Planning a Play
(page 81)

Maribeth Dann's class of sixth-graders sent in this solution (April 2005). This is the SAME Mrs. Dann whose eighth-graders are so prolific. What IS it about Hermann, Missouri?

Dear Mr. Erickson,  

Hi, we are Mrs. Dann's 6th grade class at Hermann Middle School in Hermann, MO.  We have been working on the "Planning a Play" problem, and we have a solution.  

We were trying to decide all the dates needed so that we could have a play on May 10.   The tasks that we needed to complete before May 10 were script, scenery, casting, costumes and dress rehearsal.  The first activity we decided on was advertising the auditions.  We decided to make posters to display around the school on March 1st and 2nd.  We were pretty confident that we could start advertising because we were going to have the script ready on the 9th of March.  This way the people could pick up a script on March 10 and 11 so that they could practice for auditions on the week of March 14-18.   

We would use March 21 to decide the actors in the play.  We would cast on March 22.  Since it would take two weeks for the scenery designers to design the set after the script is completed, the set design would be completed on March 23.  It takes one week for the costumes to be designed after casting so the costume design will be completed on March 29.  That's it for March.  

April will be used for set and costume completion.  It takes four weeks for each.  The set should be completed on April 20 with the costumes being completed on the 26th.  The actors are busy rehearsing during this time also.  

This brings us to May.  The dress rehearsals will start on May 3 with the play on May 10.  

This activity was good for us because we learned a lot about calendars and planning for a big event.  We also learned how to organize our thoughts, work together, and take notes.  We didn't realize that planning for a play was so complicated.  


Mrs. Dann's 6th Grade Class

Well! This is the first solution to this problem, and the first solution in this "scarce resources" family! Thanks!

There IS a lot to planning a big event, or any large task. One of the issues is to figure out which things can be done simultaneously by different people. For example, you can make costumes and sets at the same time; you don't have to wait for one to be done before starting the other. Other tasks depend on each other; you cannot start rehearsing until you have a script!

So a great extension to this activity is to make a display that shows the schedule and also shows what tasks depend on what other tasks.

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