Over the summer I compiled an anthology of original stories written by 6 & 7 year old children from Stamshaw Infants School. They were members of the Story Telling Club, an after-school club which I ran on a voluntary basis for my son’s school.
Around 13 children took part in a series of 5 sessions, and of that number, 10 children managed to complete and illustrate their own unique story (one or two dropped out due to illness or other commitments).
I took the freshly printed books (courtesy of Blurb.com) into school on the first day of term, and the Headteacher was delighted! So much so, that she wrote me a lovely letter, and this is what it said:
“Thank you for the lovely books from the Story Telling Afterschool Club. I felt I must write to say what a wonderful outcome for the children and a special memory for them of their time here at school. It is a superb collection of stories and writing. I really do appreciate all the effort you went to in the organising and ordering of the books.”
Since then staff who have children at the school have also approached me to say how pleased their children were with the books. For my own part I’m very pleased that the children and the school have been so delighted with them, and I hope I get the chance to develop and refine the ideas I trialled at Stamshaw Infants.
My third and final day today. The final two parts of the story mixed in with some storycraft – imagining what might have happened if certain plot points had changed and then Story Circles where the children re-tell the story round the circle, or imagine what might happen next.
A good day, if somewhat haphazard in places; some classes had gymnastics for a session, or music. However all in all a good day. I spent almost 2hrs solid writing the final part of the story, through lunch and into the first part of the afternoon. There’s only a small section left to transcribe and then it’s done.
I’m pleased with how the project went, and it’s been a good learning experience for me too, which is always good
This is in fact my second visit to St Mark’s – the first one happened on Feb 14th when a group of CP practitioners came in to meet the children and there was a mass of creative activity. I spent that first day listening and observing and then towards the end of the day I told the first part of the story that I’m creating specially for the project – Emi and the Lion.
The project looks at identity and is set in a junior school. The local authority has decided that all infant & junior schools in their area should become Primary schools, so St Mark’s is adapting by having its first intake of Reception age children this year. A sculpture is being produced using designs from inspired by the children’s designs around the school logo, which is a winged lion. In addition they’ve got a storyteller (that’s me) devising a story relating to the lion and related cross-curricular activities. And finally they’ve got an ICT specialist helping to record everything with the children, using a blog, photos, video footage and other examples.
I’m going into school for three days this week Mon-Weds and each day I’m telling more of the story, incorporating the ideas the children have suggested. So this morning was a re-cap followed by a short extention with new material. This afternoon was a whole new section and a gathering of ideas for the next part. Overnight I’ll type up today’s sections and then devise the next installment for tomorrow morning!
As well as story-telling I’ve also planned follow-up activities. Today was about drama (the feelings of the characters at various points during the story and a degree of emotional intelligence) as well as sequencing and looking at verbs and adjectives (“My Lion is…and he can…”)
A good day I think! But I must remember some lozenges for tomorrow – lots of loud talking does strain the voice if you’re not used to it!