As part of the Campus Calgary / Open Minds Jube School experience, the Grade Four students from Hugh A. Bennett School created buffalo puppets, lead by the expertise of the Green Fools Theatre Society. Through this experience of making the puppets and other experiences at Jube School, the students worked collaboratively to start to answer their big question, “Who are we? How does the past, present, and future impact our identity?”
These unbelievable buffalo puppets took the students a week at Jube School, at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, to create. Working together in teams of six, students began crafting their buffalo puppets by crumpling up pieces of paper and taping them onto the four sections of their puppets (body, head, front leg, back leg) to create depth and form. The students took different roles in this process such as tearing paper off of large roles, ripping bigger paper into pieces, crumpling paper into balls, and taping paper onto the puppet sections. The next step in the process was covering the puppet sections with papier-mâché.
The Grade Fours really enjoyed getting their hands dirty and demonstrated how well they could work together, completing this part of the process efficiently and thoroughly. Once the papier-mâché had dried, they applied a base coat of white paint followed by a brown paint wash. With the buffalo puppet pieces painted, the last steps involved applying shadow and tint, facial details and yarn for the tails, and a shaggy hide.
When all of the sections were completed, the puppets were put together and the grade fours began learning how to operate them. Students found out very quickly the importance of working together and communicating with each other to move their puppets and to make them look like real buffalo grazing in the prairies. The students are extremely proud of all the hard work they put into creating their buffalo puppets. Throughout the process, they demonstrated respect towards each other and an understanding of the importance of working as a team.
We thank Dean Bareham, Co-Artistic Director at Green Fools Theatre Society, for guiding us and being part of this process at Jube School at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. (http://www.greenfools.com/) These puppets will be on display at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in the north lobby until mid-January.
Karen Youngberg – Jube School Coordinator