I got the kids to draw a step-by-step dog with me. It was a warm-up activity I saw author/illustrator David Melling do at a talk last year, and it worked really well. I started to worry through the rest of workshop that they weren't actually listening to me and were just more interested in colouring in and customising their doggies, but, actually, I think it was nice to have something for them to do in the quieter moments when I was frantically scribbling on the board.
I took with me a set of nine A4, black and white line drawings of various unconnected things (like the dragon and the alien) that I pre-prepared on Thursday. I got one child at a time to pick out a card (face down) at random then stuck it up on the flip chart. Then underneath we wrote something together that went with the card, then got another child to pick another card and so on. It worked so well!
Our story went something like this:
Once upon a time there was a boy called Julesy-Boy.
He was very sneaky. One day he went for a walk and came across...
The dragon was just cooking his supper. Julesy-Boy stole the dragon's supper and ran away with it! The dragon chased after him.
Julesy-Boy ran into a girl called Julia.
She stole the dragon's supper from him and ran away! Julesy-Boy and the dragon chased after her.
Julesy-Boy found a pencil on the ground and threw it at the dragon.
It hit the dragon in the eye and the dragon fell asleep.
Julesy-Boy chased Julia all the way back to his house, but the dragon woke up and followed!
Julesy-Boy and Julia hid under Julesy-Boy's bed, but, hang on! There was an alien under the bed, too!
The alien wanted the dragon's supper for himself. The dragon broke down the door and began to fight with the alien over the supper.
Julesy-Boy and Julia crept out and ran towards the forest and the mountain.
Julesy-Boy tripped over a magic wand.
He picked it up, waved it, and shouted: ABRACADABRA!!!
The dragon and the alien turned into apples.
Julesy-Boy and Julia went back to the house and ate the dragon's supper. They had apple crumble for pudding.
Genius, huh? I could never some up with something like that on my own!
I also put together an A4 sheet will all nine pictures for them to take home, cut out, and use to make up their own stories. It was also a great opportunity to get rid of a load of postcards! They were such a nice bunch of kids. I came away with such a sore throat after reiterating the whole story nine times at speed!
If anyone would like the A4 sheet, you can click on it and "download original size" from Flickr. For personal use only, of course.
It was good fun. I'd been worrying about it for ages, but once I had my idea properly sorted and the images prepared it was a breeze. I just went with the flow. I'd quite like to do another session, see what other crazy stories they come up with using the same images!