GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU - Applause Series Curriculum Guide March 26, 2018 - Des Moines Performing Arts

GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU - Applause Series Curriculum Guide March 26, 2018 - Des Moines Performing Arts
Margo Ellen Gesser


  Applause Series Curriculum Guide
          March 26, 2018
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU - Applause Series Curriculum Guide March 26, 2018 - Des Moines Performing Arts
Dear Teachers,
                                                                                                                  About the Applause Series
Thank you for joining us for the return Applause Series                                                                    Page 3
presentation of Guess How Much I Love You and I Love My
Little Storybook. Of the many companies that present work for                                                      Going to the Theater and
young audiences, Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia is one of                                                             Theater Etiquette
our favorites. Their ability to lift the work of classic children’s                                                         Page 4
authors and illustrators off the page and onto the stage is
nothing short of exquisite. This sweet double bill brings                                                           Civic Center Field Trip
illustrator Anita Jeram’s lovable rabbits to the stage —                                                           Information for Teachers
unfolding a touching story of the love between a father rabbit                                                              Page 5
and his son, as well as an imaginative story that celebrates
the wonderful world of books.                                                                                            Vocabulary
                                                                                                                           Page 6
We hope that this study guide helps you
connect the performance to your classroom                                                                          About the Performance
curriculum in ways that you find valuable. In                                                                              Page 7
the following pages, you will find contextual
information about the performance and                                                                              About Mermaid Theatre
related subjects, as well as a wide variety of                                                                        of Nova Scotia
discussion questions and activities. As such,
                                                                                 Photo by Margo Ellen Gesser

                                                                                                                          Page 8
we hope that you are able to “pick and
choose” material and ideas from the study                                                                      About the Authors and Illustrator
guide to meet your class’s unique needs.                                                                                   Page 9

See you at the theater,                                                                                               All About Rabbits
                                                                                                                           Page 10
Des Moines Performing Arts
Education Team                                                                                                      Pre-Show Exploration
                                                                                                                          Page 11

                                                                                                                    Post-show Discussion
                                                                                                                      and Assessment
                                                                                                                         Pages 12-13

   Support for Des Moines Performing Arts education programs and the                                                    Reproducible
                    Applause Series is provided by:                                                                       Pages 14
  American Enterprise Group, Arts Midwest, Bradford and Sally Austin, Bravo                                        Resources and Sources
Greater Des Moines, Clive Community Foundation, EMC Insurance Companies,
   DuPont Pioneer, Ernest and Florence Sargent Family Foundation, Gannett
Foundation/The Des Moines Register, Hy-Vee, Inc., Iowa Department of Cultural
Affairs, John Deere, Judith A. Lindquist Scholarship Fund, Richard and Deborah
 McConnell, Meredith Corporation Foundation, Nationwide, Polk County, Prairie
 Meadows, Principal, U.S. Bank, Union Pacific Foundation, Wells Fargo & Co.,
        West Bancorporation Foundation, Windsor Charitable Foundation,
                      and more than 400 individual donors.

                       This study guide was compiled and written by Michelle McDonald; edited by Karoline Myers.

Des Moines Performing Arts                                                                                                                Page 2 of 15
Guess How Much I Love You Curriculum Guide
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU - Applause Series Curriculum Guide March 26, 2018 - Des Moines Performing Arts

