I have to give Declan’s teacher credit. The assignment was to build a model of a famous building. When he suggested the Muppet Theater, she didn’t baulk – she allowed him to explore his creativity.
It was a several week project, that had an accompanying Powerpoint deck, where Declan researched the origins of the Muppet Theater, The Muppet Show, Muppet characters, and of course, Jim Henson.
I had this Apple “Think Different” poster featuring Jim and Kermit framed on my office wall since they were released in 1997 (now selling for over $200, holy moly) – so I think Declan has always known just how much this family cares for the Muppets.
It took a little guidance for him to not go off on his own little creative tantrum – he REALLY wanted to draw what he THOUGHT the Muppet Theater looked like. But, yes, there is a TON of info online, and we coached him back to the point of the project: research and execution.
It really worked out well.
Do you like the crew of puppeteers holding a rave below the stage? He realized early on that the theater wasn’t just a theater – that is was a television studio, so he left the bottom of the stage open for Jim Henson’s crew and also added television cameras to film. Another thing he researched was the marquee. YES. It really does look just like that.
By the way – those pom-pom stage lights there? Turned out to be the hardest part of the whole project. They were like trying to get sea urchins to glue themselves to a wall.
Other crazy stuff went into the building and his presentation. That the theater isn’t actually a theater at all – it’s a house built in 1802. That the Muppet Show was filmed in England. That is was “named” a National Historic Landmark in 2002. That it has a ghost named John Stone!
I am blown away by the facts he found and the work he did. And yes, we helped but he REALLY worked.
Let’s be honest. Homework has always been like pulling teeth. Not Dr. Teeth pulling teeth either, har har. Declan does just enough to get by and mostly does it HIS way. Which is great, we celebrate his creativity.
But with this project, his teacher celebrated his creativity AND got him excited about the learning process.
THAT’s a really great show.