MANTLE OF THE EXPERT
Hansel and Gretel
Session 1 up to breakTASK 1
What is the task? / DEMANDS
What will the group have to do? / PURPOSES
Why are they doing it? / PREPARATIONS
What do you need? / DEVICES
What drama techniques are being used? / RESULTS AND OUTCOMES TOWARDS NEXT TASK
Read the story of Hansel and Gretel with the class.
Class imagine there is a village nears the woods. Discuss what we may have in the village.
The landscape. Class create the village on roll of paper.
Session 1 cont…
Show a day in the life of the villagers. The farmers trying to work, the children trying to concentrate. The effects of the famine need to be evident. The owner sweeping his doorstep of his empty shop.
‘Have you heard the news?’ The group are asked to imagine that there are rumours going around the village that the woodcutters two children have gone missing. What could have happened?
TASK 5 / Listen to the version of the story carefully as there are always variations.
Pairs discuss the features of the village. Use the illustrations from the text to scaffold the learning.
Working as a team, co-constructing the learning. Create the village near the woods.
Discuss ideas first before everyone finds a space and performs a simple to mime.
As the group are on their feet as the villagers from the previous task, we ask them to find a partner and discuss what you both think could have happened. Some gossiping here!
DEMANDS / The class to know the story really well before we begin.
This talk will inform our village map later.
This will become their village. They will imagine themselves as villagers. Although they are not told this yet.
Investing in the village more here. Brining it to life.
Creating a tension in the village. Creating stories before we know the facts. Can the class do this? Can they avoid saying ‘I think they have gone to the sweet house in the woods’. They should be able to.
PURPOSES / The text by Anthony Browne.
Post it notes. Write down the children’s ideas so the facilitator can stick them on the map.
Roll of paper. Have a stream already drawn and the woods on one side of the sheet. This gives the group a starting point. Post it notes to label the map.
Possibly show the days before the famine and contrast with the time of the story. So run this twice.
PREPARATIONS / Reading to the group. Q and A during and afterwards.
‘If there were a village near the woods, what would you find when you went there?
Paired talk and feedback.
Teacher as the guide here. ‘Where would the woodcutter live?’ Would the houses be near the stream? Where would the village green be? Is there a school?’
Group discussion for ideas. Mimed sequence with facilitator asking people what they are doing. They should respond in role. ‘Oh I am just walking to the stream to get some water, my water is not working’
‘Now we do not know what has happened to them, but the villagers are coming up with all kinds of stories about the children. Is that stepmother involved?’
This is a spontaneous improvisation in pairs, no time to rehearse. We spotlight some and see snippets. Facilitator can also step in and become part of the conversation.
DEVICES / We are ready to begin the mantle work now. Some questions left unanswered to increase curiosity e.g. How did the stepmother die at the end?
Lots of good ideas, ensure I deas are authentic and fit with the mood of the text and the era.
A village map is created. We stand back and discuss what we can see. Is there any evidence of a famine? Hopefully there is a sense of a run down village, which has seen better days.
RESULTS AND OUTCOMES FOR NEXT TASK
We have a village, but it is run down and people are poor and weak.
Lots of stories going about. This will feed in nicely to the village meeting, which is coming next.
The village meeting. We meet as a group to discuss the issue of the missing children.
Prepare for the big search. The group begin to pack their bags, discussing what we will need.
As a village stand ready with their bags, we have thoughts from them about this trip.
Change in focus now. We leave the villagers about to go on the hike. We focus on Hansel and Gretel when they realise the birds have eaten the bread and they are lost.
The woods. As a group we create the deep dark woods. Facilitator walks around the woods and noises are heard as she does so.
Try it a second time with lines from the wood as well (year 4-6) ‘the tree bent and twisted in the wind’.
Hansel and Gretel now walk through these woods. We then come to life as they pass us. We then create the duologue from task 7.
The woodcutter suggests getting help, to the stepmother.
The stepmother awakes the next day to find the woodcutter gone. She enters the living room. There is a note on the table.
‘The villagers approach aclearing in the woods. It is dusk, so torches andlanterns are on. We find the house, using our torches to focus on different parts’.
We now imagine we have
come into the house.
Make your way to
something that interests You.
The children return to the house to find the villagers searching for them. Do they tell the whole story?
We return to the woodcutter with the good news. How does he react?
Final meeting as a village. We find out that the children are going to share the wealth of jewels they found in the house. SO our troubles are over! / To discuss the moral dilemma we face as a poor community. Do we look after our own or do we help.
