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Make Your Own TV Show

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Make Your Own TV Shows

You can use a camcorder (or any recording/playback device that

allows you to take one picture at a time and then play them all back)

to make your own animation videos.

Here’s what you do:

1. Write a script which is basically the story or action you want

to shoot.

2. Draw story board cards which is a way to show yourself what

each shot will look like before you shoot it.

3. Gather all the people or props you will need for the shoot.

4. Put your camcorder on a tripod or a flat steady surface and

focus on your scene. It’s important that you don’t move the

camera during shooting. You may need adult help to get started.

5. Hook -up the camcorder to a TV if possible so the other kids can

see what the camera sees.

6. Push to start recording. Count ONE. Push to stop recording.

Move your figure (toy, object or person) just a little bit. Repeat

over and over.

That’s all there is to it. The rest is up to your imagination.

Imagine what you could do with your favorite toys…

• How would you get a teddy bear to eat a cookie and drink some

milk ? (take a bite – record…take a bite – record… get it?)

• How would you get a stuffed animal to spin in a circle?

• How would you spell your name letter by letter?

• How could you show a Leggo tower build itself ?

• How could you show a dress-up doll wearing a lot of different

outfits one after the other?

• How would you show shoes walking up the stairs or doing a

dance with no one in them?

What about science projects?

• What would you do to show a seed grow into a plant? Would

you have to take one shot a day for a month? Two shots a day?

• What would you do to show decomposition of a banana peel?

• What if you could focus on a bird nesting?

What about animating your friends ?

• What if several of them disappear behind a tree only to

emerge in a different order?

• What if they were to paddle a canoe down a road?

• How would you show your friend riding a lawn chair across

your yard?

• How would you get 5 kids to climb into a barrel?…and have

someone else climb out?

• How many hats could one kid wear…frontwards? backwards?

sideways?

What if you wanted to do a full production?

1. You start with a story idea. Think of a familiar fairy tale. Tell it

straight. Or twist it. Or make up your own story for action figures

or dolls.

2. Make up a script which is simply a way for everyone to know what

comes next.

3. Make titles. Be sure the letters fit in a space shaped like a TV screen.

4. Make a set or stage for your figures. This can be as simple as a

coffee table in front of a couch with a sheet thrown over it. Or you can

use a doll house or a cardboard box decorated to fit your story.

You get the idea.

Make Your Own TV Show

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Make Your Own TV Shows

You can use a camcorder (or any recording/playback device that

allows you to take one picture at a time and then play them all back)

to make your own animation videos.

Here’s what you do:

1. Write a script which is basically the story or action you want

to shoot.

2. Draw story board cards which is a way to show yourself what

each shot will look like before you shoot it.

3. Gather all the people or props you will need for the shoot.

4. Put your camcorder on a tripod or a flat steady surface and

focus on your scene. It’s important that you don’t move the

camera during shooting. You may need adult help to get started.

5. Hook -up the camcorder to a TV if possible so the other kids can

see what the camera sees.

6. Push to start recording. Count ONE. Push to stop recording.

Move your figure (toy, object or person) just a little bit. Repeat

over and over.

That’s all there is to it. The rest is up to your imagination.

Imagine what you could do with your favorite toys…

• How would you get a teddy bear to eat a cookie and drink some

milk ? (take a bite – record…take a bite – record… get it?)

• How would you get a stuffed animal to spin in a circle?

• How would you spell your name letter by letter?

• How could you show a Leggo tower build itself ?

• How could you show a dress-up doll wearing a lot of different

outfits one after the other?

• How would you show shoes walking up the stairs or doing a

dance with no one in them?

What about a science project?

• What would you do to show a seed grow into a plant? Would

you have to take one shot a day for a month? Two shots a day?

• What would you do to show decomposition of a banana peel?

• What if you could focus on a bird nesting?

What about animating your friends ?

• What if several of them disappear behind a tree only to

emerge in a different order?

• What if they were to paddle a canoe down a road?

• How would you show your friend riding a lawn chair across

your yard?

• How would you get 5 kids to climb into a barrel?…and have

someone else climb out?

• How many hats could one kid wear…frontwards? backwards?

sideways?

What if you wanted to do a full production?

1. You start with a story idea. Think of a familiar fairy tale. Tell it

straight. Or twist it. Or make up your own story for action figures

or dolls.

2. Make up a script which is simply a way for everyone to know what

comes next.

3. Make titles. Be sure the letters fit in a space shaped like a TV screen.

4. Make a set or stage for your figures. This can be as simple as a

coffee table in front of a couch with a sheet thrown over it. Or you can

use a doll house or a cardboard box decorated to fit your story.

You get the idea.

Poem

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Try your hand at a poem. It doesn’t have to rhyme all the time.

