Introduction (5 minutes) Welcome children and introduce yourself. ‘Do you know why you are here today?’



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Story-maker Guidelines – Primary School Workshop


Introduction (5 minutes)

Welcome children and introduce yourself.

Do you know why you are here today?’ – have children speaking and engaged as soon as possible! EXPLAIN – yes, you are going to write a story. First part of the story as a group and it will be typed up here on the screen. Introduce TYPIST. You then have chance to write your OWN ENDING to the story – so you will be able to bring in all your ideas then. Introduce MENTORS as being there to help everyone to write the story they want to write.

Explain things clearly as the session progresses.

Warm up game: does anybody like to read? Watch films? Listen to music? These are all ways of telling a story. Everybody stands, ball/pencil is passed around, everyone says their name and their favourite story. It is important that everybody contributes – allow time for people to think. Offer encouragement if necessary, e.g. what are you reading in school? What was the last thing you saw in the cinema? What’s your favourite TV programme?

Collaborative writing (approx. 45 minutes)

Q1 ‘What do you need to write a story?’
Characters
Plot
Setting
Dialogue
Title
Illustrations…… (etc….)

Introduce illustrator at appropriate point. As the session progresses, be sure to refer back to and highlight illustrator’s work – part of the fun is really seeing the characters come to life.



Q2 Who would you like to be the MAIN CHARACTER?

Take approximately 3 suggestions from group. Aim to be clear on WHAT it is (i.e. a person? An animal? A thing?) and what it is CALLED. We do not need any detail/backstory/description, i.e. Julie the scientist.


VOTING:
How to decide which character to use – VOTE!
Explain closed eye vote and introduce foam finger police.

Q3 The main character (use their name) has a GREATEST WISH. What would this character want most?

Description/detail is not necessary – we don’t need to know everything about the character before starting. Simple and clear is best!

[Name]’s Greatest Wish’ written at top of flip chart pad.

Take three ideas and list them in big, clear handwriting.

Recap the ideas before asking participants to close their eyes to vote.

Read out the options, tally the votes.

Ask participants to open their eyes and reveal the option with most votes.

Q4 As well as a greatest wish, this character (use name) also has a BIGGEST FEAR. What do you think [name] is afraid of?

‘[Name]’s Biggest Fear’ written at top of flip chart pad.

Take three ideas and list them in big, clear handwriting.

Recap the ideas before asking participants to close their eyes to vote.

Read out the options, tally the votes.

Ask participants to open their eyes and reveal the option with most votes.


Q5 [Name] needs a best friend. Who do you think [name] would be friends with?

‘[Name]’s Best Friend’ written at top of flip chart pad. Take three ideas and list them in big, clear handwriting.

Take three ideas and list them in big, clear handwriting.

Recap the ideas before asking participants to close their eyes to vote.

Read out the options, tally the votes.

Ask participants to open their eyes and reveal the option with most votes.


Writing the story:
The words that go up on the screen should be the children’s words. The storymaker is there to facilitate this and make sure everyone’s ideas are heard – not to suggest what should be there, not to correct what is there or to make it better.

The storymaker discusses the ideas thrown out by the children and passes the information on to the typist. The typist should not start typing until it is time to start the story.



Read back over the story at various points.

Just before participants move over to tables, choose a title. Take a small number of suggestions and conduct a vote.



Individual Writing (approx. 50 minutes)

TABLES: children should be moving over to the tables between 10.45 and 11.00 (at the latest).
This ensures they have enough time to work on their own endings, as this is the most important part of the morning.

Closing circle (approx. 20 minutes)

SHARING:

BOOKS: when books come out, it is important to go through them and explain how they work – beginning as written together, individual ending, additional pages for continuing to write/illustrate; Blurb, About the Author and Reviews.

Hand the books out (to ensure every child has a book).



Thank the children for coming and congratulate them.

Then they can go get their coats and bags and go!


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