TAKE THOUSANDS OF IOWA STUDENTS OUT OF                                            ABOUT DES MOINES
THEIR CLASSROOMS, PLACE THEM IN A THEATER,                                        PERFORMING ARTS
PERFORMERS, AND WHAT DO YOU HAVE? A                                               Des Moines Performing Arts is
RECIPE FOR LEARNING THAT REACHES NEW                                              central Iowa’s premier
                                                                                  not-for-profit performing arts
LEVELS OF POSSIBILITY—FOR STUDENTS AND                                            organization.
                                                                                  More than 300,000 guests attend
WE CALL IT THE APPLAUSE SERIES.                                                   performances and events in our
                                                                                  four venues each year:
                                                                                     Civic Center, 2744 seats
BRINGING ARTS                                TICKET TO                               Stoner Theater, 200 seats
EDUCATION TO LIFE                            IMAGINATION                             Temple Theater, 299 seats
The Applause Series is a flagship            The Applause Series annually            Cowles Commons
education program of Des Moines              delivers 60 age-appropriate               (outdoor plaza)
Performing Arts. Since its launch            performances for pre-school to
in 1996, more than a half million            high school students. The impact     Guests experience a wide variety
students and teachers have                   stretches far beyond the Des         of art forms and cultural activities,
attended school-time                         Moines metro, reaching schools in    with presentations ranging from
performances as part of the                  over 35 Iowa counties. The           Broadway, comedy, professional
series. You are joining us for the           theater becomes the classroom.       dance, to family programming.
22nd season of school                        One-hour matinees energize
performances!                                students to imagine new ways of      Des Moines Performing Arts
                                             creative expression, cultural        education programs serving more
MAKING A DIFFERENCE                          diversity and even career            than 75,000 Iowans annually.
Each year, more than 55,000                  opportunities.
students and teachers attend an                                                   Programs for schools, such as
Applause Series performance.                 BEYOND THE STAGE                     the Applause Series and teacher
The actual cost per person is $8,            For many Applause Series             professional development, help
but thanks to the caring                     performances, we offer the           enliven students’ learning. Public
contributions of donors, schools             opportunity for schools to go        education programs such as
pay just $1 per ticket. By                   deeper by exploring an art form or   master classes, workshops, Q&A
removing the financial barriers to           theme that connects with what is     sessions and summer camps
participation, donors introduce a            seen on stage. Invite a              allow audience members and
whole new generation to the                  professional teaching artist into    aspiring artists to make
power of arts in action. That                the classroom or visit another       meaningful and personal
means stronger schools and                   cultural destination in Des Moines   connections to the art they
communities now and in the                   to help students make more           experience on our stages.
future.                                      meaning of a piece of theater.
Des Moines Performing Arts                                                                                  Page 3 of 15
Guess How Much I Love You Curriculum Guide
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU - Applause Series Curriculum Guide March 26, 2018 - Des Moines Performing Arts

AND EXCITING OPPORTUNITY! UNLIKE THE                                            CHECKLIST
AUDIENCE MEMBERS PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE                                      Do not bring food, drinks or
IN EVERY LIVE PERFORMANCE.                                                    chewing gum into the theater.
                                                                             The use of cameras and
                                                REMEMBER….                    recording devices are not
                                                THE THEATER IS                permitted.
                                                DESIGNED TO
                                                                             Turn off and put away cell
                                                MAGNIFY SOUND.                phones and other electronics
YOUR ROLE AS AN                                 EVEN WHISPERS                 before the performance begins.
AUDIENCE MEMBER                                 CAN BE HEARD!
                                                                             Do not text during the
Artists on stage are very aware of the mood and                               performance.
level of engagement of the audience. As such, each                           Respect the theater. Keep your
performance calls for a different response from audience                      feet off of the seats and avoid
members.                                                                      bouncing up and down.

As you experience the performance, consider the following questions:         When the house lights dim, the
                                                                              performance is about to begin.
 What kind of live performance is this (a musical, dance, or concert)?      Please stop talking at this time.

 What is the mood of the performance? Is the subject matter serious        Talk only before and after the
   or lighthearted?                                                           performance.

 What is the mood of the artists? Are they happy and smiling or            Use the restroom before the
   somber and reserved?                                                       performance or wait until the
 Are the artists encouraging the audience to clap to the music, move to
   the beat, or participate in some other way?                               Remember that this is a special
                                                                              experience. The artists are
 Are there natural breaks in the performance where                          creating something just for you.
   applause seems appropriate?                                                Appropriate responses such as
                                                                              laughing and applauding are
                                                                              appreciated. Pay attention to
                         DID YOU KNOW?
                                                                              the artists — they will let you
                         ALTHOUGH NOT REQUIRED, SOME                          know what is appropriate.
                         PEOPLE ENJOY DRESSING UP WHEN
                         THEY ATTEND THE THEATER.                            Open your eyes, ears, mind,
                                                                              and heart to the entire
                                                                              experience. Enjoy yourself!

