. Click on the URL's to link directly to suggested websites. Feel free to reproduce these materials, as well as Student Activity Pages that may be posted on this website. ! ! ! Please send documentation (photographs, compositions, etc.) of class activities based on this guide so we can share your successes with other schools attending Revelations performances. Thanks!

! ! !! ! ! ! !

About the Company

This lively musical, Strega Nona, was originally developed as a touring production for the renowned Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis by Thomas Olson and Roberta Carlson, with music by Aron Accurso, award-winning member of the famed BMI Lenhman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. Throughout its creation and through the rehearsal process, Tomie dePaola was involved, giving creative color and inspiration to the piece. Children will recognize the two main characters, but the storyline draws on several of the Strega Nona books. The current production is by Active Arts Theatre for Young Audiences together with Maximum Arts Entertainment. Maximum Arts Entertainment production credits include Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Broadway and Tour). Active Arts Theatre, founded in 2004 by dedicated artists and educators, believe that live theater inspires young people's imagination and creativity.

Curriculum Focus: Language Arts

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Coordinate with Student Guide: "About the Author," "The Big Idea," "Tell It Like It Is," "Find the Rhyme" NYC Language Arts Standards: 1b, 2b, 5a

Grades Pre-K-1: Read Aloud: Tomie dePaola's Strega Nona books. Create an AUTHOR'S CORNER display. Following the directions in the Student Guide under "Big Ideas," have students draw a self-portrait doing something responsible. Using invented spelling, K and 1 students can each write a `small moment' story about their picture. Grades 1, 2, 3: A) Extend the small moment piece above by creating a story that can go over several pages, with illustrations.

B) Using the dialogue activity in the Student Guide "Tell It Like It Is," have students write the line that goes with the character, using punctuation. As a whole group, make a chart of the answers. Take this opportunity to review proper punctuation. C) Poetry: Using the activity in "The Magic Words," find the missing rhyming words. Answers: hot, up, pot, day. Extension: Write a rhyming spell with an AA BB rhyme. Grades 2 & 3: In small groups, book clubs or literature circles, read the Strega Nona series and other books by Tomie dePaola. Discuss other "big ideas" they find. Activity: Each group creates a book-based project. Some of the choices can be: · Create a play from the book and act it out with costume pieces for the actors or using puppets. · Make a mobile of the characters in the book. Write the personality characteristics on the backs of each character. · Make a pop-up book of the story. (NB: The set designer for this musical was inspired by dePaola's pop-up book, "Brava Strega Nona"). · Write headlines and news stories about the book. · Make a game including the topic information about the book. · Make a crossword puzzle using information from the book. · Construct a diorama describing a scene in the book. · Write a rap for each character that describes his/her personality/physical traits and describes their external or internal journey. · Create tableaux for the beginning, middle and end of the book. Hold each tableau for several seconds before changing to the next. Activity: Research and write about the author in small groups or individually. One of the facts you might want to highlight is that dePaola's work was turned down a number of times before he found a publisher who believed in him. This could lead to a writing topic about perseverance, never giving up, believing in oneself. Discuss the adage: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." Activity: Write and illustrate a letter to Kupferberg Center and describe your favorite part of Strega Nona!

Bookshelf: Strega Nona Books by Tomie dePaola

Strega Nona. Aladdin, 1979. Strega Nona's Magic Lesson, Sandpiper, 1984. Strega Nona Meets Her Match. Putnam, 1996. Strega Nona, Her Story. Putnam, 2000. Brava, Strega Nona. Putnam, 2008. Strega Nona Takes a Vacation. Putnam 2003. Big Anthony and the Magic Ring. Sandpiper, 1979. Big Anthony, His Story. Putnam, 2001. Merry Christmas, Strega Nona. Sandpiper, 1991.


Tomie dePaola: His Art & His Stories by Barbara Elleman, Putnam 1999.

