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K-M kids turn into a bunch of animals for performances

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By Deb Hurley Brobst

A bunch of cute animals visited the kindergarten classrooms at King-Murphy Elementary on Thursday.

The animals were costumed kids, ready to delight their families with play performances based on classic children’s books and traditional songs. Paulyne Fisher’s class performed “The Mitten” by Jan Brett, and Beth Schwecke’s class performed “The Gingerbread Man” by Catherine McCafferty. The plays have been long-standing traditions in both classrooms.

Fisher said the plays have an academic twist.

“We have an (International Baccalaureate) unit about reasons authors write books,” Fisher explained. “We talk about entertaining, teaching, informing and provoking thought. Then we talk about how the authors’ stories can be brought to life.”

“The Mitten” is about a young girl who loses a white mitten in the snow. The mitten becomes a safe haven for some animals, who say: “It’s so warm and cozy in here, we think we’ll stay.”

There’s a mole, three snowshoe rabbits, two hedgehogs, two owls, three badgers, two fox and a bear.

A mouse wants to crawl in, too, but it tickles the bear’s nose, and he sneezes. The mitten sails into the sky, scattering the animals in all directions. The girl eventually finds her mitten, which has been stretched to many times its original size.

Mom Tiffany Giefer and grandma Pat Giefer were pleased with “The Mitten” performance. Tiffany’s son Nicholas, 6, was a rabbit.

“It was outstanding,” Tiffany said. “They worked really hard.”

“The Gingerbread Man” is about a cookie character, who escapes the oven and outwits a variety of animals that want to eat him.

Sage York, 5, made his acting debut as the gingerbread man in Schwecke’s class. Sage found learning and reciting his lines to be fun.

His mom, Stacy York, said the play helped Sage get ready for the holidays.

Schwecke said kindergartners have always done a holiday play.

“It gives them a chance to perform and show off for their parents,” she said.