Des Moines Performing Arts                                                                             Page 4 of 15
Guess How Much I Love You Curriculum Guide
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU - Applause Series Curriculum Guide March 26, 2018 - Des Moines Performing Arts

WE WANT YOUR FIELD                            DIRECTIONS/PARKING                    ARRIVAL/SEATING
SUCCESSFUL!                                    The Des Moines Civic Center is      An usher will greet you at the
                                                 located at 221 Walnut Street,         door and ask for your school
                                                 Des Moines, Iowa.                     name.
FOR IMPORTANT TIPS                             Directions from I-235: take Exit    Each group will be assigned a
AND DETAILS TO                                   8A (Downtown Exits) and the           specific location in the theater
                                                 ramp toward 3rd St and 2nd Ave.       based on various factors. An
ENSURE A GREAT DAY.                              Turn onto 3rd Street and head         usher will escort you to your
                                                 south.                                section.
                                               Police officers stationed at the    Your school may be seated in
 Double-check that all students,               corner of 3rd & Locust Streets        multiple rows. Adults should
   teachers, and chaperones were                 will direct buses to reserved         position themselves throughout
   included in your ticket order.                street parking near the Civic         the group.
   Request an adjustment if your                 Center.
   numbers have increased. We                                                        Allow ushers to seat your
   want to make sure we have                   Buses are not allowed to drop         entire group before
   enough seats for you!                         groups off in front of the            rearranging student seats or
                                                 theater. Contact us in advance        taking groups to the restroom.
 Tickets are not issued. Bring a               if there is a special
   copy of your invoice, which will              circumstance.                        This helps us seat efficiently
   serve as your group’s “ticket”.                                                    and better start the show on
                                               Buses remain parked for the          time.
 Schedule arrival for 30 minutes               duration of the show. Drivers
   prior to the start of the                     must be available to move the      IN THE THEATER
   performance. This allows time                 bus immediately following the
   to park, cross streets, find your                                                 In case of a medical
   seats, and go to the restroom.                                                      emergency, notify the nearest
                                               Personal vehicles are                 usher.
  Let drivers know that Applause                 responsible for securing their
                                                 own parking on a nearby street
  performances are approximately                                                     Adults are asked to handle
  60 minutes, unless otherwise                   or in a downtown parking ramp.
                                                                                       any disruptive behavior in their
  noted.                                                                               group. If the behavior
                                                    QUESTIONS?                         persists, an usher may
 Remind chaperones that                        We are happy to help!                 request your group to exit the
   children under the age of three                                                     theater.
   are not permitted in the theater
                                                    Please contact us at:
   for Applause Series events.
                                                         Please wait for your group to be
                                                       515.246.2355                    dismissed by DMPA staff prior
                                                                                       to exiting the theater.

 Des Moines Performing Arts                                                                                   Page 5 of 15
 Guess How Much I Love You Curriculum Guide
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU - Applause Series Curriculum Guide March 26, 2018 - Des Moines Performing Arts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Margo Ellen Gesser
ART & THEATER TERMS                                                RABBIT TERMS                                                       FROM THE STORIES
illustration: a drawing, picture                                   burrow: a                                                          adventure: a
or other type of artwork that helps                                hole or tunnel                                                     very exciting or
make something clear or                                            in the ground                                                      very unusual
attractive. Picture books use                                      made by a                                                          experience.
illustrations to help tell stories.                                rabbit for                                                         Adventures are
                                                                   shelter.                                 sometimes                                                             

narrator: a person who tells a                                                          Have you ever seen                            risky or                                       White water rafting
                                                                                        evidence of an                                                                               can be considered an
story, often as part of a                                                               animal burrow while                           dangerous.
performance or program.                                                                 exploring outside?

