Puppet masters: Tuscaloosa Magnet students share environmental message – News – Tuscaloosa News

On Wednesday, first grade students at Tuscaloosa Magnet Elementary School had the opportunity to watch familiar storybook characters cast in a new light.

Students were treated to a puppet show created by seventh-grade students in the Tuscaloosa Magnet Middle art and design class. The students wrote the play, which combined common fairy tales with a message of environmentalism.

The show was part of a grant the class received from the Tuscaloosa Art Council, which awarded the class $250 to create a show. With a $250 match from the school’s PTA, the class made puppets, built a small puppet stage and incorporated different characters to fit a “green” message.

“It was a proposal to do puppet plays that would have a going green message so teach younger children importance of gong green and recycling,” said Trenton White, art and design teacher at the school.

White said the school takes recycling very seriously, going as far as having its own recycling club.

Students involved in the puppet production would come up with story ideas by taking characters and combining a message about recycling or environmentalism. For example, one play took the eponymous character from “Little Red Riding Hood” and developed a play called “Litter Red Riding Hood,” which touched on the importance of not littering. Another play used “Jack and the Beanstalk” to discuss the harmful effects of cutting down too many trees.

“These characters are people they have looked up to or have known about growing up … so they can now relate them with recycling,” said Maddie Adams, a seventh-grader and puppeteer in the show.

Seth Jones, a seventh-grader in the class, said teaching younger kids early on about recycling and environmentalism was important.

 “Kids need to know that if garbage isn’t properly recycled, it can end up on landfills and harm animals,” Seth said.

Seth and others agreed that while developing the show, the…

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