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Our stories are there to support you learn with your students and enjoy the time you spend together.

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How to Explore More stories

The approach used in this work encourages children to use prior learning as well as inquiry, curiosity and imagination. Story making lies at the heart of it with the children very much in the driving seat, responding to your prompts, questions and guidance. It’s a joint productive activity that will work well with individual children as well as groups, to whole classes. The children move through a world-building narrative outlined in the slideshow, and their acquisition of knowledge becomes the purpose of the work, as problems are solved and questions are answered. The children drive the task work whilst developing an ownership over the world they are creating. They wear the mantle of being an expert.

The slideshow is there to offer a map through the narrative. It charts possible tasks to do but don’t forget, even in these strange times, you can be creative! If you know the children you’re working with you’ll be able to know what particularly challenges them. For example, if you’d really like them to do some descriptive work, tailor a task towards that outcome. Remember, you’re not a slave to the slideshow. It is fairly self-explanatory and there are some notes in some of the slides to help you so have a read through before you go into presentation mode. As you read the notes, you may think of other purposeful tasks that will support the learning of the particular groups or individuals you’re with. What’s good about this approach as well, is that it promotes the children to think and work independently. It could be stressed that it’s very powerful if you work with them inside the narrative, rather than just setting the task. Modelled wonder from you can fuel their curiosity further!

Depending on your time frames, the narrative can be paused at any time. Perhaps at a key moment (a crux moment) when there is a sense of ‘what’s going to happen next?’ or a cliffhanger. You might also want to pause the narrative if there’s some great responses from your children that positively demand attention. For example, if the discussions around mythical creatures such as Trolls spark genuine interest, you don’t want to just let that go. Allow for some independent research into Nordic myths and folktales. You could create some fact files on such creatures or create documents from the time, going old school with some cold tea! There’s also an opportunity to tap into the geography curriculum as well as the history! If the children like maps you could use this as an opportunity to teach them some map reading skills - compass points, directions, symbols etc. A big question to ask yourself when doing this work is:

Where is the curriculum in this?

Where could your Maths be found? Your DT?

It takes some tapping into our own professional imaginations to do this. It also invites us to play. Be guided by your child’s questions and curiosity. As you go along, you may find that they just get on with this independently, coming up with their own tasks that need doing to complete the story.

You are the guide through all of this and one way of fulfilling that role is by asking the really good questions. Here are some useful question scripts:

  • I wonder how………?
  • I wonder when……..?
  • How do we know……..?
  • If we are going to do this, what do we need to do first?

You can also model fallibility, which children love. So rather than setting a task, you could be the fallible one who doesn’t know what to do. You do this by telling the children you don’t know what to do and can they help. That again gets them to wear the mantle of the expert.

These points are here to help. We all teach differently, and this isn’t to be perceived as following a strict set of rules. The key thing for all of us is that we navigate these uncharted territories the best we can. Play to your teaching strengths and also see it as an opportunity to experiment and also make mistakes. Teaching something new and engaging in a different pedagogy is a beautiful risk that we should all embrace. The site will be updated regularly with more ideas and more suggestions around delivery and possibility. Please keep checking back.

This work is paper, pencil, maybe some colours and a roll of masking tape kind of work. A little preparation that will pay in dividends. You all may even have FUN.

It’s understandable if you just want to dip in and out of these stories. But one way of helping our young people, and ourselves, become resilient learners is through some good, old fashioned escapism. Delving into stories where they children become the expert, an active agent of change is empowering for them - they have the power to decide and to change the direction of events. They need to feel they have a little power and control in their lives too! Learning through stories can help with that.

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