                                                                                                                                                                                    guess: to
                                            puppetry: an                                        hare: a                                                                             estimate or arrive

                                            art form in                                         rodent-like                                                                         at an opinion about
                                            which objects,                                      mammal                                                                              something without
                                            often with                                          having long
                       Margo Ellen Gesser

                                                                                                                                                                                    having sufficient
                                            human or                                            ears, divided                                                                       evidence to support
                                                                                                upper lip, and                                                                      it.
                                            characteristics,                                     long hind legs                       Have you guessed
                                                                   A hare in the wild.                                                the number of
                                            are brought to                                       for leaping.
                                            life by                Hares are larger than rabbits,
Puppeteers manipulate
two hare puppets to tell                    puppeteers.            having longer ears and legs.                                       fern: a type
the story of Guess How
                                                                                                                                      of plant that
                                                                   mammal: warm-blooded animals                                       has roots,
                                                                   that give birth to live young and                                  stems, and
watercolor:                                                        are more or less covered in hair.                                  leaves but
technique of                                                       Rabbits and hares are examples                                     does not                                                                   

painting which                                                     of mammals.                                                        produce a flower.
uses water

instead of oil                                                                                                                                                                                                   forest: a large
as the base.                                                                                                                                                                                                     wooded area

Illustrator Anita                                                                                                                                                                                                having thick
Jeram used                                                                                                                                                                                   growth of trees
watercolor to                                                                                                                                                                                                    and plants.
                             Watercolor painting.
create her
illustrations.                                                             Elephants are another type of mammal.

Des Moines Performing Arts                                                                                                                                                                                             Page 6 of 15
Guess How Much I Love You Curriculum Guide
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU - Applause Series Curriculum Guide March 26, 2018 - Des Moines Performing Arts

                                                                                                                         Margo Ellen Gesser
Mermaid Theatre’s production of              I Love My Little Storybook              NARRATION
Guess How Much I Love You is                 This book is an endearing               As with all Mermaid Theatre’s
based on two children’s books                celebration of the joy of reading. It   adaptations of classic children’s
from illustrator Anita Jeram.                features a whimsical collection of      picture books, the stories are told
Jeram’s beautiful water color                animals and imaginary creatures         through the use of a narrator who
illustrations are brought to life            as an eager little bunny lies on the    recites the book’s text verbatim.
through puppetry.                            grass and opens his book. Within        The recorded narration for this
                                             moments, the story he’s reading         show is the work of award-
Run Time: Approx. 50 minutes,                comes alive in fascinating detail.      winning actor Beau Bridges.
with a 10-minute Q&A session.
                                             PUPPETRY                                MUSIC
                                             Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia          Guess How Much I Love You
THE STORIES                                  does not typically construct            features an original musical score
                                             “traditional” puppet styles.            by Steven Naylor, Mermaid
Guess How Much I Love You                    Instead, the company constructs
In this touching bedtime story                                                       Theatre’s Artistic Advisor for
                                             their puppets to make sure that         Music and Sound Design.
about the bond between a father              the puppets look like the objects
rabbit and his son, Little Nutbrown          in the books. In this production,
Hare loves Big Nutbrown Hare as              most of the puppets are hand
                                                                                     NON-SHUSHING SHOW
far as he can reach and as high              carved from soft sponge foam            Mermaid Theatre productions are
as he can hop. But Big Nutbrown              using a pair of scissors. The           “non-shushing” shows. Students
Hare loves him as far as his long            puppets have carved wooden              are encouraged to clap and laugh
arms can reach and as high as                joints and handles, and are             when they see something that
his strong legs can hop.                     covered in hand-painted silk or         pleases them. They may also
                                             soft fabric.                            help tell the story along with the
Written by Sam McBratney and                                                         narration.
charmingly illustrated with                  The puppetry style of this show is
endearing watercolors by Anita               most closely related Japanese                Etiquette
Jeram, Guess How Much I Love                 Bunraku, where the puppeteers                take-away...
You was first published in                   are visible behind the puppet. One           Noises that help tell
hardcover in 1995. The book is               difference is that the faces of              the story are okay.
available in 45 languages and has            Bunraku puppeteers are masked                Side conversations are
received media praise around the             by hoods. In this show, Mermaid              not.
world.                                       Theatre performers’ faces are

Des Moines Performing Arts                                                                                    Page 7 of 15
Guess How Much I Love You Curriculum Guide
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU - Applause Series Curriculum Guide March 26, 2018 - Des Moines Performing Arts

