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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic...at a moment's notice! » » Tricks to Teach Teenagers (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Paul Rathbun
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Michigan
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I will be teaching a class to teenagers for the local public library this summer. I find this age 8-12th grade) to be tricky because they don't want tricks that are childish in any way. I have a few card tricks in mind as well as a couple simple rope tricks, but was wondering if anybody could offer me any ideas (and where to find them) using other objects they may have at home. Thanks.

-Paul

If you don't want to expose anything you can always PM me.
landmark
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Genii or Magic, I can't remember which ran a series a few years ago on teaching magic to children (actually I think it was Magic). One of the really nice ideas was starting out by having them construct a cigar box flip-over production box.

Here's why I like it: it takes time, and students get a sense of ownership. Teach a group of kids a card trick, and five minutes later they want to show it around to everyone, do it poorly, and then expose it anyway. This way, they are forced to put time into building it. It doesn't come easy. They are invested in making the best possible performance they can with it--and they will first have to go before their peers to present it. They can think about how they could modify and individualize their magic boxes for a better effect. You teach them stage presence and to act with their whole bodies first, rather than teaching a French Drop and trying to explain stagecraft and misdirection at that intimate distance (much harder IMO!)
motown
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Atlanta by way of Detroit
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A few thoughts:

Ashes on the Arm
Sheep and Theives (coins)
Spoon Bending
Neck Decapitation with scarf or rope
Jumping Rubber Bands
Sefalaljia (Stewart James)
"If you ever write anything about me after I'm gone, I will come back and haunt you."
– Karl Germain
motown
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Atlanta by way of Detroit
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Sources worth checking for material:

Harry Loraye's Magic Book
Mark Wilson Course in Magic
Magic for Dummies
Knack Magic Tricks (Richard Kaufman)
Mysterio's Encyclopedia of Magic (Gabe Fajuri)
Magic The Complete Course (Josh Jay)
Street Magic (Paul Zenon)
Aldo Colombin's products
"If you ever write anything about me after I'm gone, I will come back and haunt you."
– Karl Germain
Paul Rathbun
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Michigan
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Thanks for the suggestions.
Yellowcustard
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Landmark suggestion of building something is a good way to go. I used to work at the science museum in London. I did a work shop called Magic in science. We spoke about the use of maths and did binary numbers (the trick you get in all Christmas crackers and power ball 60 is based on). Then we would cover how Pepper and Tobian work to understand science principals then prestend them as magic entertaining the masses. Then with step by step instruction we would make a mirror box for them to take home. The kids loved it and I think what works well is you don’t just teach tricks you also cover performance and history of our art. And I feel as people get in to magic today its easy to miss the History and art.

Sometimes one library is connected to loads of library. Try and get as many of the books in there collection covering magic. This can be a great source of ideas. Again get the instruction books like Mark Wilsion but also look at the fiction and history books.

It going to be great have fun and let us know what happens.
Enjoy your magic,

and let others enjoy it as well!
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