Sunday, May 29, 2011

Catch-up: school performances in Lima

I've had two weeks of storytelling in Peru now, so far at five schools, thirty-two sessions in all. It has been intense, exhausting, and very fun.

I began at Colegio Maria Reina Marianistas. For those from the US, "college" doesn't mean "university" here. It means school, so at Maria Reina, I began with the first graders and had classes up to the fifth graders, over the course of three days.

Even when the kids didn't understand all the English, they did understand puppet. You can see that they're joining in on "Nighty-nighty, baby" using their fingers.

At this school, some of the kids came up to me on the playground to try out their English. One third or fourth grader told me her grandmother lives in Houston. She translated for the other kids. They were very curious about who I was and what I was doing on their playground (having a quiet break, until it was time for recess). We had quite a discussion of family pets.
The next school was Hiram Bingham College, where the students had just had a French day. Here I am showing the map. At all the schools, I begin by showing where Kansas is. Then I tell them that I was born in Rhode Island, and I point there. Then I say that my mother lives in Maine. I start naming the states where my six siblings live. All of this is a way for the students to get used to my voice and how I speak, before I start the stories.

This was at Cambridge College. This school has a brand-new state-of-the-art auditorium. The auditorium manager, Eduardo, was great. Because he was actually involved with the construction of the building, he knows everything about it and about the equipment. He set up the backstage for the primary school performances, making it an intimate space (he also gave me a couple of granadillas, a fruit I'd never tasted). The secondary kids sat in the auditorium seats.

You can see the beautiful wood floors and the edge of the wood risers some of the students sat on.
I spent just one day at Markham College, beginning with the kindergarteners and then telling to some of the upper primary kids. I'm going back this week for two more days.

Yes, another map picture. This was at Trener School, with the fourth or fifth graders. The students here were well prepared--they'd come to my website and had read some of the blog (are you reading it now, Trener students? You can leave comments, if you want). They had thought in advance about questions to ask. Some were about storytelling, some were about my favorite kinds of pie, some were about what I'd seen (and eaten) in Peru. I'm going back to Trener for another day soon.

I'll post pictures of the outside of some of these schools next.


Deborah Howe said...

Are the schools you're telling at private, or public, or both? It looks as if some kids are wearing uniforms -- yes? What stories are you telling them? Do you tell in any other languages (like telling Poule et Blatte in English, and then in French)?

It looks as if you're having a fine time!

Priscilla said...

The schools are private and yes, the kids are wearing uniforms. The whole deal is that kids hear the stories in English, from a native speaker, so it's all entirely in English. I sometimes explain things, such as "In English, when somebody hits you in the eye and it turns colors, we call that a black eye. I know that in Spanish, it's a purple eye. Did you know that in Russian, it's a blue eye?"

Scot said...

Dear Priscilla Howe,

This is Scot's 5B English class at Trener School. We are very happy you came to visit. Thanks for writing about us in your blog! We liked your stories and puppets- they are very funny! Thank you for posting pictures of our school. We hope you can visit again and that you have a great time in Peru!