Week 4 – Rosie, Abby, Ben, and Rebecca – the adventures of the turkey egg man…?

Overall, this visit to Overby-Sheppard felt the shortest, but also seemed to be the most productive – probably because there were about half the children there as last time. However, almost all of them who were there had been there at least once before so it was really fun to recognize and see all of them one last time. As usual, we started out our visit by playing a game so the children could get out some of their overly abundant energy. We walked into what appeared to be another freeze tag/sharks and minnows game. Once again, a few children (and Evan) were wolves while the other children were “little red riding hoods” trying to get to grandma’s house without being tagged by the wolves. Next, we finished off the games with a few rounds of duck, duck, goose to allow everyone to sit down and regroup. Finally, after all of the chaos had somewhat died down, we broke into our four small groups.

This time we ended up with two boys in our group since there were not a lot of kids there. Thankfully they were calmer and more focused than the last time (most likely because there were only two of them). Our group brought a few books and we figured we would let the children pick which one they wanted to read with us. Not surprisingly, the two boys decided that they wanted to read “ the Stinky Cheese Man”, which is a book filled with modern (and often comical) rewrites of classic fairytales. The pictures in the book are trippy, dark, but somewhat humorous. We each took turns reading a story and especially looked for the boy’s interactions to the different stories.

We started out reading “the Princess and the Bowling Ball”, but both boys did not seem to know the original story of “the Princess and the Pea” so they did not really understand this modern version, which results in the prince dishonestly choosing the right princess to marry. Next, we read a version of the “Ugly Duckling”, which ended in the poor ugly duckling just as ugly as he was in the beginning. The boys were not a huge fan of this rather unhappy ending and said they said they liked the one where he ended up happy and not as ugly. Another version of a classic tale presented in the book is “Little Red Running Shorts”, which actually did not make much sense to me as I read it, and I do not think that the children even understood it as being an interpretation of “Little Red Riding Hood”. However, we asked one of they boys to tell us the version of “Little Red Riding Hood” that they knew. To summarize his story: Little Red Riding Hood meets a wolf who follows her to grandmothers house. The wolf then eats Little Red Riding Hood and her Grandmother and eventually runs away…the end. This was not exactly a version that any of us had heard, but it had many of the key characters and concepts. 

However, the story that we had the most fun reading and discussing was “the Stinky Cheese Man”. This story follows the story of “the Gingerbread Man”, but instead the stinky cheese man smells so bad that nobody wants to chase him and he ends up falling into the river because the fox does not want to eat him. The boys thought that this story was really funny and loved helping us read the line: “Run run as fast as you can, you’ll never catch me I’m the stinky cheese man!” They both drew pictures of the stinky cheese man and decided that they liked this version more than the version with the gingerbread man. Afterwards we tried to get them to come up with their own version, which resulted in a story called “the Turkey-Egg Man” along with some pretty crazy artistic representations (hopefully to be posted later). In this story the turkey-egg man hops out of the oven, grows an egghead, is chased by kids, gets away, is chased again, and finally eaten. We recorded this comical ordeal so hopefully we can find a way to post it.

To conclude our visit we asked the boys about their favorite fairytales as well as what they think fairytales are. One of the boys responded that power ranger is his favorite fairy tale. He classified it as a fairytale because the power rangers have powers that people do not have in reality and they also defeat the bad guys. I think this surprised/intrigued our group because his interpretation of fairytales somewhat mirrors the discussions we have in class about what defines a fairytale. Overall, I really enjoyed this visit at Overyby-Sheppard and I think that our group as a whole had fun working with all of the kids. Even though they were disengaged and distracted from our discussions at some, they are a great group of children who I feel each appreciated the stories in their own unique ways. 

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