The Merry Muffet Players
by Gary Zingher
matic improvisation. Middle-
rhymes can be a great one, in particular, that is their favorite?
way to stimulate dra-
rituals. Where and when do they first re-
member hearing them, and do they have
They might want to discuss the ap-
peal of nursery rhymes, and why they
about the characters and the setting.
There are many questions that arise
after reading the rhyme. When in the
day did this happen? Did Miss Muffet
always come to this same spot? Was it
in a meadow, a clearing in the woods, or
so fondly. Is it a formal English garden? What was she
students, because of their thinking about other than eating? Was
who have humor—the she normally unafraid of spiders, but
sense of silliness somehow startled and caught off guard?
and absurdity? What was the spider up to? Did
with these Or does it have he see her as an intruder entering his
rhymes, to do with the territory? Was he worried she was go-
will enjoy delightful im- ing to harm his web? Was he hungry,
agery, and the mean-spirited, or just trying to get her
bringing use of animals attention?
these short behaving in And what kind of day was it—warm,
verses to such a human- sparkling, windy, threatening?
like manner? Pairs of children can re-enact this
life—exam- Some children rhyme, emphasizing facial expressions
ining them, may be drawn and body movements. They don’t need
tweaking Gustafson, Scott. Favorite Nursery to the wicked any props, and each pair might choose,
them, ex- Rhymes from Mother Goose. and naughty as- in a second encounter, to reverse their
Workman, 2007. pects of certain roles. This first session may need to take
panding on rhymes, while longer than the others, for it requires
them, and rethinking their others may simply enjoy how nursery setting up the format.
rhymes sound when read aloud.
content to create new sce-