Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The Frogwitch's tale

Frogwitches, mermaids 
and monsters passing through
Douglas Academy, 
Milngavie, 20th Sept 2016
cooperative storymaking
We started with stories to be told and listened to but we grew…

...through places

Mugdock Woods and Craigend Castle,
The Lost Zoo, and
Kilmardinny Loch, and
Those woods, and
That old house, and
Mugdock Castle, and
There’s two castles, you know

...and into characters
the elephant who walked into Glasgow
the lion, Oh, yes there was a lion

And on into natural bits and artefacts

We grew stories, new tales, the lost tales of Milngavie

And our stories were shaped into pop-up storyscapes. There wasn’t time to write and we recognised that writing can rob a story of its potency but building a story as shapes and colours and patterns helps fix it in its own distinctiveness and in our own memories

Two workshops on that eventful Tuesday at Douglas Academy, drawing P7s (Yr 6 for English readers!) from the Academy’s feeder schools with a select band of S1s (Yr 8s, do keep up) as my storymaking support team, into an explosion of stories. Two workshops with 100 or so students in each.

There were bits everywhere, an explosion of imagery, an eruption of stories, a frenzy of scribbling and drawing and sticking and then we sent our P7 storymakers back to their schools with the challenge of telling their stories again
a certain elegance
“My” S1 storymakers have a similar challenge now: to prepare new stories and go and tell stories to young children over the next few months.

This was a great day: a return to Douglas. We had delivered a similar day last September. 

This time, I heard about the Kilmardinny Mermaid - she has left now, packing her elephant seal suitcase, tying it closed with an octopus clasp and migrating down the Kelvin to the sea when the noise and pollution of the growing town became too much.

I learned of the Frogwitch who has been trying to remember how to turn back into a Witch for several hundred years. The kissing bit never quite works and now there are lots of Frog princes (and farmers and peddlers and teachers and big brothers) around the woods...

With so many thanks for their enthusiasm, their welcome 
and their readiness to just dive in 
and go for it to the artists and storymakers of
Milngavie, St Josephs, Baldernock, 
Craigdhu and Clober Primaries,
My hosts at Douglas Academy
And my S1 Academy storytellers
before and after, lots of resources

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