Websites: Interview with Tomie dePaola Part I Interview with Tomie dePaola Part II

Curriculum Focus: Visual Arts

· Coordinate with Student Guide: "The Pasta Pot" · NYC Arts Standard 1 · Blueprint for the Arts: Visual Art: Art Making I. Here are some fun arts and crafts ideas you can do with dry pasta and other simple materials. Optional for all the following activities is to prepare colored pasta: For every cup of pasta, combine two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol (or four tablespoons of vinegar) with one tablespoon of food coloring. Pour into disposable containers or zip lock bags. Add pasta shapes and shake until you reach desired color. Let dry on newspapers before proceeding. Pre-K and Kindergarten: Make a pasta frame Materials: Crayon drawing of a favorite scene from Strega Nona; precut colored mats (available at art supply stores in various sizes to match drawing (each mat will become a frame); magnetic strips, craft glue, assorted shapes of dry pasta; Step 1: Have students decorate the mat with assorted shapes of pasta. Glue these onto the mat frame, and let dry. Place art inside mat. Optional: Add colored glitter, beads, buttons and/or sequins. Step 2: Cut 4 pieces of magnetic strips and glue them to the back of the mat. Use this decorated mat to display student's drawings on their home refrigerator. You can alternate the art inside the mat, and use the frame for other occasions, such as mother's or father's day gifts, etc.

Grades 1 & 2: Make a word picture with pasta ABC's. Materials: Card stock or cardboard, magic markers, craft glue, dry ABC pasta. Step 1: Have students decorate the cardboard (see example), spelling out words with the ABC pasta as part of their design, and using markers to fill in the details. Step 2. Glue on pasta and let dry. Display. Extension: Create a scene from Strega Nona.

Grade 3: Make a colorful flower! Materials: Pasta wheels, elbow macaroni, craft glue, ribbon. Step 1: See directions at top of section to prepare colored pasta.

Step 2: To make a flower, dip 7 pasta wheels and 6 elbow macaroni pieces in the bowls, alternating colors. Let all pasta pieces dry on waxed paper. Step 3: Following illustration, arrange 6 pasta wheels in a circular pattern with 1 pasta wheel in the center. Apply glue to the sides of the pasta wheels and glue them together. Step 4: Glue the 6 elbow macaroni pieces around the circle of pasta wheels. Bring the ends of a small piece of ribbon together to form a loop. Glue the ends to the back of the flower. Now you can hang it in the window! Extension: To make snowflakes using same design, paint the pasta white by adding a small amount of white paint and some uncooked pasta to a Ziploc baggie and shaking.

Activities adapted from:

II. Here is a whole class activity involving making types of hand puppets you can use in a full production of Strega Nona and other literature-based activities. (Refer below to "Curriculum Focus: Theater" for more suggestions). Grades 1-3: Celluclay Puppets. This is a long-term project that can culminate in a puppet show to which parents and other classes can be invited. What you need: · · · · · · 2 lbs. of Bright White Celluclay. Celluclay can be found at all art supply stores. It is similar to papiér maché, but with a sculptural ability like clay. Plus it is non-toxic and kid friendly. Dishwashing liquid Plastic bags Plastic molding tools (like the ones you use with PlayDoh; this is optional) Styrofoam balls (4-6") or balloons 12" long dowels and a piece of Styrofoam in which to lodge them (the thick kind you find in packaging from, for example, televisions or appliances). You need one dowel per child, and Styrofoam long enough to house the dowels with 4" space around each. plastic mixing bowls water tempera paint and brushes yarn fabric scraps or felt buttons, feathers, fabric trim scraps glue needles and thread (optional) tape

