Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hugga Wugga

Today's lesson for many of my kids focused on a vignette from the Muppet Show. No, really. No no, seriously.

We watched the following three minutes of splendid genius. You might enjoy it as well. It still makes me giggle with sheer wicked delight.

Before screening this, I prepared the students by telling them they would be seeing a little story that is not told using words. I asked them to think about what elements are used to tell them the story.

After watching it once, I tried to get them to explain the story in their own words. Since the three monsters don't even have names, the kids had to figure out how to name which character they were talking about, and to describe the story from beginning to end.

I also asked each grade level to explain to me how they knew what was going on, since the characters were not speaking verbally or explaining their actions. There were excellent observations at each grade level about how the puppetry conveyed the actions and feelings, and how music is used in the piece, switching back and forth between very different styles based on who had the upper hand.

With the third grade, a surprise bonus discussion ensued as these kids took an interest in the power dynamic between "Hugga Wugga" and "Sunshine." I polled the room on who they felt was more powerful. Many kids, despite seeing the tables get turned on him, felt that "Hugga Wugga," the aggressor, was more powerful. One of the reasons they associated him with strength is that he has a weapon and uses it frequently. Some of the kids disagreed and observed that Sunshine not only had a weapon as well, but knew how to out-smart the bully. This class filled me with joy.

All but one class got the best reward I could think of for their insight: getting to watch it again. Hugga Wugga!


Kelly said...

I don't remember seeing that clip before.

Sounds like you turned it into a great learning tool!

Ji Hyang said...


Pam said...

What a great lesson, Alg!! VERY creative!


Ivy said...

Hey Alg

I remember that clip from watching the Muppets, I think. Sounds like a great class. Would have loved hearing the comments. Kids are such good teachers. And you must be too!! The muppets in class! Cool. Very cool.