So it was Play with a Plan time in our classroom, and I was situated in the library area with some children who had decided on their own to do a puppet show.
I didn’t want to stop the play, seeing as how they were playing so nicely, even though the library should be a place for reading and quiet.
They had already put up the felt board and gave each other roles and jobs.
One person was going to be the police man.
One person was going to be the fire woman.
One person was going to be the doctor.
One person was going to be the animal finger puppet thing with sharp teeth.
One person was the audience. Actually two people, since I joined that person in the audience.
Once all the roles were given and accepted by everybody, one boy, who I shall call Barney, decided to join us.
Everyone told Barney that all the parts were already given out so he could join us in the audience. He had no problem with that and he joined us.
Then the show started.
No one knew what to do. So I got them started.
Me: “Where are we?”
1 of Them: “At the store!”
Them: “Yeah! At the store!”
Me: “What’s going on at the store?”
Policeman: “The Policeman is dead!”
Me: “Oh! Um, ok! Is he sick? Do we need to get someone?”
Doctor: “Yeah! He needs a doctor!”
Me: “Alright! What’s the doctor doing?”
Doctor: “The doctor’s dead!”
Me: “Oh! Oh no! Who’s gonna save the doctor now?”
Me: “Ok! What is the firewoman doing?”
Firewoman: “I’m dead!”
Me: “Oh, well, everyone’s dead!”
Animal finger puppet thing with sharp teeth: “Not me!”
Me: “Alright animal thing! What can you do?”
Animal finger puppet thing with sharp teeth: “I’m dead!”
Me: “You died too? Oh no! There are no more puppets! What can we do?”
Barney: “I can save them.”
Them: “You don’t have a puppet.”
Barney: “I know someone who can come!”
Barney held his pointing and middle fingers in an upside down V.
Barney: “Action Fingers!”
Action Fingers went to all the puppets and bounced on their heads like Mario bounces on Koopah shells.
Barney: “You’re all alive!”
And the play went on like this. The puppets died and Action Fingers came in and saved everyone.
Maybe I should’ve intervened in the play to stop all the dying. I knew right away it was headed down a road I didn’t want to go down. I wasn’t prepared to talk about death and grieving. I didn’t have to though. Action Fingers saved the day.