· · · · · · · · ·

Procedure: 1. Mix Celluclay in a plastic mixing bowl. Add 32 ounces of water to each pound of Celluclay. (Warm water mixes faster). Knead by hand until the Celluclay is firm just like clay or like stiff dough, with no dry spots. If mixture is too soft, add a little dry Celluclay; if it feels too dry, add a little water. Add a few drops of liquid detergent when you are mixing. This is good for children because the scent of the liquid detergent makes the Celluclay more fun to sculpt (think PlayDoh). Plus you get a head start on the clean up! Children can do the mixing themselves in small groups. If you prefer to mix it ahead of time, store the mixed Celluclay in a plastic bag overnight, or in the refrigerator if it won't be used for a few days. 2. Attach a 4-6" Styrofoam ball or an inflated balloon to the end of each dowel. The Styrofoam can be pushed directly into the dowel. If using the balloon, leave a longer tail and tape it to the dowel. 3. Children make puppet heads by spreading the Celluclay around the Styrofoam or balloon until completely covered. If using the balloon, the Celluclay should come down to the end of the tail, right around the dowel, so the head can remain on the dowel to dry. 4. Add features like noses and ears with Celluclay. You can use the plastic molding tools here, or just fingers. Smooth the edges of the features into the base Celluclay. Dipping little fingers in water can help with the smoothing. Tools should also be dipped into water. 5. Let dry by placing the puppet heads on the dowels into the Styrofoam base, without touching each other. (Although Celluclay is quick drying, the amount of time will depend on the humidity in the air and how thickly the children layered the Celluclay. If you are under a time constraint, a hair dryer can help dry the heads quickly). 6. Paint the heads with different skin colors and let dry. 7. Paint the eyes, eyebrows, and mouths. Let dry. (Some teachers like using googly eyes). 8. Glue on yarn for hair. 9. While you are waiting for paint and clay to dry, make the bodies by cutting out fabric or felt. NB: See puppet body pattern on last page of this guide, page 12. 10. For those comfortable with showing children how to use the needle and thread, sew the sides of the fabric where indicated on the pattern. Felt can be sewed on either side, but regular fabric needs to be sewed inside out, with the colors and patterns facing each other on the inside. Once sewed, it can be turned right side out. For those uncomfortable with sewing, use glue to attach the two sides of the fabric together. Glue in the areas indicated on the pattern. (This is also a good place for parent involvement; send the patterns home for caretakers to sew, or invite caretakers into the classroom to assist). 11. Glue on details: buttons, fabric scraps to mimic aprons, pockets, ties, etc. Let dry. 12. Attach clothing to the bottom of the puppet heads with glue. Let dry. 13. Slip puppets off dowels and onto hands; the index finger can slip into the hole left by the dowel in the Styrofoam; the balloon can be popped to accommodate the finger; the thumb and third finger slip into the puppet's arms. 14. Explain to the children that their puppet should move while "talking" and be still when another puppet is talking, so the audience is clear and can follow the story. 15. Use the dowels to store the puppets when not in use.

Pre-K and K: Paper Bag Puppets What you need: · · · · · Paper bags Glue Yarn Felt and fabric scraps Constructions paper crayons or markers

Procedure: 1. Model the use of a paper bag puppet; if the mouth is drawn near the fold, when you slide your hand into the top of the bag, you can make the puppet "talk" by opening and closing your hand. 2. Using construction paper crayons or markers, children draw eyes, eyebrows, nose, mouth and ears. 3. Glue on yarn for hair. 4. Glue on fabric scraps for outfit. 5. Practice making the puppets "talk." 6. String a folded sheet between two desks and practice using the puppets behind this simple backdrop. Grades 1-3: Scenery for Puppet Show Making scenery is fun and will give your culminating event added pizzazz. This is also a good way for everyone to be involved in the process while working at their own pace; if some students are enjoying decorating their puppets while others are finished, those who are finished can work on scenery. What you need: 1. A backdrop · Backdrops can be made of a lot of different kinds of materials; the only "must" is that the children be able to stand behind it, holding their puppets up comfortably while not being seen. Some ideas: A refrigerator box cut open A sheet strung across the back of the room Borrow photography poles photographers use for holding up their backdrops; sew the top of a sheet so the top pole can slide through it, or butcher block paper taped together and attached to the top pole.

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2. 3. 4. 5.

