Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Barrel of Monkeys makes writing more fun
Children want to talk. The third-graders in Mrs. Javor’s class at the Chalmers School of Excellence strain their twig arms toward the sky, fingers fluttering, desperate for permission to say what’s on their minds.
They have the desire but, at 8 years old, can lack the communication skill to make themselves heard. When called upon, some speak in tiny voices, inaudible a yard away, their disjointed whispers trailing off.
Enter a Barrel of Monkeys.
“My friends, hello!” booms Mary Tilden, striding into Room 202 with four confederates: Alejandra Zavala, Marianna Green, Jo Jo Figarella and Barry Irving. “I’m so excited to see you.”
The next 90 minutes are a whir of free-form storytelling boot camp, where students are led through fast-paced exercises that are part kiddie Stanislavski Method actor training, part junior Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
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