Sign Of Passing

You can’t lift a pheasant track

out of the snow

fling it high

make it fly

back to its happening some flurry ago

A sign of passing

in the hollows of spring melting snow

Puppet Show

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I bet you’ve watched Sesame Street. Do you think you could write a show for them? Maybe something like this one that I tried to send to them. You could perform this as a puppet show or a play. What do you think?

THE NO-NO’S

OPENING SCENE:

A family of three puppets with no noses sits in their living room. Father reads his paper mumbling, ‘no-no-no’ while smoking his pipe. Mother sits and knits while humming ‘rock-a-bye-baby’ to NO sounds. The five-year old pretends to fly his airplane to NOOO-NOOO sounds.

Narrator:

There’s this family…kind of different…who only knows one word: NO. There’s Papa No-No and Mama No-No and Little No-No. The No-no’s live far away from other people. The No-No’s also have no noses. Nobody is sure if they are called No-No’s because they say NO so much or because they have no noses. Either way the No-No’s have no noses and live happily in the little home in the forest.

One this particular day, it is so beautiful outside that Little No-No wants to go out to play. He jumps up and runs to his mother, points outside and ask permission in NO sounds. Mama No-No answers in NO sounds telling him not to go too far because soon his birthday cake would be ready and they were going to have a party.

Little No-No goes out in the woods to fly his airplane. At first he doesn’t see a blond girl sitting by a tree. She’s crying. He stops, listens then slowly walks toward her and stares at her. When the girls looks up and sees him she screams.

GIRL: Yuuch! No-nose. You don’t have a nose. No-nose.

Narrator: Little No-No smiles and offers to shake hands. After all, the girl had called him by name. The girl refuses to shake hands.

GIRL: Yuuch. No nose.

Narrator:  Little No-No nods happily, points to himself as if to say…that’s right and you?

GIRL: Go away, no-nose.

Narrator: Now Little No-No was not very nosey in more ways than one. He leaves the girl and starts to walk away. But the girl is not half as frightened of Little No-No as she is of being lost and alone in the woods. So, the girl jumps up, catches up to Little No-No and grabs his arm.

GIRL: Ahem. I’m lost. Could you please help me?

Little No-No: No

GIRL: (Shouting) What do you mean, NO. Don’t you know your way around here?

Little No-No: No

GIRL: Then you can’t help me find my way home, can you?

Little No-No: No

GIRL: Then what good is it doing me to talk to you?

Little No-No: No (Sounds like ‘I don’t know’)

GIRL: Ohh, Boo Hoo. I’m lost and scared. What shall I do?

Narrator: Little No-No picks a flower and offers it to the girl hoping to make her feel better.

GIRL: For me? You picked this just for me?

Little No-No: (Nods his head yes, but says no) No

GIRL: Hey wait a minute. Something is all mixed up here and it’s not me…I think. Now, you nodded yes but said…

Narrator: Just then Mama No-No calls for Little No-No and he grabs the girl’s arm.

GIRL: Hey, just a minute buddy. Where are you taking me?

Narrator: Little No-No points toward his house and chatters excitedly in No’s. The girl follows him into the house and finds Mama No-No and Father No-No sitting in the living room.

GIRL: Can you people understand me?

Father: No

GIRL: Geez, you guys. Ever since I’ve been here and talking to you no-noses, I’ve heard nothing but no—right?

Mother: No

GIRL: Huh? Wait a minute. I think I get it. Is NO the only word you guys can say?

Little No-No: No

GIRL: Good. Then you do know some other words. What are they?

Little No-No: No-no.

GIRL: Aargh! How will I ever get home again?

Narrator: Mother comes out of the kitchen with a birthday cake with five candles and the word NO on top. The No-No’s sing happy birthday…in NO’s of course.

The girl is feeling pretty bad about now. But, after all, a party is a party and a piece cake is a piece of cake. And she can hardly say no to a NO cake. So, while she’s gobbling down her cake, Little No-No opens his present, which is a sweat shirt with University of NO on the front. He hugs his mother and father then they all turn and look at the girl.

GIRL: I’m sorry, I don’t seem to have a present…being lost and all.

NO-NO’s: No (sounds like ‘don’t mention it’)

GIRL: Yes, but I want to…

No-No’s: No

GIRL: Yes! Darn it! Yes. I want to give you something. Wait a minute. I know what I can give you.

Narrator: The girl grabs a crayon and writes YES on a piece of paper.

GIRL: This word is YES. It’s spelled Y-E-S. It’s a new word for you.

NO-NO’s: Yes…Yes…Yes

GIRL: Hey, I’m glad you all like that new word. But can you tell me how to get out of this woods?

NO-NO’s: Yes

GIRL: Great. Because, you see, I really enjoyed the party and all. It’s like NO party I’ve ever been too. Ha-ha. Get it? But I really must go.

