As we began looking through the images from the event, we noticed a distinct focus on the stories – and yet our observations and reflections had revolved around the children who created them. This intriguing combination of storybuilding and storybuilders is the inspiration for this blog post today.
So we served up an irresistable buffet of creatures (bowl of snakes, anyone?) and a unique mix of building materials, and children aged 3 to 13 rose to the challenge. Working independently and sometimes in groups, they built stories that ranged from a single scene to full storyboards. Each narrative became a tangible manifestation of the child’s imagination. What we discovered by witnessing these stories unfold is that at any age and any skill level, literacy in the form of story-building and story-telling can be just as powerful and meaningful as reading and writing.
We can’t believe how easy it was to fall into the trap of giving very specific instructions so that every child would meet the same learning goal. Even with all of our planning there is always room for improvement. We've learned that using specific instructions may seem like it will create an easier outcome but the end result is actually more complex. When we ask a group of children to follow a narrow path that’s been set out for them, we can end up with some students who meet the success criteria, but also many discouraged learners who do not. When we spend the bulk of our energy on front-end purposeful planning, we reduce our time and energy on the back-end by creating a wider path for students to navigate their learning more smoothly. Click here to see more images from our Storybuilding Pop-Up!