Who’s In Rabbit’s House?

by Page on May 17, 2010

Hi, everybody!  It’s me, Page!  This week I got to be the star of my own show, Page Presents!

Vicky and I got inspired by Verna Aardema’s book, Who’s in Rabbit’s House (illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon).  In the book, the story of Rabbit (whose house is taken over by a mysterious animal with a scary voice) is presented as a play.  The actors wear animal masks, and each animal tries to help Rabbit eject the bad animal in his or her own way.  Unfortunately, all of their methods involve messing up or destroying Rabbit’s house, so Rabbit does not approve.  The surprise ending teaches a lesson about fear and the unseen.  Vicky liked it because she got to make different sounds for the animals as they came and went.

I got to play all the animals except Rabbit!  I was really good, too.

Vicky thought the kids would have fun picking out one of the “helpful” animals and making its mask.  She found a really cool method, originally for making paper bag masks.  But she wanted the masks to be more colorful, so she used construction paper, which worked beautifully!  Check out this link to a great tutorial on making this type of mask.

She also photocopied some images of African mud cloth for the kids to decorate their masks with.  Her prototypes looked like this:

Frog, Jackal, Leopard, Wildebeest, and Elephant:  Vicky was worried that some child might be devastated by not getting the mask kit of her choice, but everyone seemed to get the one he wanted.  They had fun making their masks, and as soon as they put them on, you could see them take on the persona of their animal.  I guess they learned that from me!

By the way, Vicky changed one of the animals from the story. 

In the book, one of the animals is Rhinoceros, but Vicky didn’t want to figure out how to make rhino horns, so she changed it to Wildebeest, which had easier horns.  Speaking of horns, one of the kids decided that he wanted to be a horned frog.  Anything is possible in the Imagi-Nation!

Oh gosh!  I almost forgot to tell you about Mr. Matt’s Minute this week.  Mr. Matt is Zoey’s dad, and he is a real, honest-to-goodness drummer and percussion teacher!  And he’s a really fun person too.  Since we were featuring another story from Africa, we got to work on the marketplace rhythm some more, and it was the best yet!  This time, after he got us going with the marketplace rhythm, he added a cool counter-rhythm.  They sounded awesome together!  Then he taught everyone the counter-rhythm.  After that he divided the audience into two groups.  One group had to keep playing the marketplace rhythm, and the other group had to play the other rhythm.  Then the two groups switched rhythms.  You might think that I don’t get to do this, since I don’t have any arms, but I have a castanet-clicker that I can hold in my mouth.  I’m getting good at it, too!  Oh wow!  It was really rockin’!  Then Vicky put on some music, and we got to play along with our two different rhythms.  It sounded great!  It was a different song from the one we played with before, too.  (Vicky just told me that it was “Africa” from the African Spirit cd by the Soweto Gospel Choir.)  I think Mr. Matt is amazing!

Here are some more pictures from this week.

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