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TuesdayJuly 2010

Last Friday, we brought back our Diorama-Lama-Ding-Dong workshop. Why? Because it was really fun the first time, AND because we thought we could make it even better the second time around. And guess what? I’m pretty sure we did.

I’ll walk you through it, because when something goes well and is fun, once it’s over, the best thing you can do is recount it. Right?

So. Students came. We talked about character, setting, and conflict. There was some drawing involved. A mermaid wound up in the desert and two cowboys wound up at the bottom of the sea. There were many profoundly weird and interesting theories for how this happened. We brainstormed character ideas, and then the students sat down to flesh out their protagonists:

Characters created, we turned it over to the Fly Girl, Ruth Marks, from FLY, one of our favorite new programs for young people. She explained the delightful art of diorama construction, and they were off. Students chose from two different diorama shapes and a plethora of odds and ends:

Amazing dioramas were constructed, including Anna’s:

Anna’s character was a ballerina panda. As you can see, there were some minor characters as well, including a crab and a couple of sharks. The setting was a romantic dinner. It turns out the panda was hungry, and wanted to eat a taco, but then she fell in love with the taco. There was some taco kissing involved.

At the end of the workshop, we gave the students postcards addressed to 826. We asked them to write them out from the point of view of their characters writing from their scenes and send them back to us.

And guess what? This afternoon, one of the cards came back! (I’ll admit it: We weren’t entirely expecting that to happen.) It was from the ballerina panda you just met, and it said this:

Hello, I’m about to marry this taco, or maybe I want to eat it. Right now I am sitting at a table with all my friends and family. Hey, do you want to talk to my taco? Okay, here’s my taco. “…………………” Okay, I think my taco is shy.

Charming and delightful, as so many things around here are these days.

Many thanks to the Fly Girl, Ruth Marks, as well as our fearless leader Jason DePasquale, and our amazing team of volunteers: Catherine Calabro, Sara Walker, Tyler Brubaker, Kati Shanks, Natalie DePasquale, Angela Scott, Becca Rothman, and Rouba Abou-Samra.

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