A grandfather nostalgically relates his boyhood memories of Christmas past to his grandson in this new adaptation of Dylan Thomas' classic story. Winner of the American Film and Video Festival 1988: Blue Ribbon, Literary Adaptations for Young Adults.
A second-grader's experiences during a day without numbers cause him to want to study arithmetic and to realize the value of numbers in his everyday living. All the class but Bob enjoy arithmetic. When a puppet with magic powers offers Bob a day without numbers, he gladly leaves the classroom with the puppet. A series of frustrating experiences caused by the magical disappearance of numbers, such as the disruption of an exciting baseball game, results in Bob's gladly returning to the classroom and the study of arithmetic.
Rain does not always evaporate immediately after falling. Dora tells a story of some raindrops with the help of Mr. Robinson's illustrations of some raindrops who had a series of adventures on their way to a distant lake where they learned how to do the "dance of the happy spray."
Audience learns how to make an ant puppet of varying size. In the Make Do Theatre play, the story of Archibald Ant is told. After playing baseball, he eats too much honey and his stomach gets really big. After it goes down in size, he vows to never tell anyone what happened.
Fignewton Frog (puppet) and Dora (person) conduct an art contest. Puppet children are shown working on their painting, sculpture and collage submissions. Viewers are encouraged to make art of their own. The episode concludes with selection of a contest winner.
Fignewton Frog (puppet) and Dora (person) tell the story of the Caddis Fly using a "Make - Do Theatre" style, which requires the storyteller to construct the puppets before telling the story. Features the following books: "Let's Read About Insects", "The Pond World: Adventures in Seeing", and "The Adventure Book of Insects".
Fignewton Frog (puppet) and Dora (person) tell a story about a bat named Beatrice who buys a beautiful necklace but gets sick due to trying to sleep right-side-up so as to keep the necklace on. Gives basic information about bats and enforces the idea that sleep is important.
There are different types of pollen. Bees gather pollen. Mr. Robinson provides sketches of Betsy, a honeybee, who gets hay fever from one kind of pollen. She gathers pollen from another source and becomes the best pollen gathering bee in a contest.
Breezes can move boats across water, lift kits to the sky and dry clothes. Dora tells a story, illustrated by shadow puppets of a little breeze called Blower who didn't want to play with his bigger rough friends. Instead, he sets out to make friends of his own, by drying clothes, taking a boy's kite into the air and by sailing some boats across a pond.
Brushy learns to adapt to a changing environment when he finds out that he can help with his new baby brother. At first he sees the baby as no fun at all. But when mother asks him to help her fix the baby's carriage, he learns that he can be of help.
Bash describes the workings of a canal and shows how it is possible to make a ship “go upstairs” from one water level to another. The reasons for digging canals are discussed along with the importance of canals such as the Erie Canal and the Panama Canal. The influence of canals on the lives of people in this country is explained. Songs include “Erie Canal,” “Venezuela” and “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.”
Bash Kennett visits a mountain roundup and tells the story of cattle from the few which the early settlers had to the great herds which roamed the Great Plains. The importance of cattle in the history of our country is combined with a talk about problems of raising cattle. Songs include “Cowboy’s Lullaby” “Donney Gal” and “The Night Herding Song.”
The tale of the foolish little chicken who is hit on the head by an acorn and thinks the world is falling in is told by Poindexter and his friends. How "Chicken Little" nearly starts a panic among the animals until a sensible friend stops them is the story for today.
The Friendly Giant reads the book, Chicken Little, Count-to-ten, by Margaret Friskey, illustrated by Katherine Evans, and published by the Children's Press. After the story, Rusty shows how chickens drink. (WHA-TV) Kinescope.
Ella's new stepmother discharges all the servants and forces Ella to wait on her and her two stepsisters and to sleep on the cinders. Ella's name is then changed to Cinder-Ella. When the Prince has a grand ball, Cinderella is not allowed to go. But her fairy godmother appears, giving her a beautiful coach, a beautiful new dress for the ball.
Brushy, Susie-Q and Linda leave so much litter when they play in the park that the clean-up man has to stay late to tidy up after them. When the children realize that they are keeping him from a party, they correct their mistake and help clean up.
Clever Elsie really isn't very clever at all. Marionettes tell the story of Clever Elsie who sweeps with the broom upside down to keep from wearing out the straw. One day, Clever Elsie goes to the cellar to get some cider and she notices a pick-ax stuck in a beam. She begins to think that if she should ever marry and have a child and send him to the cellar for cider, the pick-ax might fall on his head and kill him and Elsie begins to cry. Her parents come to the cellar with Hans, who is looking for a clever wife, and Elsie tells them her story. Soon everyone is crying and Hans decides to marry Elsie because she is so clever.
How the clothes of people living in this country have changed is shown by Bash, in pictures and in living pictorial groups. From the early Spanish peaked helmet and bloomers, through the Cavaliers, with their plumed hats and high leather-jack boots, Bash travels, saying why and how the changes occurred. The Puritan simple dress, the colonial costume, complete with high powdered wigs, the hoop skirts and the bustles all are part of the description. Children’s costumes of the time are shown by actual children, and the dances done by the children of certain periods are demonstrated by the Lillian Patterson dance group.
