Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Launching Narrative: grade 2 storytelling project in Expressive Arts


Recently, I had the pleasure of working with our Grade 2 students on a short project to launch their upcoming unit on story writing. To get the students excited and stimulated to start writing their own invented narratives, the Grade 2 team and I devised a two hour Expressive Arts session which we ran with each class. We're incredibly lucky here at ISB to have a wealth of resources, such as the lighting and sound equipment, staging blocks, parachutes, costumes and even a load of fake trees! So we filled my room with a range of stuff that could be easily manipulated to create different environments and then we brought the students in.

Sitting in among the trees by the doorway, I asked the students to use their imagination and think about where they might be. Answers ranged from a forest, to a secret path in a King's garden, to an alien planet, and everything in-between.  Then I asked them who they might be and again I received a wonderful range of answers: the King's guard, a group of scientists, explorers, pirates, fairies, castaways...

From this point, we selected one of the possible starting points (for example, a group of scientists called in to investigate strange happenings in the King's garden), then I asked the students to leave the room and re-enter in character to begin the adventure. The story developed organically as we travelled through the different environments, if we left the forest then I would ask 'where are we going next? who might we meet? how will we get there?'  and as characters emerged in the storyline, I would throw on a costume and improvise an interaction.

The students immersed themselves in the adventure and at every opportunity I would be overwhelmed by their ideas, each offering a different direction that the story could go in. We would chose one possibility for the current adventure but at the same time highlight the others as equally valuable options.

By the end of the session, we never finished the adventure in my studio, the story remained unfinished. So that when students sat down to write, the following day or week, they had a starting point for their own story and from there they could take it in any direction they wanted.

And the results that are starting to be sent to me are magnificent:


Post a Comment