Friday, 21 July 2017

Lost in the Adventurewoods

The Adventurewoods

The Lost Tales of Rudheath, pt 1

work with Rudheath Primary Academy

summer 2017

into the Adventurewoods

There are mysteries here,
In these dark woods,
Stories never told,
Treasures never found,
People forever lost…*

We began with characters: who should we send on an adventure. Individually we created small people for small misadventures. Collectively, we set a quest in motion

getting the story started
They woke in the morning to a missing pet.
A rabbit, much loved, much cuddled, was gone.
Its hutch empty,
Its run abandoned,

The story grew from there: each class picking up the adventure and moving it on. Some groups added details of landscapes, or extra characters who we might meet - or just hear rumour of on the wind that blew through the spaghetti trees

They had torches and towels,
A picnic, a map and a compass,
And a rope for swinging through trees.
They took lots of string for emergency things
And a bright green apple for healing.

They found sticks for campfires and shelters and sheds,
For a boat and for fishing rods.
They found twigs for drawing maps on leaves.

mapping details
The story wandered. We found treasure. Got lost. Found a friend. Got lost again. Felt ill. Strayed too far

you never know who you might meet
Through the darkwoods,
Through the dangerwoods,
Into the shadows and the trailing cobwebs
Of giant spiders.

We discovered strange little asides: stories that belonged to the streets of Rudheath and Witton but never told before, heard before or, let’s face it, thought of before…

The palace was wonderful, decorated with patterns of weeds and reeds and the wind on the water. The girl went in, passing halls and thrones. Everything was pink. The walls were pink. The floors were pink. The ceilings were pink. The chairs were pink. The tables were pink. The curtains were pink. The carpets were pink. She found a set of stairs that ran down, under the palace. Nothing here was pink. It was dark and gloomy and sinister in shades of grey and green. Here she found a dungeon. There was a chest right in the middle of the room.

treasures helped us add detail
As part of Creeping Toad’s Do It Together project for Rudheath and Witton Together, “The Lost Tales of Rudheath” involved all of the children at Rudheath Primary Academy. Workshops were organised as "family learning events" with parents, guardians or other involved adults invited to join us, to participate in lively sessions using activities that would transfer. We went for activities that needed easy-to-find resources and that would work again in a garden or on a wander through a park. There was a lot of interest from our grown-up contingent: getting 6 - 10 Mums, Dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents and other family members with each class
often i found whole stories i didn't know were developing

The full text of the Adventurewoods story can be found as a booklet to download here

The trolls chased
But it was too late for them.
The Apple Tree Man had been woken by all the noise.
He felt branches torn,
His trees being broken,
He clicked his fingers.
With every click, one tree
And then another tree
Tree Monsters and Woodland Warriors.
Long branches reaching out.
Twigs snagging in troll hair.
Sticks catching troll arms.
Branches like pythons, like anacondas, wrapping
The trolls into wooden cages.

school display in development
We learned a lot:  that broombrushes are smaller but faster than broomsticks, that bottles full of dust and smoke should be handled with care, that someone out there drinks tea while dragons toast marshmallows on their own breath

With many thanks to all the artists and storytellers of Rudheath Primary Academy and to the staff who welcomed and helped us  

*the italic sections are all extracts from the main story: 
groups gave me words, phrases, action and I edited things together


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