Sunday, March 4, 2012

Power Rangers in the Pre-K classroom

Recently three of the boys in my classroom have been consumed by Power Rangers. Almost every time they interact, conversation turns to a debate over who gets to be the Green Ranger (there can only be one, of course!). In their minds, it is impossible for there to be two green rangers because the show depicts only one of each color and that's how they must play it out. One student especially struggles to accept a new identity text for the rangers when the other student proposes they can both be green rangers. After many days of trying to help them negotiate an alternate direction of play, I find myself constantly getting frustrated as the discussion often comes to an inconclusive ending and then the saga starts all over again the next day. In reading Playing Their Way into Literacies, I admired the way that the children Wohlwend descripes as princess players were initiatially able to negotiate new roles for their dolls (88). Although they rejected Peter joining the play, they eventually found a way to trade dolls with him and give him a pre approved roll. This vignette has inspired me to spend more time with my Power Ranger students in helping them come up with new roles and standards of power ranger play so that they all can assert authority and power while still feeling accepted. Although allowing the children to write their own version of the Power Ranger Play could help, how can I best help my most "set in his green ranger ways" student branch out in order that he is comfortable allowing others to play green ranger with him?

1 comment:

  1. I had a similar situation with one very "set in his ways" child. I played with them by first asking if I could join, then telling them I wanted to use my imagination (something we've talked a lot about) to make up a new Power Ranger. This seemed to help a few students, even my most set in his ways kiddo, see that the game doesn't have to look exactly like it does on TV. Some days they want to play exactly like it "should" be - but I have noticed they are much more open to "new" characters and using your imagination to make the play even more fun. I helped them see that the imaginary character could be even better - gold, glittery, super powers they hadn't thought of yet - and it did work somewhat. It's not perfect by any means, but they are more open to allowing many players in the game - even beyond what the typical Power Rangers team is.