A Birthday Party In The Rain!
Posted on: 16th August 2015 17:33:49

Tell your momma that you're leaving! Tell your daddy that we're gone!”


~~ The Wonders  

 (That Thing You Do, 1996)


To Hollywood in 1920, to sing and dance in the rain with Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor, and Jean Hagen.


Welcome to the August 2015 Edition ~ Singin’ In The Rain!


The rainy season of August is the perfect time to celebrate this film, not just because it fits well with summer rain, but because three of its stars (Kelly, O’Connor, and Hagen celebrate birthdays this month. (Hagen on August 3, Kelly on August 23, and O’Connor on August 28.)  Grab the party hats, streamers, noisemakers, and your Guide and go to the Party!


A party scene is a great way to promote communication, language and engagement. Singin’ in the Rain has a great one, complete with a cake (“All I Do is Dream of You!”) and Dancing Girls!  A perfect way to open the conversation with a sing–a-long and some thought provoking questions for all stages and many different ages.

Starting with “All I Do is Dream of You” this film is ripe with sing-a-long songs perfect for your older generation clientele and family members. Automatic speech is a great way to keep communication going!


Don’t let the sing–a-long carry you along to far! Remember, the Guide, with its thought provoking questions can lead to great reminiscence, from going to the corner movie theatre with friends for a nickel (or was it a quarter?) to having a crush on a movie star, (“who was your favorite? Did you ever meet someone famous?”) And collecting “fan magazines” (from Modern Screen to Tiger Beat), not to mention flirting, dating, quarrelling and making up!   


Whatever the stories, revel in them, ask questions, make comments, encourage the older generation to tell you more. Keep communication going! The longer they can communicate their thoughts and ideas the more memories you will have.   The happier and more content they will be! Warm memories help make happy families!


Reminiscence is great for the older generation but as an educator, you may ask this month’s thought provoking question: How can I make this an engaging activity for my students?


With students the key is social behavior and character motivation.


Begin with the Leading Man (Don Lockwood): Beyond his looks and charm, what kind of man is he?         


Why is Kathy Seldon afraid of him? Why do her comments about acting in movies bother him? (“It’s not real it’s just a lot of…show…!  You’ve seen one you’ve seen them all!”) What motivates Don to help her?


Next consider the Leading Lady (Lina Lamont): As Kathy moves in and becomes a “love interest” for Don, how does this affect Lina,  and  Don's relationship with her? What drives Lina to act as she does? (Love, conceit, greed, anger?)


How does Lina’s perceived relationship color the ingénue’s (Kathy Seldon), perception of both Don and Lina? How and when do her perceptions change?  Is Kathy ambitious?  What motivates her to act as she does?


As Don’s faithful friend, what is Cosmo’s role? How does he help to move the story forward?


These and other questions found in the Guide will keep you and your students talking all month long!


The perfect catalyst for lively introspective classroom discussions as well as opening the floodgates of Grandma’s memory!  Keep the umbrella handy when you celebrate the birthdays of: Lina (Jean Hagen), Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly), and   Cosmo Brown (Donald O’Connor), as you dance and sing in the   August rain!





Coming in September: Join Tevye and his family as they meet the “Matchmaker” and wrestle with “Tradition” from Sunrise to Sunset” in Fiddler on the Roof 















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