Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Junior Girl Scout Theater Badge

I had led the Theater Badge years ago for Thalia's Junior Girl Scout troop, and it was really fun. This time we had a bigger group with a wider age range, so we did it a little differently.

One of the most popular parts of the badge, both years ago and now, was making masks out of paper plates. We did this as a beginning activity while people were arriving. I provided paper plates, markers, crayons, construction paper, crepe paper streamers, scissors, glue stick, tape, yarn, and, most importantly, feathers. I asked Thalia and Annabeth if we really needed feathers this time around and they looked at me like I was nuts -- OF COURSE YOU NEED FEATHERS!

Years ago we were heavy on the crepe paper streamers, which served as hair:

This time, though, it was all about the feathers:

Although a couple of people did manage to do other things, like a horse:

After working on masks for a while, and discussing what character they would play using their masks, Thalia took over the badge.

I considered this a stroke of genius on my part. After all, she's taken all these Improv classes and at this point knows a ton of warmups and games. She did a few warmups with them, then played games like Zip Zap Zop, something that looked like a Word Association Conga Line (this really didn't work well at all -- some of the kids were clueless about the idea of quickly saying the first word that came to mind) and Mirror Mimic. She worked with them on projecting their voices; they also worked on showing different emotions with the phrase "I did it" as she assigned them different roles in which to say the phrase (eg, "your family is trying to figure out who left the back gate open and therefor let the dog out"). She had them do little Improv skits (they loved this). All in all she led them in at least 10 activities, some of which were based on activities in the badge book.

Afterwards we came home and both Thalia and Annabeth continued to make masks

And I wrote up an email for people who didn't attend the meeting who wanted to complete the badge at home. I suggested that, other than the How You Say It activity, they skip the games and do things like look up various types of theater around the world, go to a makeup counter or find a YouTube video on how to do makeup (actually we would've liked to do the makeup activity ourselves, but I was concerned about allergic reactions to makeup as well as needing a zillion applicators so the kids wouldn't be sharing makeup), going to a theatrical production, and MAKE MASKS!

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