Thursday, 12 March 2009

The First Workshop

the first workshop i completed was a book week workshop in Alexandra primary school. we played a warm up name game, discussed their favourite books, what a good story entails, then split into smaller groups to create a story together, one sentence at a time. after we had completed this we acted out the story in the style of helicopter reading. before the workshop began i was very nervous, and worried about whether the children would listen to me and let me help them make a good story. when we got there the children were very excited about the workshop and quickly began making up fantastic words to go in our story. This year 5 class were had a very good knowledge of descriptive words and used them fantastically in the story. the story had a good structure and good descriptive language, the only problem was that we finished the story very quickly and had practised acting it many times before the other groups had even started practising theirs. so i had to think very quickly, and with limited space and equipment at my disposal, i initiated a group game of book week hangman, which got the children talking about their favourite books again and made the time go more quickly. when we came to the end of the workshop, the children were asked if they had learnt anything from the workshop. the feedback was that the children had learnt that creating a story together can be fun and that when you are working in a team you have to listen to other peoples ideas. on this note, i feel the workshop was a success. the next day we took the workshop back to the school to do with a year 3 class, because the children were so much younger and we had much less space we needed to adapt the workshop. we changed the opening game and chose not to discuss descriptive words before the story writing as we felt this may be far too confusing for the younger children. I found this workshop a lot harder than the one before, the children struggled with the concept of taking it in turns to say a sentence and often spoke for children that were maybe too shy. there was one boy who didn't say anything when it got to his turn not matter how much i suggested or tried to prod him in a direction. he refused to speak, the other children tried to talk for him, but i insisted that it was his turn and after 5 minutes of not saying anything, i suggested to sentences for him to chose from with a word missing at the end for him to fill in. i felt that this still gave him a choice, and let him own part of the story. it took a lot longer to come up with a story with this group because they were so much younger and i had to keep reminding them that we need a beginning middle and an end, and maybe something should happen now, what do you think? etc. Therefore we were one of the last groups to get up and rehearse our story but we still made a successful piece for the other children to watch which was very enjoyable for me to watch as i know i had helped so much with it. the children reported back much the same that the other group had about learning about teamwork and learning about writing a story together, which was good as this was the aim of this workshop. I think my personnel contribution into this workshop was good, however i feel i may have tried to control the story too much, and i maybe i should have let go and let the children bring the story to a natural climax and a natural finish, however, because of the time constraints we were under, i felt that this was not possible or the story would have to be left unfinished which was not the intention of the workshop.

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