When I first introduced this ventriloquist puppet in kindergarten, who I call Melody, students were really excited and interested to be meeting her. I wasn’t thinking at the time that she would be something that I would end up integrating into my regular program, but I love that it worked out that way. Melody became part of our music program and students often asked where she was if I did not bring her with me. I later introduced Melody’s sister, Solo, who students also loved. I had to limit it to the two of them though because their story-line started to get a bit complicated. This still makes me laugh to think about.
My daughter is the voice of Melody. I created a short script which she and I read together (my parts were only whispered in her ear) and I recorded our dialogue. When I introduce Melody to students I bring her out of a bag that contains a speaker (which stays hidden). From my cell phone I play the video/script and then say my parts out loud. I am not a ventriloquist, but it was a lot of fun pretending to be. Some children truly believed that Melody was real – The magic of kindergarten!
On this day, Melody had come to say goodbye for the summer. Several students had been asking if Melody was going to visit again before summer holidays, so I had to bring her back. I decided to tie in our final special event that I had planned for the next class, which was the glow in the dark day. (This special event is detailed in the following blog post.) Melody came and talked about her plans for the summer and we sang some of our favourite songs together as a class. Melody then told students that she had a special treat for them that she had put into the mystery box. She then told us that we would have to wait until after the weekend to open it!
The anticipation and number of guesses before we opened the box was amazing! They were so excited. When we did open it, there was a note inside that said “Go to Mrs. Gilman’s room.” We quickly left the classroom and got down to Mrs. Gilman’s room. I had arranged to use this other classroom while the other class was on a trip. Yes, I am very lucky to work with flexible and amazing teachers! It allowed me to set up the materials that I needed without having to take them down between the different classes that I cover prep for. I had set up the room for our glow in the dark party. Students were very excited and thankful for Melody and I was excited to have found a way to bring this ventriloquist puppet into class.