These activities may be best suited for the age(s) shown following each activity. But remember, every child learns at his or her own pace!
If you have a puppet theater in your classroom turn it into a TV. If not, build a TV out of a large cardboard box. Create your own puppet shows based on your favorite TV characters to demonstrate that what we see on TV is just pretend. (4’s, 5’s) 2. Dress up like a superhero. Have the young children ask you questions about your life. Through your answers, show the young children that the superhero is just a person in a costume called an actor. Later, follow this activity up by letting the young children take the role of other superheroes and answer questions. (4’s, 5’s) 3. Brainstorm a list of magical characters from TV. Decorate socks or paper bags to make a puppet of your favorite pretend character. Then, create a new action story for your character to tell. (4’s, 5’s) 4. Read Best Friends. Discuss with the young children some things friends can pretend to do. With a friend, have the young children draw something they could imagine and pretend to do together. (4’s, 5’s)
Write real and pretend stories as a class. Put them together in a booklet. Young children should illustrate stories. Follow-up activities could include sorting the pictures into real and pretend groups. (5’s) 6. Show the young children a pretend show (it should be PBS program or other show which does not depict violence). Turn the room into a TV studio. Have young children work in small groups with an adult to develop a sequel to the story they viewed. Help them recognize that they are creating a pretend story just like the TV writers do. You could take this a step farther if you want them to produce the show. Use a video camera and let them act it out! (5’s) 7. Compare books to TV shows. Have an adult dress up like an author carrying a book and another adult dress up like a TV producer carrying a camera. Have them tell what they do to create their stories. Allow the young children to ask questions. Compare and contrast. Help young children to discover that they are both pretending to be characters (author and TV producer) and creating a story using their imagination. (5’s) 8. Set up your own filming studio and theater. Encourage young children to create their own shows, act them out, and watch themselves. (5’s)