Extra Fun with The Little Humpbacked Horse

This magic fable gives us a chance to look at the build of a ballet production, the harvest of a farm, how to make our toys fly and how to paint a puppet!!!

Science: Plowing Earth

The Little Humpbacked Horse begins at Ivan’s family farm, where we see farm equipment, typically a scythe or a plow. A PLOW is a basic farming tool that pokes into the dirt to loosen it and make it easier for air, water and sun to fall on anything we plant there. This lovely little video shows a plow breaking up the earth and a farmer dropping seeds into holes he makes for them. Simple and easy to follow.

Seeds need the air, sun and water to grow. Plows help.

Technology: The Scythe

The SCYTHE is a basic cutting tool that helps the farmer cut wheat, grass or any tall crops so s/he doesn’t have to bend over and hurt his/her back in the process. The Gentleman Farmer calls it FarmFit and shows how to do it properly below.

Like an ancient lawnmower–and you are the motor.

Engineering: Pulleys

If you’ve ever seen someone “fly” onstage, you know they’re not really flying, they’re lifted by ropes. The people get into the air with the help of a PULLEY. I made this simple, silly video to show how a “Firebird Feather” can help Ivan Fly.

I made a pulley, but the better video is linked to PULLEY.

Art: Puppet Painting

For a while I’ve had requests for puppet painting workshops–I’m open to the idea, but I thought I’d commit the act to video first. Below find videos for painting both Ballerinas and Cavaliers. In my demonstration I use a bamboo rice paddle, but when I’ve done workshops in preschools I’ve given everyone plastic spoons and sharpies.

I use bamboo rice paddles and acrylics…
…but you can use a plastic spoon and sharpies.

Math: Rows, Columns & Corps de Ballet

Corps (pronounced “core”) de ballet are groups of dancers who usually dance in unison. The word “Corps” means “body” and perhaps “Corps de Ballet” refers to the majority or heart of the company. For the dancers to move in unison means they are doing the same things at the same time, and to show that off, dance teachers put them into ROWS and COLUMNS. Costumes help as well. Can you see the unison?

Click to see Corps de Ballet dancers working together in this video.

When you have a class of 12 or 15 (common sizes) a dance teacher has to organize the dancers into rows. Here is a small video showing this principle using glass gems. Dancers think of it as choreography, but math teachers call it Array Division.

Putting dancers on a stage involves math.

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