By Rosegrove and Rockwood,
stories grow over grass and over stone,
by tree and leaf,
under the watchful eyes of escaping chickens,
Rosegrove and Rockwood Nurseries, May 2015
In workshops at these two nurseries we've been using key questions to propel our storymaking forward
In Rosegrove, back in March, we started by asking
who would we send on an adventure? making little characters who then went out exploring, collecting useful items as we went. A simple collection of found objects on a plate was often enough to start spinning stories
Then we wondered
where does our adventure start (or end?) - who lives behind that door? - a question about where would we go - and for this everyone made little houses for their characters inspiring questions about friendships and secrecy and the hidden doors and homes that might lurk in the school grounds
|hidden homes in the Nursery garden|
what would we (our characters) bring back from our adventure?: giving us a chance to map big stories, working together to devise landscapes where our house-boxes could be positioned, planning perils and problems and choosing trophies, treasures, mementoes to bring back - although those same finds sometimes sent our characters away to their next adventure - scallop shells make very good boats for small people and wide oceans….
|Rockwood Day 3: first ideas|
In Rockwood, questions also took other groups into houses but here, children worked together to make magnificent log-mansions where the planning and decoration of a shared house could take a whole session. This work drew out all sorts of wonders: poles to keep dragons away on one house were replaced by landing pads on another. Different doors led to different homes (monsters and fairies in one combination). The Tooth Fairy decorated the outside of her house with teeth. Feathers decorated another. A dragon devised a seaside house with shells and sandcastles
None of our workshops finished stories: our role as visiting artists here was to provoke conversation, to get stories moving and encourage staff and children to enjoy the stories that might grow out of their school grounds.
|Rockwood: house building carefully|
|Rosegrove: fireworks to keep us safe|
Cooper's Magic Potion (Rosegrove)
a cup and a toadstool.
Soemthing squeezed from a boot
A dinosaur skull,
A bead and some sand.
Stir them up,
Mix them well,
And if it works,
I can't tell
Stories Alive! has placed 5 artists in 5 Nursery Schools (see below) in and around Burnley in East Lancashire with the challenge of developing 5 different sets of activities to help embed storytelling and storymaking in Nursery practice, in families and in the children we are working with