NO-NO’s: Yes

GIRL: You made me feel good when I was scared. I bet I looked kind of silly…

NO-NO’s: Yes

Narrator: The girl starts to get suspicious and backs slowly toward the door.

GIRL: I bet you thought it was stupid of me to get lost in the first place…

NO-NO’s: Yes

Narrator: The No-No’s try to hug her and get her to sit down. The girl is confused.

GIRL: You don’t want me to leave?

NO-NO’s: (Shake their heads no but say yes) Yes

GIRL: Oh no. I’m out of here.

NO-NO’s: Yes

GIRL: (runs away, screaming) No, no, no no.

NO-NO’s: Yes?

Play Writing

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It’s not too hard to write a play. You basically tell a story with conversation. Of course, that takes listening to how people talk and capturing their dialogue with your words. Here’s a sample of a play taken from my eBook:

Four Read Aloud Plays adapted from the novel, Tales from the Drake House Outhouse

Frank Drake Meets Running Deer

Characters:

Frank Drake 12

Running Deer 12

Ben Jr. 10

Narrators  1&2

Narr 1: This story starts when Benjamin Drake came to settle some land near Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1830. There were Indians there. Potawatomis.

Narr 2: One morning right after the Drake family arrived Frank the oldest boy decided to take the gun and see if he could find a deer or a turkey or even just a squirrel to add to the stew pot.

Narr 1: At one point he stepped from behind the trees into a broad meadow. Standing not fifteen feet away was an Indian boy about his own age. The boy grabbed his bow and arrow and half raised them. Frank, lifted his rifle to his chest waiting for the boy to make the next move. They stared at each other for a minute.

Frank: Well this is just ridiculous. Either you’re going to shoot me or you’re not. But I’m not going stand here for the rest of my life.

Narr 2: He bent slowly and laid his rifle in the tall grass. The boy waited for a moment then did the same with his bow and arrow.

Narr 1: The boys stared at each other some more. Then Frank had an idea. He leaned onto his hands and did a cartwheel. When he stood up, red in the face, the other boy simply nodded.

Narr 2: Then he dropped to his belly, grabbed his bow and arrow and rolled away from Frank. One turn. Two turns. Then he hopped to one knee notched his arrow and shot at a tree stump. The arrow buried deeply into the rotten wood.

Narr 1: Frank used his pocketknife to carefully work the arrow out without breaking it. The boy took the arrow. Handed it to Frank. Frank smiled.

Narr 2: Then he noticed the boy looking at the knife in his hand. Frank offered the knife to the boy.

Narr 1: They both studied their new treasures. Frank Drake used a slate board back in those early days to write out his lessons.

Narr 2: One day, Frank’s friend, Running Deer found him writing on his slate board. He pointed as if to ask – what’s that?

Frank: It’s a gift from my teacher.

Running Deer: What you doing?

Frank: Writing.

Narr 1: Running Deer took the chalk and made marks on the slate.

Running Deer: I can do too. What means?

Frank: Let me show you how writing works. Tell me something I don’t know about you.

Running Deer: Last winter I killed first deer.

Narr:2: Frank erased the slate and wrote a few words.

Frank: Take this to my brother, Ben.

Narr 1: His brother read the words then pointed at Running Deer.

Ben: Last winter you killed your first deer.

Narr 1: Running Deer looked from one brother to another. Then he snatched the slate board and slammed it against a rock.

Running Deer: You steal my spirit.

Narr 2: And that Fall, after the Indians left for their winter hunting grounds, Frank never saw Running Deer again. The tribe never came back.

All About You

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All About You

Writers are supposed to write about what they know. One of the things we know best is our own life. So, it’s good practice to write about ourselves. Here’s a sample of autobiography or memoir. See if you can write a story about a powerful moment in your life.

The fat wren tipped over. Fluttered its wings. Rolled off the garage roof and fell to the ground. I was stunned. I hadn’t thought I would ever hit one with my b-b gun, let alone kill it. I knelt next to the little bird. I felt bad, started to tell myself or God or someone that I didn’t mean it. That it was an accident. I had been playing Sylvester and Tweety bird, see. I didn’t realize this would happen, that I would feel this way. But I had been shooting at birds out of my back window for months. I could hardly call it an accident. Somehow, I hadn’t realized that this would really happen. Why did I feel so bad?

When you live on the east side of Detroit in an Italian neighborhood, you didn’t see much wildlife. And yet, years later, when I saw a movie about a Bushman of the Kalahari praying to an animal he had just killed, I knew what he was feeling when he apologized to his victim for taking its life. Only I didn’t have any good reason for killing that bird and I felt terrible. Strangely, I couldn’t bring myself to touch the bird. It was part of another world. The world of wild things. I got a shovel. Dug a small hole. Lifted the bird with the shovel and buried it. Then I put the shovel away. Then I put the gun away.