                                                                                                                                  Margo Ellen Gesser
Now in its 45th season,                      IN NOVA SCOTIA
Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia               Mermaid Theatre is from Nova
ranks among North America’s                  Scotia, Canada. They provide
most respected creators of young             important educational outreach
audience entertainment. Nearly               throughout Nova Scotia, through
four million young people around             school visits and their Institute of
the world have delighted in                  Puppetry Arts based in Windsor,
Mermaid’s unique adaptations of              Nova Scotia.
children’s literature.
                                             AMBASSADOR ROLE
LITERATURE & THE                             Extensive international
                                             engagements allow the
ARTS                                         company to play an important
Mermaid Theatre believes that                ambassadorial role for the
young people benefit greatly from            Province of Nova Scotia and for
early exposure to literature, the            Canada. Mermaid Theatre has
arts, and the power of the                   represented Canada in Japan,
imagination. Therefore, Mermaid              Mexico, Australia, England,
Theatre’s creative ambition is to            Northern Ireland, Holland,
produce work which is quality                Scotland, Wales, Hong Kong,
theatre— entertaining,                       Macau, Singapore, South Korea,               A tiny rabbit meets a storybook princess
informative, and stimulating to all          Taiwan and Vietnam.                          through the power of imagination in I Love
the senses— along with the goal                                                           My Little Storybook.
of encouraging literacy and
generating enthusiasm for the art                                                          Other popular productions from
of reading. With these core values                                                         Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia:
in mind, the company produces
some of the most highly regarded
                                                                                                   Goodnight Moon &
theater for young audiences
around the world. Classic                                                                          The Runaway Bunny
children’s literature comes to life
through striking visual images,                                                             Swimmy, Frederick & Inch by Inch
evocative original music,
innovative puppetry and staging in                                                             The Very Hungry Caterpillar
productions that captivate young             Nova Scotia, shown here in red, is located
people’s imaginations.                       on Canada’s southeastern coast.                         The Rainbow Fish
                                             Map courtesy of
Des Moines Performing Arts                                                                                              Page 8 of 15
Guess How Much I Love You Curriculum Guide
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU - Applause Series Curriculum Guide March 26, 2018 - Des Moines Performing Arts

                                                                                                  ABOVE: An illustration by Anita Jeram from
Every piece of art — a book, a
                                                                                                  the award-winning book Guess How Much
painting or a performance — is                                                                    I Love You.
created by a person or a group
of people. Learn about Sam                                                                        ANITA JERAM

McBratney and Anita Jeram, the                                                                    Anita Jeram was born in
artists who created the books                                                                     Portsmouth, England, in 1965 and
featured in the show.                                                                             studied art at Manchester
                                                                                                  Polytechnic. She published her
                                                                                                  first book for children while she
SAM MCBRATNEY                                                                                     was still a student. She has
Sam McBratney is from Northern                                                                    written and illustrated many
Ireland. He received a degree in                                                                  popular and critically acclaimed
history and political science from                                                                books for children, including a
Trinity College in Dublin and was                                                                 number which feature her
a full-time educator. He started                                                                  enchanting, lovable bunnies.
writing children’s books when he
was a teacher in his thirties, with           “I told my children                                 For Anita Jeram, illustrating
a goal to help students who had               stories when they                                   Guess How Much I Love You was
trouble reading. He continued                                                                     a labor of love. Big Nutbrown
writing for a more personal
                                              were young…
                                                                                                  Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare
reason, saying “the act of                    when I write I try to                               grew out of her imagination. A
imagining simply makes me feel                think of what they                                  rabbit also figures prominently in I
good.”                                        would have liked.”                                  Love My Little Storybook, her
                                                     –Sam McBratney                               magical tribute to the wonderful
Guess How Much I Love You is                                                                      world of books, which she also
Sam McBratney’s 57th book. It                                                                     wrote and illustrated.
sold an astonishing 15 million
copies worldwide and is available            “Every time I read this
in 45 different languages. He has            book, I want to cry. The
also written many other books for            story reminds me so
children, as well as half a dozen            much of my own son,
radio plays for adults and a
prize-winning collection of short            who often plays this kind
stories.                                     of game with me when
                                             it’s time for bed.”
                                                          -Anita Jeram

Des Moines Performing Arts                                                                                                      Page 9 of 15
Guess How Much I Love You Curriculum Guide
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU - Applause Series Curriculum Guide March 26, 2018 - Des Moines Performing Arts
 Rabbits and hares are featured
 in both stories in the show.                                                                                                               EIGHT FUN FACTS
 Learn more about these furry                                                                                                               1) Baby bunnies are commonly

                                                                                                                                               called “kittens”.

