When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments; tenderness for what he is, and respect for what he may become. Louis Pasteur
Paper Plate Puppets from Amazing Middle Schoolers!
I had the great honor of teaching at the Young Authors Conference in Thief River Falls, MN (YAC in TRF) again this year. I am always inspired by the young, creative minds at this conference. This year, I had the kids make paper plate puppets (two plates glued to one stick). They could make two characters, or one with two faces, or other forms of the character. One girl created a girl who is a shape-shifter. One side of the puppet was her as a girl, the other side she was in her wolf form. By the time the 55 min. were up, she had her background and story all ready to go. She shared some of it with the class. Thank you!
Another girl wrote about a girl who was very sad. She didn't have any friends, felt like an outsider and didn't fit in. She said, "We all know people like that, don't we?" That sensitive soul is writing her a new friend to cheer her up.
One boy had a whole world created in his mind with creatures that could rival J.R.R. Tolkein. Others went with silly or serious, animals and magical creatures. The room was buzzing with creativity. Thanks, Middle Schoolers for being so inspiring in my class on Creating Drama!
One girl was having so much fun, she created 8 characters, including the Queen of England!
Of course, I was inspired to create more of my own work. After I talked about the two characters I created, two girls in my second session said, "You need to write that play right now!" Thanks! And, at lunch, our discussion turned to aging, Alzheimers, and how our society treats the elderly. Someone said, "They are sometimes invisible." Another woman said, "They don't have a voice." My creative wheels started turning, and I saw a stage setting of a family. I got goosebumps thinking about it.
Inspiration is everywhere. Grab it by the tail and hang on. You're in for a wild ride. And, if you're feeling in a slump, hang out with some middle schoolers for a while. They're bursting with awesome ideas!!!
Thanks, Mary in TRF, for organizing such a great and inspiring event!
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: How have the grandparents and elderly been treated in your community? Have you hung out with any middle schoolers lately?