Butterflies and Dingbats
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The body of the paper is made up of a log giving an account of what was done at each session. At the end of every week I have written my comments on that week. These were written long after my work with the children was over and I knew the successes and failures of my methods. I have placed in the appendix a selection of stories the class wrote during my first week as an experiment to probe their imaginations. They wrote their impressions of a musical piece, a picture, and a sketchy story they were to finish. We did it first orally to a practice piece, a picture, and then another·story before they wrote down their thoughts on that which I desired them to. The music they heard was from Mussorgsky' s "Night on Bald Mountain"; the picture was an engraving by Durer, called "The Knight, Death and the Devil." For the story I went through the following sketch: You are on a huge mountain--you stand before a lake and a beautiful mountain meadow and with a cliff at your back--in front of you, on the ground, lay a sword and a shield--further away is a giant eagle--Who are you? Where are you coming from or going? What has happened and what will happen? In all, I looked for the number of descriptive adjectives and adverbs used, the latter being rarer, the originality of expression, and their use of their imaginations. Also, in the appendix are questionnaires the class filled out before I left concerning our sessions and creative dramatics. The outline of projected sessions, initially developed in order to have something to follow, was quickly discarded when found to be impracticable after the first two weeks. For this reason it is not included in this paper.
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