The Teacher 155

39 The Teacher  1 (155) 2018 Young Learners              Moreover, there is a technique which allows the figure to be translucent and show colour and drawn details (which has its own pros and cons) that I shall briefly mention. However, for now, let us assume that all the figures will be in black shadow and look at some of the benefits and restrictions. Black shadows The advantage of a black shadow is also its drawback in some ways. The disadvantage is that when the student spends a long time lovingly drawing all the details on the figure and they will not be seen! Likewise, if the figure is just a photocopy of a picture glued onto card and cut out, it probably will not work. This is hard for younger students to understand and a summer school project my students once did based on The Lion King fell flat at one point because they had (against my advice) just taken pictures from the internet. When the figures became shadows/silhouettes, all the details of the faces, the shape of the head against the body etc. became lost and the lion became a shapeless blob on legs. If you want details to be seen, you need to cut them out. This, as I point out below, is very time consuming (particularly if it involves all the stripes of a tiger!). The advantage of black figures is the same as the disadvantage; you cannot see anything other than the silhouette. This means that you can use any scrappy old bit of card or paper. The repaired rips, stiffening strips, scribbled out drawings etc. will not be seen. While the audience admires your beautiful silhouettes, you know how shoddy the creased, repaired figures are. Still pictures and scenery Still pictures are very good for creating scenery, backgrounds etc. in a combination with moving figures. They can also be used to tell the story. Perhaps the greatest benefit is that they do not always need more than one person to hold them (unless they are really big) and can be made of almost any kind of card or paper as long as it is stiff enough (even then, the paper can be stiffened by gluing extra card, wooden sticks etc. to strategic places. The obvious problem with fixed pictures is that they are not very dynamic and students may find them a little boring to use. Likewise, unless you are changing them quite rapidly during the show, the audience can also find it tiresome to look at a stationary black image while a lot of text is recited. The scene, however, can move. If, for example, your screen is 90cm across, you can make a street scene or rolling fields on a 180cm flexible piece of card and move it across the screen to give the idea of another figure moving, like a film. ❯❯❯

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