Bash starts at the earliest meetings of groups of people, the church festival, and traces the development of gatherings on through the country fairs. The camp meetings of the Methodists give rise to the well-known rollicking song, “Methodist Pie.” The custom of bringing goods that were grown on the individual farm, and taking the family to the fair, to see new things, to buy things, and to meet with friends develops in to the country fair, with its gay decorations, its amusements, and its fund of knowledge. Contests are described, such as the athletic events of running and jumping and shooting, which the young men practiced, and the Patterson dance group dances to the song, “Camptown Races,” as they show how the sulkies sped around the track behind the trotting horses.
A third-grade class decides who will be the week's host, shows one youngsters pretending she is a visitor while another acts out the part of the host. Pictures children making introductions, and using "magic-words" such as thank you, excuse me, and please.
Bash tells the romance crossing streams and takes a film trip to see some historic covered bridges which are still in use. Covered bridges had many unusual features including the special toll charge for shoveling snow into the inside for the sleighs to pass on in winter. Bash tells how, fitted together with wooden pins, often they floated downstream intact in floods. Songs include “London Bridge" and "Red River Valley".
Marionettes present the story of a man and wife who think their house is too small for visiting relatives. Promising to follow the advice of their wise friend, Mr. Wiseman, they bring a rooster, a lamb, a goat, and a cow into their home. After each animal is brought in, Mr. Wiseman asks his friends if their home seems larger, and each time they declare it seems smaller. When the cow is brought in with the other animals, Mr. Wiseman asks again if they don't think that their house seems bigger. The husband then realizes he should be glad his sister and 10 children aren't staying with them. The animals are taken out of the house and the couple realizes how large their home really is.
In all societies, children have a need to play. The doll, made in the human image is a universal toy. The puppet, made in the human or animal form, is another means of diversion for children, as well as adults. In some non-technological societies, puppetry has been developed into a high art. Shari Lewis examines the variety of ways in which man, using materials at hand, has created replicas of himself for fun and amusement.
The program describes the kinds of housing the early settlers built, from the earliest lean-to type, hastily thrown together to protest the people as soon as they landed on these shores, on through the way they learned to make thatched roofs, then later cut logs for building. The use of handmade bricks, and the change of ways in making fireplaces from the original stick-covered-with-mud ones to brick ones follows in the story. The various ways of building sturdy walls by notching of logs in various patterns and cuts is shown. Songs include “The Tailor and the Mouse,” “Little Mohee,” and “Cockels and Mussels.”
The program begins with the days following the Civil War, when men first drove cattle westward to the range lands of the southwest, where only the buffalo had grazed before. The importance of meat to the country is shown, and the development of great herds, which roamed the open unfenced country until it was later settled and fenced. The life of the cowboy, the reason for his wearing his particular costume, chaps, kerchief, sombrero, is explained. Bash tells tales of the cowboy’s job herding, branding, and also driving the cattle on the long trek up the trails to market and shipping centers. Songs include “Cowboy’s Dreams,” “The Chisholm Trail,” and a lively dance is done to “Cindy” when the cowboys reach town.
Uses Demonstrations to explain echoes and how the ear functions. Tells how sound can bounce to produce an echo. Stresses ear care. Discusses how and why animals ears are shaped as they are. Shows how to make a harp out of rubber bands. (WCET) Kinescope.
Bash traces the development of drama and entertainment from the medieval days of acrobats at fairs, to the present. She demonstrates use of early puppets and marionettes, speaks of the troubadours and minstrels, and describes the pantomimes of the Harlequin and Columbines. The Lillian Patterson dancers assist in presenting the pictures through dance and acrobatics, and Bash ends the program by taking a very modern merry-go-round ride. Songs are “The Little Marionette” and “Jumping Jack.”
Fences tell a story about the way of life of the people who built them, the use to which the land was put and something of the personality of the builder. Bash Kennett tells of early fences and takes a tour through the countryside, showing how one can imagine the story of each farm or house from the fence which surrounds it. She tells the story of the early fence-viewer, whose chain measure was the basis of the measurement of today’s mile and city block. Songs include “The Bird Song” and “The Sow Who Got the Measles.”
Sharing and taking turns with others can be the best way to play and Brushy and Susie-Q show us what happens when you don’t play this way. They never had any fun because they fought over things they wanted to play with. But, mother taught them by sharing they could each have more fun.
Fignewton Frog (puppet) and Dora (person) hold a contest where children (puppets) have to guess the parts actors (also puppets) are playing based on their costumes. The children also have to guess what type of theater is being referenced in a number of tableaux.
Bash tells of fishing in New England, where the fishermen fished close to the shore at first and then went all the way to the Grand Banks in their small craft. Examples of the ways in which various fish are caught includes the lobster trap, the use of lines or purse seine nets and the use of dredge nets. Songs include “Sarah,” “Hulla Baloo Belay” and “Crawdad.”
Defines movies as glorified shadow shows and traces the motion picture revolution from a simple shadow on a wall to modern movies. Presents a history of the development of the movie camera, film, and other photographic inventions. Includes Al Jolson, Lon Chaney, Laurel and Hardy, and sequences from The Great Train Robbery and a Conquest of Space.
The changes of season are described in terms of what the animals of the forest do during these times. Bash tells how each of the animals live during the four seasons. She sings “Saturday Night,” “Mr. Rabbit” and the “The Fox.”