A design. Tempera paint and brushes Newspaper Staples or tape

Procedure: 1. Students can make the mountains of Calabria, or the streets of the village; look to the book for inspiration. Plan the drawing out on drawing paper, and then draw it onto the paper or sheet that will be your backdrop. There can be one group assigned to this detail, or the class can come to a consensus on what they want on the backdrop. 2. Lay the sheet or butcher-block paper on newspapers. 3. Students draw the design plan on the backdrop ~ remind them that it has to be big, and cover the whole area. 4. Students paint the drawing with tempera paints. Let dry. 5. Attach the backdrop to the frame on which you decided. Practice working with the puppets and the backdrop; children should not lean into or touch the backdrop while performing. Make A Poster: Make Posters Announcing Your Production. What you need: · · Poster paper Markers or poster paints and brushes

Procedure: Working in small groups, students create a poster announcing their puppet performance of Strega Nona. The poster should include: · · · · · The The The The The show's title date time location name of the class performing

Building Props The most important prop for Strega Nona is the magic pasta pot. Here are some ideas for you on how to create the pot with its overflowing pasta, or send your own ideas to Kupferberg Center to share on the website! You need: · Cardboard · Paint and brushes · Yellow yarn

· · · ·

Scissors Tape Envelope Silly string

Procedure: 1. Have students create the pot out of cardboard, using the pattern on the website. 2. Cut out the pot 3. Paint it and let it dry 4. Attach an envelope to the back of the pot. Fill the envelope with yellow yarn, taped on one end to the envelope 6. Or, attach yellow yarn to the top of the pot to make it look like it is full of pasta. When the time comes for it to overflow, one student can shoot silly string out the pot!

Curriculum Focus: Theater

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NYC Arts Standard 1 English Language Arts Standards: 2b, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b Blueprint for the Arts: Theater: Making Theater, Making Connections

Activity 1: Act out Strega Nona with puppets. Pre-K and K: Place puppets in the creative play center for students to act out the story, retelling the tale for each other; encourage students to create other scenarios with the characters. Grades 1 ­ 3: A) Create a "production company," with small groups filling the following roles: 1. Producers, whose responsibilities include getting the posters up around the school and making public announcements over the PA system 2. Actors for each scene, who will also be writing the script 3. A director for each scene 4. Prop masters, who will make and keep track of any props (i.e., the pasta pot) needed for the show 5. Stage managers, whose responsibility is to get their group ready to go on in time for their scene 6. Ushers to help seat the audience 7. Tech people to turn on and off any music, lights, etc. 8. Prompters to hold the script of another group and be ready to prompt them with a line should they forget B) Using the directions in "Curriculum Focus: Visual Arts," create puppets, a backdrop with scenery and a poster for your performance. C) To turn the book Strega Nona into a play: · Divide the class into small groups · Each group will select or is assigned one scene from the book · Each group decides which puppet will play which character in the scene · Together, the group writes the scene in play format, creating dialogue (you can decide whether or not a narrator would be helpful in some sections)

Each group creates a copy of their "script" for each person in the group Each group practices with their script at their tables and their puppets, until they are able to memorize the words · Each group practices using the backdrop and their puppets; remember to only move the puppet that is speaking · Choose groups who are finished first to create an opening welcome and closing farewell for the audience who will attend the show, which can include a song if they so choose, and that will include the entire class · Rehearse the scenes in order, working out the logistics of moving one group out from behind the backdrop as the next scene moves in · Practice your opening and closing bits, with some of the puppeteers out front and some behind the backdrop with their puppets showing; switch off so all puppeteers are seen · Prepare for a question and answer session by asking one person from each group become the designated interviewee to field questions from the audience · The teacher can act as emcee or turn it over to an outgoing student who can introduce the play at the top, and start the questions rolling at the end · Perform for other classes, administration and parents NB: With this procedure, more than one person will get to play the roles of Strega Nona, Big Anthony, etc. Perhaps one identifier will help the audience recognize the character, i.e., all Stregas wear a babushka or head scarf (or a Pulcinello nose), all Big Anthonys wear a hat or have blond yarn hair, etc. · ·

Extensions: Grades 1, 2: Create a new magic spell Strega Nona might use to help her in her everyday chores such as cleaning, gardening, feeding the goat, etc. Grade 3: · Using the characters in Strega Nona, write a class play with a new storyline and/or new actions, or from one of the minor character's point of view. Or, invent a new character that visits the village in Calabria. · Research and report on the Italian theatre tradition of Commedia dell'Arte. Some questions to answer: What are stock characters? How do the characters in Strega Nona compare to the stock characters in Commedia dell'Arte? Which character mask does Strega Nona's famous profile resemble? (Tomie dePaola's drawing of Strega Nona was inspired by Pulcinello, often called Punch or Punchinello in English, a classical character in Commedia dell'Arte and stock character in Neapolitan puppetry. Pulcinello's main characteristic is his extremely long, beak-like nose.) NB. This is a good project for differentiation, especially if you have gifted children in your classroom that would like to go deeper into a subject.

