'Ugly Duckling' lets first-graders spread their wings

By Sarah E. Reynolds | Jun 19, 2014
Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds Allison McWilliams' first-grade class at Lincolnville Central School prepares to perform 'The Ugly Duckling'  for their parents Friday, June 13. Front, from left, Chloe Burgess, Aidan Greeley, Rose Fishman, Lucy O'Brien and Isaac Cummings; middle, Mikala Jones, Reid Chester, Kingston Kibler, Matthew Mittchel and Skyla Dyer; rear, Emmaline Brennick, Sage Burgess, Maren Kinney, Bryce Curtis, Iain Larsen-Leavins, Kaden Munroe, Cayden Fowler and Gwen Hustus.

Lincolnville — First-graders at Lincolnville Central School delighted their parents with a dramatic performance of “The Ugly Duckling” Friday, June 13.

Teacher Allison McWilliams said she and Educational Technician Jane Cummons found the script online and adjusted the characters and wording to make it work for her class. The students built the scenery and brought in items for their costumes, which were finished in class. Rather than make full costumes, the characters were deftly suggested – a headband of yellow feathers and a beak for a duck, a pink snout, ears and tail for a pig.

Students passed out programs with an illustration of a duckling on the front and the names of the cast members and their parts inside. The day before the performance for parents, the students had presented their play to two groups of fellow students, McWilliams said.

The story as told by the first-graders differed a little from Hans Christian Andersen's original, but it kept the moral about personal transformation and being true to yourself.

The play helped students work on speaking clearly in front of an audience, reading fluently and with expression, McWilliams said. She and her husband wrote a song to the tune of “You Are My Sunshine” that expressed the main idea of the story: “...there's beauty in everything, open your arms and spread your wings,” it concludes.

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Sarah Reynolds
Sarah E. Reynolds is copy editor for the Courier Gazette and Camden Herald.
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Sarah E. Reynolds has been a reporter and writer for more than 20 years, winning awards from the Maine Press Association and other professional organizations. She loves to read, ride her ATV and play word games.

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