Sunday, 21 May 2017

Rabbits, giants and printed leaves

Rabbits, giants and printed leaves

week 2 in the Highlands 

waiting for the audience

The second week of Scottish storytelling went well. or, at least, I enjoyed it and swarms of enthusiastic children seemed to as well (another 5 schools and another 500 children more or less).

picturing a story
 “You’re my very best creeping toad friend” (was delivered without any irony over the numbers of other amphibian friends the young man in question might have)
and listening to the teacher of a P6 (or maybe P7) class enthuse about language, getting her pupils to talk about the images used in my stories and discuss how these made a difference to the stories
mapping a story with visuals
“I like words now.”

One bee was flying, visiting flowers,
Under the eyes of a bird flying in the sky,
While two little trees were growing in a planter,
And three little rabbits were running for the woods,
While feet tramped over the ground,
Past a single bunch of daffodils,
A peony with nine flowers,
And a tiny ladybird with black spots.
There were three stones on a wooden post to point the way,
And five fingers ready to write a story.

(using counting to set a story in motion, St Clements School)

And we shaped a story through a Fox’s creepy woods and through Eagle’s giant mountains. We threaded through haunted spider woods and ended with a return by butterfly to the garden where the adventure began.

extending a story

Activities during the week, beyond just telling stories and listening to them, included drawng stories to help retelling, adding treasures to the drawings to extend a tale, making pop-ups to hold brand new tales, exploring shcool grounds for inspiration for stories and art work. Overall,we did a lot of work seeing stories as patterns that could be recorded as words or as a sculpture (pop-ups), as story maps or as long unrolled story-sheets where puppets, drawing, words and printing could all be added and we could cooperate to build adventures as a group. This week, my visits included two lovely schools for chidlren with additional educational needs. For someone who works with words as much as I do, it is always a concern to approach groups where words are not always that effective and attention can wander very quickly, so it was wonderful to slip into those classes and find new friends waiting and hands, minds and stories ready for new adventures

dramatic puppet and pop-up

Now, I’m off to Orkney, but as the saying goes, that is another story….

with many thanks to all the enthusiastic pupils and staff i met at Kirkhill, St Duthus, St Clements, Kirkhill and Muirtown Schools
some maps are easier to read than others

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