Creating a mimed sequence, showing the tools going into the bags.
The group must give thoughts about the trip. Contrasting ideas will be valuable.
To create an improvised scene in pairs, from the moment Hansel sees that the bread is gone.
To create the wood physically, then adding sound. We can then ask for lines from people to narrate a description of the wood.
For a good pairing to be chosen to walk through the woods and re-create this key moment.
For the class to give responses as the stepmother as the facilitator in role of the woodcutter pleads with her.
For the class to create the contents of the letter. Where has he gone and why? Would he have written much?
The class to respond tothe facilitator’s
narration, and to thentake in turns to saywhat part of the housethey have picked outwith their torch.
For the group to find anobject or part of thehouse which is of
interest. Facilitator canlead ‘I am going tostand here, next to the open cage or the fire, there is a funny smell!
Discuss in pairs in role as the children, what will you say?
One in role as a villager and one as the woodcutter. Does he seem genuinely pleased?
Whole class respond in role to this news. / For the facilitator to make this decision difficult for the group. The woodcutter is not popular, people don’t like the stepmother.
Why should we help?
Group investing now through dramatic action.
To create a tension even amongst the group that some are not happy about going at all. Some are scared of the woods.
To develop empathy for the children, which should then motivate the children more, when in role as the villagers.
To create the setting for the next piece of dramatic action.
To focus on a key moment in the story from the children’s perspective.
To take both points of view. Show the events leading up to the villagers being asked for help.
To show the divide between the two. Tapping into this curious mention of her death at the end of the story.
To use prior tasks to inform ideas in role about what thehouse really looks like. Tocreate a tension amongst the
villagers of whether or not wego further.
We want the class to take thedrama forward here. Theirchoices will shape theoutcomes. Some may act likedetectives here and spot thewitches shoe near the fire for example
To focus on the dilemma of the children here.
To re-unite the family and to see the woodcutters response. To also find out where the stepmother has gone.
To bring the whole story to a conclusion that ties in with the text. / In a circle for the meeting.
An empty space and a ‘bag’.
Pairs to create the moment the siblings realise they are lost.
Chair in front of the class.
A letter in an envelope.
PREP / Facilitator in role as a high status member of the village. Teacher, police officer, priest. Thank everyone for attending.
Cover two main areas here.
1) Are we going to help find the children?
2) What can we do to prevent this happening again?
We take some time through dramatic action to fill our own bags and we then place one in the middle and mime some more objects going into the bags for the trip. Convention 1
Full group ensemble. Facilitator nods in their direction and they say how they are feeling.
‘Lets move from the villagers now. Can we imagine how Hansel and Gretel felt when the bread trail was eaten?
Whole class ensemble. Narration to describe the woods, as we pass each child. Convention 7
Whole class ensemble, paired improvisation from the chosen 2.
Convention 7 and 2
Facilitator in role as the woodcutter asks the class in role as stepmother. They give responses she would give as a group.
Convention 1 but group in role too.
The letter is held by one, but read out by another. We can have different line from different children here. Convention 22
Whole class spontaneous
improvisation, working in roleand responding to the
narration, taking the lead andthe drama forward here.
Whole class improvisation,
with facilitator taking the ideas forward.
Convention 3. Frozen effigy. 1 line each to show feelings.
Convention 1 / As a class we do need to go on the search. Although some may be against it, most should want to do this for the sake of the children.
Facilitator must guide the group here. ‘We may be gone for a few days’. ‘We don’t have much food ourselves’.
Problems need to be posed for the group.
We are ready to go although not everyone is happy about it.
We have shifted the focus and broken the chronology of events. Taking more objective view, which will enrich the work in role as villagers later on.
The woods are created.
The key moment in the woods is created. Class are ‘spectactors’. They are all part of the scene, yet audience to it as well.
The step mother must not back down. She can threaten him with calling the police and that he will be blamed etc..
A letter is read by the step mother, showing that the woodcutter cannot follow her wishes. Once the letter is read a first time. Re read it and the volunteers as the step mother must show a still image of what she does next. Could be throwing the vase across the room!
We have created a sharedimage of the house. Arewe now ready to enter?Some still may want to go
We have a host of cluesabout what has beenhappening here. Somemay look outside as welland see an empty cage.
DO they tell the whole story? DO the villagers take action or turn a blind eye?
Some groups have previously added that once the witch is gone, it rains in the village and the famine is over. A spell is lifted. Show the village back to its original beauty to finish off.
© Kevin Holland 2013