The teaching of literary content in schools is largely organised through classical frontal teaching. History is learnt and asked whether it has been understood is of secondary importance. Not all children benefit from the generally one-sided mental method. Fortunately, there are more and more schools, such as the Gorch-Fock-Schule in Bremerhaven, which are opening up more and more to the concept of the “project week” and acquiring funding from the city, funding associations or at federal level. From these funds, artists* are invited to the school who show the children a new way to approach a subject creatively. The project lasted one week and was designed for a fourth class, i.e. 10-year-old children.

Workshop stage design model: Peter Pan’s world under the magnifying glass

During the Literature Week, the world of Peter Pan was brought to life. The children built masks, painted octopus pictures, developed fairy dances, rehearsed sailor songs, which were shown on a real theatre stage for the final presentation. The excitement in the fourth classes was great! The students* had read the story of Peter Pan before preparing in class. In the first part of the project week we talked about the places that make up the setting of the story. Nimmerland, Peter Pan’s underground cave, the pirate ship Jolly Roger, the children’s room of Wendy, John and Michael were named. At the end of the proket week the students* had a presentation in the theatre, so I made models with the children in the form of a stage set. Each child chose a place from the story and designed it imaginatively according to their own imagination.

Model making in cardboard and then in large for the stage

Building together: Jolly Roger is alive!

The second part of the project week went from the individual project to the planned group work! Teamwork was the motto! My main concern was to make it clear to the students* that a large collaborative project is a series of different steps that have to be divided up and waited for. The students* built, glued and painted a stage set, half octopus, half rock. Later, the music theatre group performed the octopus on the stage. The stage design class moved the tentacles and eyes of the octopus and brought them to life during the performance.

Peter Pan at the Theater Fischereihafen Bremerhaven

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