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#StoryPlay no.2 - C.S.I. Fairytale

Apr 14, 2014
Welcome to Storyplay - a Different Idea for Every Day
Pick a story everyone knows well. Does the ending we’re familiar with hold up to further investigation?
Let’s re-create the crime scene; give a news report; make and re-examine the clues; interview witnesses - as much play as you're able to squeeze out of it. 
Red Hiding Hood works well - but most traditional tales have sufficient jeopardy to lead to lots of excellent detection fun.

#StoryPlay no.1 - Inside/Outside Poem

Apr 14, 2014

Welcome to Storyplay - a Different Idea for Every Day

Make lists of words you can see both inside and outside - if it’s nice weather you can of course go out to do it! Then make a series of three grids (size dependent on number of participants and words, but 20-30 boxes works well). Randomly fill grid one with words from the ‘inside’ list, grid two with words from the ‘outside’ list, and grid three with a mixture of both.
Read each grid out loud, as if very important poetry - try vertically; horizontally; diagonally; ever decreasing circles - it’s up to you. Which do you like best? How does each grid differ and make you feel?


Are We Forgetting the Fragility of Our Year 6 Children?

Mar 24, 2014

On my LinkedIn page under 'education' I have written, "I continue to be taught by children". I know it's glib, but it is the truth.

I have been in at least one school a week this year, all over the country, and all very different, and on every occasion I have learnt something new - either about how best to tell one of my stories, or about children and how they experience the world.

A reccuring theme for 2014 has been the surprising readiness of Year 6 children to regress and enjoy being told stories, as if they were, in fact, of a much younger age.

This got me thinking . . . 

If I place myself in the position of those Year 6 children, their behaviour is not that much of a surprise. They are on the threshold of entering the next stage of growing up - facing the unknown world of secondary school, where they will once again be the babies, but not with the same sense of security and knowledge of their surroundings that they currently enjoy at the top end of their own primary schools.

No wonder they are keen to revel in that security, and re-visit a time when they had fewer expectations laiden upon them - I understand more now what they are accessing when they snuggle up on my storytelling skirt and demand another story, before it's time to go back to the pressures of the real-life growing up world.

It's easy to forget - when they are so sophisticated, and in some arenas (e.g. social media) more knowledgeable than us crusty old grown-ups - that they are still very young, still vulnerable and still fragile. They do need the adult support we can provide, not by patronising, and in ever shifting ways from day to day - and if you've been in the primary setting for some time, as indeed I have - it can be easy to forget, despite all the discusssion around transition, that they are still the little ones, even if they're the biggest little ones you see on any given day.

I generally offer KS2 children a slightly different programme of events to my offer for younger children - acknowledging their deeper understanding and wider experience - but from now on, even if I've spent a session analysing, for example, the nature of narrative and the aural tradition - I will remember that they also sometimes need to get comfy, have no demands put upon them, and just be told a story. . .  who doesn't like that?



Feb 24, 2014

Well it's a pretty poor show when it's your job to create words strung together to inspire, amuse or entertain - then despite having a lovely website - you just don't!

I'm very glad to say that it is due to unprecedented busy-ness this academic year, in schools and elsewhere.

Hopefully this is an indicator of a rise in interest and escalation of excitement around the joy and worth of Storytelling.

I shall endeavour to do better in the future, but now I'm off to rehearse Sunday's show at Birmingham Symphony Hall.

Happy Monday.




International Profile

Aug 10, 2013