Magic workshop for elementary students

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Postby Umpa Duze » 04/22/10 03:43 AM

Hi All,
I was asked to run a series of workshops for groups of kids attending a school fundraiser. I will probably hold four sessions during the day with about twenty students in each. I have been going through my books and notes and have come up with some ideas for tricks that can be learned in short amount of time with kids of this age. So far I havethe following list to pick from depending on the age of the group.

Boomerangs
Ear it is with swizzle sticks
2-1 string
2-card monte
belt hook
And possibly clippo as kids like projects.

If anyone has suggestions about some additional ideas (ages 5-12) or have tried one of the above and have had trouble with it in similar situations, I would appreciate any insights you might be able to share.
Cheers,
Umpa Duze
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Postby Brandon Hall » 04/22/10 11:23 AM

Exposure!
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Postby Mark Collier » 04/22/10 11:28 AM

Mix Em Up in Knack Magic is a great trick to teach kids.
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Postby Brandon Hall » 04/22/10 01:39 PM

Great idea, Mark. You should stick with stuff marketed to the general public. Believe it or not but Magic for Dummies is a great source for this type of material as well...
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 04/22/10 01:58 PM

Brandon, this is the general public.

Agreed it's better to show them things that don't directly reduce sales in our marketplace. Think they might be up for using Knack Magic as a textbook? It would make some folks here proud and even open up a path for the students to continue on directly to here and to folks like Al Schneider.
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Postby Brandon Hall » 04/22/10 02:05 PM

That's what I meant...Teach them the innocuous stuff that got US interested in learning the REAL secrets
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Postby Mark Collier » 04/22/10 02:18 PM

I would suggest bringing books with you like Knack Magic, Dummies and the Klutz book. Then, you could not only teach a few tricks but point them in the right direction to begin self study.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 04/22/10 02:24 PM

ummm if you don't give them the books in hardcopy they will be using their phones to google, then link then p2p them even as you speak. It's not like they are inept and stupid, just ignorant.
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Postby Mark Collier » 04/22/10 02:54 PM

Jonathan, sometimes (usually) it seems like you argue just for the hell of it. What do you suggest? Don't teach kids magic? Don't show them books? Ban the internet?
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 04/22/10 03:04 PM

At least in the elementary school level (as i recall back when) it was customary to give students textbooks from which to read and learn. I encourage this practice. Hands on from real books sets the sort of example I support. Showing them books but not providing is teasing and they are not wont to enjoy being teased - and will quickly find what you are holding from them just to show you.

If some folks here are so clueless as to not know that (or be in active denial about) gradeschool students know how to research and acquire resources from the internet... well that's a seperate subject and one we can look at in more detail on some other thread.

So how about giving them Knack Magic or a book like that as a textbook? Nothing like going home from school with a sense of accomplishment and a book that's fun to read IMHO.
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Postby Jeff Haas » 04/22/10 03:53 PM

Jon - He mentioned he was doing this at a fundraiser. Just from my interactions with schools in this mode, he's unlikely to have a budget to give each kid a book plus supplies.

Instead, he's probably expected to create a handout and supply simple materials, gratis.

Listing some of these books under the "For more information..." section of the handout, so kids could ask for them as presents, is a good idea.

Umpa - I'd skip any trick with glue or rubber cement, or anything that needs props made each time. Instead, find tricks that use household items (pencils, rubber bands, etc) plus a few where you give them the props. Simple is good in this case.

Remember that younger kids will have trouble with tricks like the Jumping Rubber Band due to still learning motor skills. Have the older kids help the younger ones if they can't get a specific trick.

Jeff
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 04/22/10 04:05 PM

You're right Jeff.

Maybe the item in the Vernon book with the bill, the rubberband and paperclips. Using a different patter story of course. ;)
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Postby Umpa Duze » 04/23/10 03:55 AM

Wow, I really did not intend to create controversy. Sorry. As Jeff writes everything is about helping the school, no budget. I had forgotten about the dollar bill and linking paperclips. Thanks. Perhaps even the kids could help me come up with a story. I do have a handout with the names of a few books. I am not sure which of the tricks I listed at the beginning would be of variety that magicians would consider inappropriate exposure. These are the type of effects I learned in 4th or fifth grade. I appreciate everyone's thoughts. I do not have a copy of Knack Magic, but will look one up. Jeff, thanks for the idea of pairing up older and younger students, I think that might help the younger ones learn while keeping the older kids engaged.
Cheers,
Umpa Duze
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Postby GregMcMahan » 12/09/10 10:02 AM

Many time when I teach magic classes there is a materials fee added on. This covers the cost of materials, of course. It can also pay for books or pamphlets given out to your students.

I have an instant author kit called "Learn Magic" that is perfect for this type of gig. The link is in my signature below.
The BEST Instant Author Kit - Make $$:
"Learn Magic"
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Postby irwin royes » 03/26/11 05:23 PM

Got a call from Philip and Henry the guy said teach something simple like Cups & Balls........ Now I know why he works in a phone room.
I DON'T TEACH!
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Postby Allen Tipton » 08/26/12 06:35 AM

Umpa & other or would be other teachers of magic to kids or adults.
DO STRESS PRESENTATION, ROUTINING & ENTERTAINMENT NOT JUST TRICKS.
Just tricks is why we get some many young magicians in particular walking around with a deck of cards ready, eager & able to SPRING a few card tricks on anyone around--whether they want to see card tricks or not.
The famous quote (I THINK from a Somerset Maughan story)--
'He asked me if I would like to see some card tricks. I said 'No'. He showed me 5'.!!!

Link, AT TIMES,effects with 1 prop- as in 'he Magic Hanky':
"With my Magic Hanky I can --."
1. Stretching A Hanky
2. Pen thru Hanky (MH is indestructable)
3. Glorpy (as in Karl Fulves book using pen as gimmick)
4. Coin Vanish in Hanky. (MH will vanish anything)later--But
also makes it reappear.
5. Wagging Hanky-- Hanky is playful Using an invisble hair fom
spectator
6 Broken & Restored Match in MH.

SO teach linking tricks together as they grow in experience will help with routining an Act

BOOKS: Look for the Bill Severn books. Publiushed for the lay public the ideas are excellent (even for experienced magicians)

Allen Tipton
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Postby Presto » 05/25/13 09:30 PM

Umpa,
I know this post is years old, but James Munton has a great DVD on how to teach a magic class. It's got some great ideas of tricks he uses to teach birthday party magic classes.

Mr. Greggy's Instant Author book has great reviews on some other forums and looks to be a bargain.

I also recommend my instant author kit - a great resource not only for BOR sales, but teaching magic classes, or as giveaways (http://www.PrestoMagicProducts.com)

I highly recommend avoiding some of the more popular "101 magic tricks..." type books that often feature dangerous and outdated props. There are a lot of them floating around! Even though some of those comes cheap from places like D. Robbins, they're out-dated, and I believe you could actually get in trouble distributing materials that advocate the use of knives, cigarettes, etc.

Best Wishes!
Kevin
Check out my new Instant Author Kit
http://www.PrestoMagicProducts.com
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