English and Art Workshop – I made this (Story Structure)
I Made This – Story Structure Workshop with year 6 students from all over Plymouth
Looking into story structure and creating tension and emotion in story writing by creating characters from found objects and changing expressions before drawing and them and writing about their character
Working with students from primary schools local to Torbridge and in the catchment area for this secondary school, in a day long rolling group series of workshops. These creative writing workshops were designed to introduce pupils who would be joining the school the following September with an activity which would challenge and intrigue them. The main point of the day was to bring the children into the new environment in a non challenging way and introduce them to the schools ethos and spaces.
This workshop is based on starting a creative writing project with an art based activity. Often creative writing can be a difficult activity and some pupils struggle to engage fully with a project when it is presented in a linear fashion. i.e. read about a subject and then write about it. With this approach participants engage with the activity through the drawing process and also with the kinaesthetic activity of designing their character from found objects. The story structure emerges as each characters features are rearranged to reflect a series of emotions and thus create a dynamic structure and a personal relationship with their character. The ease of approach in using found objects is that it takes the need to create a standard face away and thus the drawings become so interesting.
The stories they wrote were understandably short, given the time constraints, but each one of them reflected the excitement the participants had generated through this approach. Each bringing in elements and ideas which they may well not have considered with a different approach in structuring their story.