Killing the bird wasn’t the same as shooting at Mr. Jack’s cats. His cats were fun to shoot at. They were as grouchy as he was and just wanted to be left alone to sun themselves on the black tar roof just across the alley from my upstairs attic window. Invariably, it would take a few shots to get the range since the B-Bs had a curved trajectory over that distance. Eventually a shot would land on the roof next to cat,­ just enough to get it to raise it’s head and look around for the source of the disturbance. The next shot would score and the cat would leap from the roof in one bound, gone for the rest of the day.

See, that’s what I was trying to do with the birds. Tweak them. Not kill them.

It wasn’t that I had never seen animals killed. Like the time when the Italo-American club had a Thanksgiving Day raffle. The big wheel with nails stuck around the outer edge clicked slower and slower until it landed, with a breath jarring tick on my number. People shouted for my Grampa who was playing pinochle in the back room. He was proud of me that night. He told me that he had never won anything in his life and now I had won something for him. I still can still see him walking ahead of me on the way home, his tweed suit collar turned up against the cold, his floppy golf hat slouched over one ear and the turkey tucked under his arm looking back at me. The turkey stayed in the coal bin for a week until, in a matter of fact way, Grampa twisted its neck. Gramma dunked the carcass in boiling water and pulled off all the feathers singeing the tiny small ones over the gas stove leaving the smell of burnt hair in the cellar. The turkey, my turkey, looked so beautiful and golden brown for Thanksgiving dinner and I had made it all possible.

I had seen animals killed. I had shot rabbits, hunting with my uncles. Why was I so squeamish about touching that tiny wren? Why did I feel so bad about killing it?

Rabbits. It was always my job to skin and dress them after a long day in the field. Gramma would open the door to the back porch and remind me to put the backs in one pile so she could marinate them in her special garlic-tomato sauce. That’s what the difference was. I was helping us eat.

Nature Description

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It’s easy to be awed by a beautiful sunset or majestic mountain, but how do you describe that experience in words so someone else can see and feel what you experienced. Let’s see your description of a waterfall or sunrise or animal or…you name it…your favorite experience of natural beauty. Here are two descriptions that might get you started.

Taken from Mountain Rules, by Joe Novara

Mackenzie stepped out on the porch of her cabin. She felt much better after a shower and shampoo. With her contacts in place she strolled down to the main road in camp and made a complete circle studying the high wall of hills and mountains that surrounded the valley. TorreValley.

She felt like a tiny bug in the bottom of a bathtub. Up where the faucet would be was a huge patch of snow—a glacier on a mountain that melted into a stream that ran down a jumble of rocks to the valley floor where it twisted through the camp and eventually widened into three lakes that hugged the road into town.

She did a few deep knee bends, stretched and loosened her shoulders before breaking into a slow jog. I’ll just run a couple of miles today. Get some of that cramped-up airplane ride out of my system.

By the time she got past the parking lot and out to the gate, Mackenzie was breathing hard. She bent over, hands on her knees sucking air. What’s this all about? she wondered. I know I’m in good shape. Then she remembered. Altitude. I’m at 7000 feet. The air is thinner. Have to give myself a couple of days.

Here’s an example of a description of the Pacific Ocean.

Taken from, Time and Past Time, by Joe Novara (an adult novel) 

The motor roared to life drowning further talk. The boat, powering through the four-foot breakers on its way to open water, raised a fine mist of spindrift causing Emily’s sun warmed legs to break out in delicious goose bumps. Facing front she closed her eyes drawing in the salt laden air, enjoying the whip and tug of ear-length hair dancing in the wind lash. That’s what she had come for, freedom from boots and coats and gloves and scarves.

As soon as they rounded the protective arm of the bay, the water rose around them like drunken foothills, staggering, lurching, leaning into one another. On the crest of one wave Emily glimpsed another boat, a fisherman tucked into the draws and hollows of the majestic ocean rolling all the way from Japan.

Ramon, steering extension tucked under his arm, watched Emily’s fascination with the wave action against the towering headland—the giant ooze of bottle green surging up the black fissured rock face, hanging for a count-one moment, then boiling down to fill the temporary valley below. I never get tired of watching that, he mused. All that power. Been doing that, like forever. Gonna keep doing it after I’m gone. And that blond lady, she’s digging it too. She gets it. Not like a lot of my customers who talk the whole time like they’re at the hair dresser’s or something.

Twenty minutes later, the launch hooked 90° in the washing machine chop caused by thousands of miles of sea cleaving against a bird-splattered cliff face to settle in the gentle roll of the tiny bay ringed by Manzanillo beach. Ramon cut the motor, swung an anchor over the gunwale and waved his arm over the rugged, ragged shoreline and reefs below as if to say, ‘we’re here, have at it snorkelers.’

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