                                                                                                                                            2) A rabbit’s teeth never stop
WHAT ARE RABBITS?                                                                                                                              growing.
Rabbits are mammals with long
ears, which can be more than 4                                                                                                              3) Female rabbits are called
inches long, which help them to                                                                                                                “does” and male rabbits are
detect predators. They have large,                                                                                                             called “bucks”.
powerful hind legs. The fur is most
commonly long and soft, with                                                                                                                4) Rabbits are constantly aware
colors such as shades of brown,                                A group of underground burrows made by                                          of their surroundings because
                                                               rabbits is called a warren.                                                     they are prey animals.
gray, and buff. The tail is a little
plume of brownish fur (white on                                                                                                             5) Rabbits are most active in the
top for cottontails).                                          HOMES                                                                           early morning and evening.
                                                               More than half of the world’s
                                                                                                                                            6) Rabbits can grind their teeth,
                                                               rabbit population lives in North
                                                                                                                                               making a “purr” sound.
                                                               America. Rabbit habitats include
                                                               meadows, woods, forests,                                                     7) Rabbits only sweat on the
                                                               grasslands, deserts and wetlands.                                               pads of their feet.
                                                               They live in groups and often live
                                                               in underground burrows, or rabbit                                            8) The longest rabbit ears ever
                                                               holes. A group of burrows is                                                    recorded measured over 31
                                                               called a warren.                                                                inches long!

                                                               rabbits can be                                                             RABBITS vs. HARES

                                                               kept as pets in                                                            The most obvious difference
                                                               a back yard                                                                between rabbits and hares is how
                                                               hutch, indoors                                                             their babies are born. Rabbits are
                                                               in a cage, or                                                              born blind and hairless. Hares are

A cottontail rabbit.                                           house trained                                                              born with hair and are able to see.
                                                               to have free
                                                               roam. Some                                                                 Hares are generally larger than
                                                               pet rabbits      Pet rabbits can be                                        rabbits, with longer ears, larger and
                                                               live in outside held. Wild rabbits                                         longer hind legs and have black
                                                                                should not be held.                                       markings on their fur. Hares have

                                                               during the                                                                 not been domesticated, while
                                                               day for the benefit of fresh air and                                       European rabbits are kept as pets.
                                                               natural daylight and are brought
                                                               inside at night.                                                           While most rabbits live
                                                                                                                                          underground in burrows or
A nest of baby bunnies.
                                                               FOOD                                                                       warrens, hares live in simple nests
                                                               Rabbits in the wild are herbivores                                         above the ground and usually do
                                                               that feed by grazing on grass and                                          not live in groups.
                                                               leafy weeds. A pet rabbit's diet
                                                               typically consists of hay, pellets,                                           “Big Nutbrown Hare

