We had a brilliant time in First Class flexing our narrative muscles before the Easter break. We looked at ways to find ideas for new stories and got a lot of help from paintings by Mary Swanzy, Hokusai and others.
We asked lots of questions about each image, wondering what was going on, who were the people in the pictures, what they were doing, what they were saying, feeling, what happened just before, what might happen next and so on. That got us (sneakily) thinking about character, plot, setting and all the things you need to build a story.
As for the answers to these questions… we made them up, using clues from the paintings, so that they were all right!
Then we put everything together in order and created a collective story with a little help from Vincent Van Gogh's Bedroom in Arles. Who lives there? Where are they now? Will they come back? Why is it all green behind the window? Is the house in a cornfield or a jungle? Or is it that the house is tiny and it's only normal grass growing outside?...
Here is our story, enjoy! (By the way, First Class, we're going to need a title!)
Two magic people lived in a tiny house. Their job was to get rid of human people’s rubbish.
But one day, they got rubbish that was really dangerous to both humans and fairies: a jar of killer bugs!
So they went off to get rid of it as far away from everyone as they could. But outside in the tall grass they were attacked by a giant poisonous snake that swallowed them up!
Inside the snake’s tummy, they opened up the jar. The killer bugs started eating the snake from the inside out. The snake died and the bugs too (because of the poison in the snake’s blood).
They climbed out of the snake and went home, determined to have a word with the humans about producing such dangerous rubbish in the first place…
Everyone got to write their own picture-inspired story after that, and to work on the tricky issue of structure or story map. That's how we realised that some plans are better than others, with some being too boring, too simple, too complicated or too what-just-happened-? Finding the right balance is really hard, but this lot really gave it their best and did a great job!
I can't wait to see their finished pieces after the break!