Curriculum Focus: Social Studies

1. Coordinate with Student Guide activities relating to Italy 2. NYC Social Studies Standards: 2, 3. 3. NYC Mathematics Standard: 1a Activity 1: Coordinate with "Say it in Italian." Following the directions in the

Student Guide, match the Italian words with their English translation. Activity 2: Coordinate with "Count to Ten in Italian." Activity 3: Coordinate with "Where in the World" is Italy?" Following the directions in the Student Guide, answer the map questions. Review the purpose of a compass rose, which shows north, south, east and west. Activity 4: Coordinate with "Take It Home: Parent and Kid Corner." Ask students to follow the pasta recipe at home. Students can report back about any changes they made to the recipe. Extension: Have students make their favorite family pasta recipe, bringing in a sample to share, along with a written recipe. Make a chart to track the number of ethnic varieties of pasta dishes in your class. If the group is very homogeneous, assign groups to research pasta recipes from different nations and to try them at home. Compile the recipes into a class book entitled "Our Favorite Pasta Recipes by Class ___." Make copies for everyone to take home. Websites: full sized poster of the days of the week in Italian, numbers 1-10, crossword puzzles and other activities.

Curriculum Focus: Music

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Coordinate with Student Guide: "Find the Rhyme" NYC Arts Standard: 1 Blueprint for the Arts: Music: Making Music, Making Connections

Grades 1, 2, 3: Reading Strega Nona's spell in the Student Guide, create a tune for Strega Nona's spell in small groups or individually. Perform them for the class. Grade 3: Working in small groups, write a magic spell in rhyming format to accomplish a specific task. Have a simple tune in mind and copy the rhyme scheme. Sing the new spells aloud in a sharing session. Pre-K, K, 1: Freeze dance to Italian folk music Download free Italian folk music: For sheet music and lyrics:

Curriculum Focus: Math

· Coordinate with Student Guide, "The Pasta Pot." · NYC Mathematics Standards: 1 a, b, c, 7 e Pre-K and K: Following the directions in the Student Guide for "The Pasta Pot," find what comes next in the pattern. K ­ 3: Estimation Game When Big Anthony's Pasta Pot overflows, the pasta fills the whole town. Big Anthony has a lot of eating to do! But how much exactly? Step 1: Fill a jar with pasta (we recommend spirals). Step 2: In small groups, allow your students to estimate how many pieces of pasta are in the jar. Write down the estimates.

Step 3: Pour out the pasta in the jar into paper cups and pass out the paper cups, one per student. Pass out an additional empty paper cup. The students must count their cup's worth of pasta by moving the pasta from one cup to the other and counting it piece by piece. The students write their results on the board. The whole group adds up the results to see which small group's estimate was the closest. Grades 1-3: Use some of these word problems based on Strega Nona for the math groups in your classroom, or for the `Problem of the Day': · If Big Anthony has 99 pieces of pasta in a bowl, and Strega Nona adds one more, how many pieces of pasta will Big Anthony have altogether? · Strega Nona has 200 pieces of wood on her woodpile. She wants to make a fire, and asks Big Anthony to bring her 3 pieces of wood to burn. How many pieces of wood does she have left? · Big Anthony dances for six hours. He dances so much, he ruins one pair of shoes for every hour he dances. How many pairs of shoes does Big Anthony ruin altogether? · Big Anthony wants to learn magic. He studies very hard and learns 49 spells. Strega Nona tells him that he will not be a real Strega until he learns 60 spells. How many more spells does Big Anthony have to learn to become a Strega?

Copyright © 2010, Kupferberg Center Performances


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