Lights. Camera. Action! On the TV screen, appears a clip of a man trapped in a lion’s cage. It’s in black and white and the only sound is music. The man… the iconic comedian Charlie Chapman. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t take long for this young crowd to be brought to laughter.
Rebecca Rubin, our American Girl, dreamed of being an actress. In 1914, moving pictures were a new and up-in-coming thing. Therefore, I wanted to give our young ladies a little idea of what it would have been like to go to the movies during that time. I put together a little string of Charlie Chapman clips from YouTube.
Here’s the collection I chose:
Everyone got the biggest kick out of “Modern Times”. I added Smile to the end for The End. It’s a more serious clip about never giving up. Charlie and a woman walk into the sunset and then the large letters come across the screen stating “The End”. The perfect ending, in my opinion, for our little showing.
To practice our own acting skills, we went on to play charades. There were two teams of five. I wrote on notecards the words. Each color of notecard was designated to a category (See the end of this blog for the list of words I used for our group ranging in age from Almost-Kindergarten to 6th grade).
If you haven’t played before each team tries to guess what their own teammate is acting out. If they guess it within the minute, they receive a point. Then the next team goes. If the team is unable to guess it, no point is given and it’s the next team’s turn.
At this point everyone was ready for a snack break. We had challah bread, since Rebecca Rubin spoke of how her family made it every Friday in preparation for the Sabbath. Furthermore, Rebecca’s parents and grandparents were Russian immigrants. Therefore, one of our mothers was kind enough to go to the Russian market and bring us some cookies to sample. I also made Pryaniki (Russian Spice Cookies).
Here is the recipe for the Pryaniki (Russian Spice Cookies). I found these to be super easy to make and they were quite the hit! I actually made a second batch that night just for my family.
Rebecca 1914 The Sound of Applause starts off with her playing with her family of nesting dolls from Russia. Therefore, for today’s craft, I had 40 peg people of various sizes (daddy through baby) and paint markers. The girls spent lots of time creating their dolls. Some were very detailed, others went along a theme, like frozen or Marvel. I love all the creativity!
Nesting dolls – these were not cost effective when buying for a group of ten. However, they would be a fun project for me and my daughters.
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Pink Notecards = Animals
Yellow = Objects
Ice cream cone
Blue = Action
Making your bed
Brushing your teeth
Peeling a banana
Watering the flowers
Reading a book
Washing your hair
Washing the dishes
White = Emotions