I teach a music and literature class for young children, and we just finished up a three week unit on setting. After we had created four different settings on the whiteboard, adding characters and buildings and other things that were appropriate for the setting, we listened to music and chose songs for the different settings. ‘Imagine you’re making a movie, what kind of music would be playing at the castle? Under the sea? New York City?’

So of course we listened to Star Wars, which they all recognized, every single one of them. That amazes me, because my parents were not into the Star Wars movies, and I didn’t see them until my little brothers were old enough to be interested. I’ve only seen five of them, the three originals, then Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.  Maybe parts of the others, but not the whole thing. I read the chapter books by Patricia C. Wrede for the two new episodes that I had watched, and I actually think I read the books before I saw the movies. I really liked the books, and the other middle grade series that were set inbetween the movies, with Anakin as a padawan learner.

So all my students recognized the music, and they jumped up to swing imaginary lightsabers around and shoot imaginary blasters at each other. When we got around to the discussion and drawing of settings, they were still talking about Star Wars. The topic has come up in several classes, actually. And no matter if you like or hate the movies, listening to five and six year olds talk about them is hysterical. It definitely reminds me that they might like the movies, and they might remember them, but what they are seeing is not what their parents think they are seeing.

For instance, “Princess Leia is Luke Skywalker’s daughter.” That changes the story a bit. And I asked if they didn’t mean Darth Vader, and no, they were quite sure they had it correct, because Darth Vader was Luke’s father. Maybe the concept of twins isn’t there yet?

Or, “I thought Han Solo’s son was going to be scary, like, really scary. But instead he was fuzzy.” At first I thought he meant funny, but he kept moving his hands over his head as if he were describing curly hair. So, one can’t be scary if one is fuzzy.

They all think Han Solo is amazing. That’s pretty much what I remember from watching the movies.

We heard about a character named Stinky, which I haven’t yet investigated. The older students looked at the younger ones like they were crazy, so the younger ones might have added to the cast of characters. The pictures they drew about him were very interesting. Apparently he got blown up?

Sometimes teaching is like being on a galaxy far, far away.


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