When Jill Stevens, Literacy Co-ordinator at Collingbourne Cof E Primary launched a whole school writing competition she was expecting the usual 20-30 entries from the children at her small village school. She was astounded to receive 60-70 entries. Even better the competition encouraged some reluctant writers to have a go. The competition was so fierce they had to create more categories of winners.
The competition was based on our Pojo and the Chest of Dreams story. We went in to kick the competition off with a storytelling and to teach our 7 Steps of Story Writing. The children then made puppets of the characters using our Create and Show kits.
This is what Jill had to say about the competition and us:
From the author visit and competition what progression do you think the children made?
Children were really inspired to tell stories and become very dramatic. They enjoyed making the puppets and worked really well together. The competition encouraged some reluctant writers to have a go.
How has the visit and competition influenced future work?
We would consider using puppets again to talk for writing. The 7 steps to storytelling were very helpful. Many children who did not attempt to write were amazed by those who did and I think next time many more will enter some writing.
What difference did making the puppets make to the children’s learning and engagement?
The puppets were so colourful and fun that the children engaged in let’s pretend enthusiastically. The also loved the fact that they had made them themselves rather than a ready made set out of a box. The puppets helped them focus on the different characters which helped with descriptions and understanding how a character would behave in the story
What educational benefits do you think the use of the kits brought to the class? Teamwork was encouraged by the fact that a large group of children were working on one set of puppets and scenery together. They were able to use art and DT skills and lots of lovely talking.
- Art and Design
- Speaking and Listening
- Composition and effect
- Geography (compass points)
Do you have any comments that you would like to make that we could use as a testimonial?
My class were so excited to make the puppets and meet the characters to the story. They worked well together to create a colourful set of puppets which they put to good use with many sessions of ‘Let’s Pretend’! The visual story plans they made meant so much more to them as the characters had become very ‘real’. They lived the stories they told.
Are there any areas of both the visit and the kits that we could approve upon? Were you expectations met?
My expectations were more than met. I really appreciated the support you gave to our writing competition. The theme of this year’s competition was inspired by your book and puppets and it was fantastic listening to the story being told, not read. Thank you.
We recently went back into the school to do another storytelling session with Years 1 & 2, they instantly recognised Pojo even though we hadn’t seen them for a year. That’s the power of stories, they last long in the mind.
For more information about our stories, story writing workshops and how we can help you run competitions go to www.littlecreativedays.co.uk or call 01488 468901