                                                               and a fair quantity of fresh                                                  settled Little Nutbrown
                                                               vegetables.                                                                   Hare into his bed of leaves.”
                                                                                                                                              -excerpt from Guess How Much I Love You
Pellets are common food for rabbits.
 Des Moines Performing Arts                                                                                                                                            Page 10 of 15
 Guess How Much I Love You Curriculum Guide
1) RETELL THE STORY WITH                                   2) CREATE A STORYBOOK
                                                           Goal: To encourage students to use their
Goal: To demonstrate reading comprehension                 imaginations and practice creative writing.
through puppetry and performance.
                                                           Explanation: In this activity, students will create a
Explanation: In this activity, students will re-tell       story about characters that they would like to meet in
the story of Guess How Much I Love You using               the pages of a storybook.
simple puppets.
Preparation: Before you begin this activity,               1. Read Anita Jeram’s I Love My Little Storybook as a
prepare simple puppets to represent each character         class.
in the story Guess How Much I Love You.                    2. Ask your students whom they would like to meet in
                                                           the pages of a storybook. It could be anyone – a real
To do so, scan or photocopy a picture of Little            person, a favorite cartoon character, someone from
Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare from the book          history, a Martian. Encourage your students to stretch
Guess How Much I Love You. Trim away excess                their imaginations.
paper. Laminate if you so desire. Glue or tape hare        3. Then, ask students to write a story about what that
cut-outs to popsicle sticks or paint sticks for students   meeting might be like and the different things they
to hold onto.                                              might do together.
                                                           4. Have the students revise a final draft and create
Activity:                                                  illustrations for their story.
1. Read Guess How Much I Love You as a class.              5. Staple or sew pages together to create booklets, if
2. Discuss the sequence of events. Which hare spoke        time allows.
first in the story? What did the little hare want the      6. Encourage students to create book covers, title
big hare to do? How did the big hare respond? What         pages, and a dedication if they so desire.
happened next?
3. Show students the puppets you have prepared.            Follow-up Questions:
4. As a class or in small groups, allow students to        1. How is your story like Anita Jeram’s I Love My Little
perform the story of Guess How Much I Love You             Storybook? How is it different?
with the hare puppets. Students may use the hare           2. What challenges did you face as you created your
puppets to narrate the story in their own words.           story?
                                                           3. What was your favorite part about creating your
Follow-Up Questions:                                       story/storybook?
1. Why did Little Nutbrown Hare express his love in
farther and farther distances?                                  Who would you
2. Why did Big Nutbrown Hare have farther
                                                                meet in the pages
                                                                of a storybook?
Additional Questions for After the Show:
1. How were the puppets in the performance similar
to the ones in our classroom? How were they
2. Who told the story during the performance? Could
you see this person?
3. What was your favorite part of Guess How Much I
Love You? Why?

Des Moines Performing Arts                                                                             Page 11 of 15
Guess How Much I Love You Curriculum Guide
DISCUSSION                                               1) WRITE A LETTER
Comprehension:                                           Goal: To reflect on the performance experience
1. In Guess How Much I Love You, what was Little         and to practice writing skills.
Nutbrown Hare trying to show Big Nutbrown Hare?
How was he trying to show it?                            Explanation: In this activity, students will write a
                                                         letter about their experience to the Guess How Much
2. Why did Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown         I Love You performers or to Des Moines Performing
Hare keep going back and forth with farther and          Arts education donors whose support keeps
farther distances?                                       Applause Series tickets accessibly priced for school
3. In I Love My Little Storybook, where does the
bunny’s storybook take place? What did you see           Activity:
during the performance that showed that?                 1. After attending the performance, discuss the
                                                         experience with your students. Use the following
4. What special friends does the bunny see inside his    discussion questions to guide the conversation:
                                                            What was the show about?
5. Name some different things the bunny does with           What parts of the show were most exciting?
his storybook. How were these shown during the
                                                            Which character did you enjoy the most? Why?
                                                            What did the characters learn?
6. What happened when the bunny got tired?                  What was special about the puppets?

                                                         2. Next, invite students to write a letter to the
Puppetry:                                                performers or to Des Moines Performing Arts donors
1. Were you able to see the puppeteers during the        about their theater experience.
show? Why or why not?
                                                         Example letter starter:
2. What did the puppets look like? What kind of colors
were they? How do you think the different puppets                 Dear Mermaid Theatre performers,
were made?
                                                                  My favorite part of the show was…
4. If you could ask the puppeteers a question, what               While watching your show I felt… because …
would it be? (you may email student questions to                  I have drawn a picture of the scene when…
Mermaid Theatre at                  If I could be in your show, I would play the
They are great at responding!)                                          part of … because …

Reality vs. fantasy:                                     3. Mail the letters to:
1. Can love really be measured in a distance? Why
does Sam McBratney choose to show love in this way                Des Moines Performing Arts
in Guess How Much I Love You?                                     Attn: Education Department
                                                                  221 Walnut Street
2. Can someone really jump into and out of a                      Des Moines, IA 50309
storybook? What does the little bunny really mean?
                                                         Follow-up Questions:
Theater Experience:                                      1. What did you include in your letter? Why did you
1. What was your favorite part about our trip to the     want to share that particular idea?

