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?