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Scene 2: Choosing the right object

This scene covers:

  • Choosing an object for Object Theatre puppets
  • Combining objects to create a character
  • Using an object’s features to express character
  • Choosing an object to reflect an aspect of a character
  • Object Theatre activity: free play with objects

Resources needed:

  • Collect some interesting objects that can be held in the hand. Provide at least two objects per student but more if possible.

Procedures:

1. Before and while watching

Give your students a task to do before and while they watch these sections of the video. For the while-watching activity, ask your students to read the questions first and then think about them as they watch the scene. You will need to show them the video multiple times.

2. After watching

Do the ‘free-play-with-objects’ exercise. Place the objects you have collected in the middle of the floor or on a table where all your students can access them.

  • Firstly, ask your students to choose an object and play with it. You can use the following questions to prompt your students to explore the objects:
    • What character might your object be?
    • How might the object move as a character? 
    • What would the character say? 
  • Secondly, ask your students to match their object with the object of another student and see how they could combine to make a character out of both objects. You can use the following instructions:
    • ‘Now see if you can work with a partner to combine both your objects to make one character.’
    • ‘See how you can make that character move and talk together with your partner.’ 

3. Homework Consolidation Activity

  • Ask students to find objects that a) express the personality of a character; and b) reflect the job, hobbies or interests of a character. Remind your students that they can start with an idea for a character and then find the objects or find the object and then think of a character.
  • It will help to brainstorm some examples with your students first. For example, a potato chip packet makes a crackly, crunchy kind of sound and this could show somebody stressed out. A potato chip packet is also an item of rubbish so it could represent waste. Does this character represent the stressed manager of a factory who only cares about production and not about the waste produced?
  • If we were starting with the character of a father who works long hours in a factory, we might think of objects that represent time and manual labour: an older worn-looking clock or alarm clock, a pair of working gloves or steel-toed boots.
  • Students can then think of ways to manipulate and use the objects. Remembering that objects are often combined to make a character: the fingers of the glove could be made into the legs and the alarm clock could be the body and face. If it’s an analogue clock, then the arms of the clock could suggest the character’s emotions - ten to two for happy; twenty to four to show sadness! If it’s a digital clock, then the light function might show that Dad has just had an idea! The idea here is to release the creative spirit in your students, so have fun with the activity.
  • It will help if you introduce your students to the criteria for choosing and combining objects to make Object Theatre Puppets: see Performance Criteria for Object Theatre (Appendix 4)
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