Magical Realism

Magical Realism (3).JPG

This lesson on a popular Latin American genre was meant to accompany the chimichurri sandwiches in Travis’s Raddish Kids crate. It was a bit advanced for a kindergartner, but Travis got into it!

First I taped a large piece of craft paper to the wall with two columns and labeled them “real” and “magical”. I asked Travis to name real items first. The list he came up with certainly isn’t the one I would have, but that was part of the lesson’s charm!

Magical Realism (1)

I thought “magical” might be harder for him but he was familiar with concepts from favorite stories, including “magic wand” and “the Force.” I pointed out to him the key to the magical realism genre: a story that takes place in a real setting, but that has magical elements that the characters accept to be real.

With that definition in place, we followed up with concrete examples: a book and a movie. First he watched James and the Giant Peach, a great example because it starts out with live actors and then transforms to animation once the magic sets in.

Next was a read-aloud of Where the Wild Things Are and Travis pointed out the magical components of the story as we came to them.

As a final task, we made up our own magical realism story. You can run through the elements of a story with your kids first, namely:

Characters

Setting

Problem

Solution

Travis’s tale was a bit simplified, but it centered around a vortex that opened up (magical!) while he was playing with his friend on the school playground (real!) where an alien came to meet them.

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The alien had 14 eyes and 34 legs. What creativity! There wasn’t exactly a problem or solution to his tale, but for a kindergarten, it was a great first intro to this genre.

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