2. How was the performance different than the
books? How was it the same?

Des Moines Performing Arts                                                                           Page 12 of 15
Guess How Much I Love You Curriculum Guide
2) ACTING OUT A STORY                                    3) MAKE YOUR OWN GREETING
Goal: To use drama and imagination to
demonstrate comprehension of a story.                    Goal: To practice writing and communication
Explanation: In this activity, students will use
drama and their imaginations to re-tell an Anita Jeram   Explanation: In this activity, students will practice
or Sam McBratney story to demonstrate their              their writing and communication skills by making a
understanding of characters and key events using         card for a loved one or friend.
                                                         1. Print and make copies of the Guess How Much I
 Tableau: a dramatic convention in which                 Love You card template (page 14) on white
   individuals use their bodies to create a              cardstock.
  “frozen picture” that expresses actions,               2. Give one card template to each student. Ask them
       locations, feelings or situations.                to identify a loved one or friend that they would like to
                                                         make their card for.
                                                         3. Have students color the cards, cut them out, and
Activity:                                                fold them on the dotted line.
1. Read a book by Anita Jeram or Sam McBratney           4. Next, have students write a special message inside
aloud to the class.                                      the card to their loved one.
2. As a class, brainstorm the characters in the story    5. Allow the students the opportunity to make more
and determine the plot or sequence of main events.       than one card if time allows.
3. Break up the story into small segments and assign
                                                         Follow-up Questions:
each segment to a group of 3-4 students.
                                                         1. Why is it important to tell our loved ones that we
4. Students then create tableau (frozen picture that     care about them?
tells a story) of their assigned moment in the story.    2. How do you feel when you receive a card from
Students may represent the characters, objects, or       someone?
setting of their assigned moment.                        3. How do you know that your loved ones (parents,
5. All groups then show their tableau in front of the    siblings, grandparents, friends, etc.) love you as well?
class in the order of the story.
6. Once a group is “frozen,” tap students on the
shoulder one at a time. When tapped, they should
“unfreeze” and briefly describe who they are and what
they are doing in the scene.

Follow-up Questions:
1. How would you describe the character or object
you played?
2. What happened at the beginning of the story?
In the middle? At the end?
3. How did you feel when you were depicting your
tableau for the class?

                                                                      Full size template available on
                                                                                  page 14.

Des Moines Performing Arts                                                                            Page 13 of 15
Guess How Much I Love You Curriculum Guide
REPRODUCIBLE                                 (for use with post-show activity #3)

Des Moines Performing Arts                                                          Page 14 of 15
Guess How Much I Love You Curriculum Guide

                                                                                                                          Margo Ellen Gesser
ADDITIONAL BOOKS                             RESOURCES
Written & illustrated by                     “An Interview with Sam McBratney.”
Anita Jeram:                                     View the transcript to an interview with Guess How Much I Love You
   All Together Now                            author Sam McbBratney. Site also contains a short biography of
   Bill's Belly Button                         McBratney and information about his children’s books.
   Bunny, My Honey
   Contrary Mary                           Anita Jeram Official Website.
   Daisy Dare                        
   It Was Jake                                 Explore all about Anita Jeram’s work as an artist and illustrator, the
   The Most Obedient Dog in the                things she loves that influence her work, and her younger years.
                                             “Guess How Much I Love You App.”
Written by Sam                        
McBratney & Illustrated
                                                The ‘Guess How Much I Love You™’ application takes you on an
by Anita Jeram:                                  unforgettable journey to the watercolour landscape of grassy fields,
   Colors Everywhere                           mossy forests, lazy rivers and sunny green valleys.
   Let’s Play in the Snow
   When I’m Big                            “LeVar Burton Kids.”
   You're All My Favorites           
                                                 Continue students’ exploration of the way books have the power to
Written by                                       transport us to far off place by downloading this interactive app.
Sam McBratney:                               “Rabbits.”
   I Love it When You Smile         
   Jimmy Zest                                 This interactive website about rabbits contains activities, games,
   Just You and Me                            PowerPoint presentations, and information on caring for rabbits.
   Put a Saddle on the Pig
   There, There.
                                             “Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia.”



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Guess How Much I Love You Curriculum Guide
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