Crow Boy

The story Crow Boy by Taro Yashima provided students an opportunity to practice developing characters. In the beginning of the story the little boy in the story is shy. In the middle of the story he meets a good teacher. In the end of the story the little boy is confident. What changed? Here’s the song the students at Edison Elementary used to create a movement piece about the Crow Boy.

Chibi is a small quiet character.

  • What is Chibi’s historical context?
  • What relationships does Chibi have with other students?
  • What relationship does Chibi have with adults?
  • What are Chibi’s blind spots?
  • How does Chibi’s inner life come through the body?
  • How is Chibi genuinely unique?
  • How does Chibi move at the beginning of the story? the middle? the end?

After a basic warm-up, the students have an opportunity to create movement phrases about Chibi. An example from Mrs. Paulino’s class was as follows.

The Beginning

  • Chibi was small and under the school. (Crawling)
  • He sat at his desk. (Crouching with head down)
  • He stood alone at recess. (Arms crossed)

The Middle

  • Chibi’s new teacher was pleasant. (Slow gentle wave)
  • He smiled at Chibi. (Arms outline a small smile at the chin then grow into large arms)
  • He listened to Chibi. (Hand moves up to ear and body leans back with one knee crossed)

The End

  • Chibi grows in confidence. (Brings arms across the body and stands tall)
  • He makes crow calls. (Hands at the mouth that float back like wings)
  • He was at peace and others admired his perseverance. (Hands float upward and settle down towards his sides)

Walk Trough Windy Rice Fields by Asian Flute Music Oasis provided a peaceful song for students to explore. There wasn’t a need for counts and classmates helped each other non-verbally transition from one movement to the next through the sequence. The fluidity was evident and the students showed each other respect as each demonstration revealed a shy small student growing into a vibrant confident friend.

Hi, Mrs. Jarvis!

Just wanted to let you know what a nice lead-in it was to have the Beginning-Middle-End of Crow Boy front-loaded through movement! They were really paying attention to how the movements they’d learned fit into the plot line as we read the story.

Jodi White, Edison

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