Andersonville Elementary, Davisburg, Michigan, 2007-2008
On the first day of STA, Laughing Moon told the group of ten heroes, “We will be training in the art of the Superhero. I can teach you the Go Get ‘Em, calls of confidence, how to honor your light and champion your shadow, how to make force fields out of worm slime, even how to fold space and time into a peanut butter sandwich… But our final destination is a mystery. We depend on YOU to share your gift and combine it with the gifts of others, and create together something that has never been created in superhero history. Yes. Let’s begin our journey together.”
No one knew that in twelve weeks, the superheroes would be combining all of their abilities to create “Peace Between Species”, an original play that would raise money to help endangered animals. Community members would come to be informed, entertained, and introduced to a mythical world where peace was the primary goal. That world was the world of Pangaea.
The Ancient Story of Pangaea, written by Laughing Moon and illustrated by Alaura Borealis, was an interactive comic that opened up another world of enchantment where anything was possible. Heroes embarked on reading the adventure and then taking the story into their own hands, creating characters, asking questions, finding solutions, and becoming more and more the author and illustrator as the story moved forward. They meet the many mythical creatures and bring them to life in both comic book form and puppetry.
After reading about all the characters and their homes, this hero created a home inside the Jungle of Joy known as “RRR…Orangeia”. She designed a tree house for a home, and joined with a friend to create their imaginary team home.
And then it all came to life.
All the heroes created their teams based around the Core Forces of Joy, Wisdom, Compassion, and Gumption. They invented team names, characters, and superhero costumes.
After finding their strongest core force, superheroes were guided to name their “lights,” their unique gifts, and created their superhero character based around these strengths. Little did their daytime classmates know, they were now superheroes…
Crazy Chameleon! Courageous Kitten! Warp!
Challenged through Secret Missions from Superhero Headquarters, the heroes honed their skillz and began transforming their lives and their communities. That is, until the “Great Kerfuffle” rocked the land of Pangaea. It turned neighbors into strangers and strangers into shadows. The young heroes visited Grace Centers of Hope to learn about the causes of homelessness and volunteered at their thrift store for a day. They asked questions about the world and searched for answers.
The heroes listened the “ick” and the “ew” in the world, and their hearts went out to endangered animals. The team researched and listened to experts and began to hatch a Superhero Action Plan to create a play about endangered animals and raise money for the World Wildlife Fund.
But first! The “ogre within” was blocking the action plan. Until each superhero championed his or her own shadows, he could not share his best self with others. They learned about how they created some of the ick and the ew in the world while hiding shadows so long they turn into fears. So, they brought their shadows into the light through the creation of “Shadowscapes.”
And then…showtime! Heroes took the story structure of the “Ancient Story of Pangaea”, added their own creative razzle dazzle pizzazz, and brought it to life in the theatrical performance, “Peace Between Species.”
After the play, parents and pen pals and friends and family honored the Superheroes at the Graduation Ceremony. Watch out world!