Third time now that I have watched 13 and 14 year old students from East Bergholt high school read stories to years one and two and ask questions about those stories "Did you like the main character?" and "What was the funniest bit?" and "Who was your favourite character and why?" and I am watching this interaction between the older children telling stories and the younger children listening to the stories and I am in awe of the strong and immediate connection between the story tellers and their listeners. They are having a conversation and both of the older and younger kids are learning so much!
Before tech children learned about the world from the stories they heard and were told. Before schools the only way of understanding the world at all was from the stories they were told.
We are missing a trick here. All of schooling is not about stories (examples and resolutions and choices in stories.) but it could be. I am beginning to think that we need to give story telling a lot more attention than just thinking of it as a sweet pastime.
My aim in these workshops is to make it easier for children to understand how to write a story. So D J Cattrell is not just about books but about giving kids practical easy structures to understand all aspects of stories and how important they are in life from newspaper articles to Greek Myths around television programmes and over the hill of history. Stories are what we are, how we remember our world and how we make sense of it.
Wednesday 17th August 2016