Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Storycards...

As part of the transformation of the rainbow room into a space for philosophy and a library I have created closer to 200 storycards... the cards reflect everything in life... for example when it comes to fairies there are old ones, young ones, beautiful, ugly, fat ones, thin ones, mean, kind, many different skin tones, with wings, without wings etc etc... the idea is that all are included, everyone in the world is valued - and not just certain kinds of people... the idea is also for the children to start thinking about what they see as beautiful and ugly (I would never put the cards down and make that judgement myself in front of the children... I leave it to them to see). The story cards are not just about choosing a selection of cards so that we can tell a story, but also so that we can stimulate philosophical dialogues... as they get used more, I will share more here on this blog about the different ways we will be using them, the different questions that we will ask, and also inspire the children to ask...

Today I introduced the children to the idea of hanging images with pegs on a line and then telling the story based on the images... it took no encouragement to get the children to hang up the images... they did this with great excitement. I then told the story of the cards starting from the left and working in sequence (like reading). I needed to tell just two stories before asking the children if they wanted to tell the next story and the children were confident and excited...

hanging the cards up... leaf pegs to go with the enchanted forest theme
They took it in turns to tell stories, changing the cards together (so there was no real thought going into the order or what images were chosen, except that these children liked that image).

The storycards include images from familiar stories like Red Riding Hood, but in different artistic styles - the wolf is represented in images as angry, smiling and howling/singing... the wolf can be seen blowing down the pig's house, playing croquet with brothers... the pigs are shown collecting their materials, but there is also a big bad pig... I want to get the children thinking and questioning and not always accepting that it has to be a certain way.

telling the story - pointing to the card they are referring to and telling the story... and yes, they were connecting the images to create a continuous story... some images were more complex and the child spent longer... but I have kept it to just 10 pegs so that the story does not get too long, and the audience's listening skills do not get over-whelmed.
There are images from familiar children's films and books... a few Disney characters, Pippi Longstocking etc - the idea is that these images might support the children in their story-telling, as well as mixing these images with other's to create something new - I saw that an icey fairy got called Cinderella and that Disney Sleeping Beauty was called a girl rather than being defined by the character of the film... the children were using the cards to serve their own imaginations...

I have also included images from different cultures found at the preschool (and in the world in general, so as to expose the children to the whole world) - so when it comes to houses and buildings there are images from Russia,  Africa (various countries) - there are houses made of mud, old fashioned houses, modern houses with a pool, houses made of candy, houses with chicken feet!! Small house, BIG houses, and houses in between... again the aim is to support the children in their understanding of their world and an acceptance of all the people within the world...

The storycards are far from complete... I want to include more traditional stories from around the world - I also want to include images of handicapped/disabled etc. Some images are hard to find, for example it took some time to find an image of a girl/woman in armour (as a knight) where she was not being portrayed as sexy... I wanted her to look like a warrior just as the men did. BUT finding non-sexy mermen was just as hard!! Anyway it's a process that has been started...







14 comments:

  1. I love this idea! so the children choose 10 random pictures out of the 200, and then make up a story. Like you said this is good for language , the world around them etc... Fantastic !

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  2. This is a brilliant post about storytelling. it describes a way to use story cards so as to trigger spontaneous storytelling and in such a way that the child or adult is not constrained by a known plot line. It is just a great idea and makes me wish I worked somewhere on a more consistent basis. Do read to the very end. I love the way this exercise develops the potential for storytelling that addresses issues like gender bias and stereotyping,Just such a great post! Thank you. i am going to attempt to publish but usually my comment disappears and i get told i dont exist...yup it just happened again,..... anonymous sometimes works but hot this time...one more go.. my name is Evelyn and i have a facebook page called Storytelling threads.

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  3. I love this for stretching imagination and language.

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  4. Hello,
    I love this idea and thank you for sharing how you went about setting this provocation up in your learning space. I'm looking at doing the same thing and have started collecting images. Just wondering if you have any recommendations of sites to get free, cc images that are high resolution? Or, where did you find all of your 200 cards? Thank you,
    Kind Regards,
    Jessica

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    1. hi Jessica, I actually went online and found images myself and then used picmonkey to create the cards so that they would all be the same size... it was a real labour of love. I am more than happy to share the cards... but have found they swamp on e-mail... do you have dropbox?

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    2. Hi Suzanne. I would love to have pictures. I wonder if you would like to share your cards with me? I am not a savvy person with computers. Regards. Natura.

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    3. yes... happy to share... I just need details of how to e-mail them too you

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  5. Hei Suzanne,

    This is a fantastic way to use the language and get storytelling into the kindergarten.Thank you so much for the inspiration. I would love it if you would send me the cards too? my dropbox is chaagemann@gmail.com (is that what you need - havent used dropbox before)

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  6. Hi Suzanne,

    This is fantastic inpiring, and I would love to use this whit my kids in the kindergarten. Could you send the images to mee as well? My dropbox is: chaagemann@gmail.com

    Thank you for sharing this wonderfull idea :)

    Sincerly Charlotte

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  7. Hi Suzanne,
    Tried to write yesterday! (Maybe there will be a lot of comments from me)
    This is wonderful, I would love it if you could send me photocards in my dropbox!
    chaagemann@gmail.com
    Sincerly Charlotte

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    1. I have just sent you a whole load of e-mails with the cards... hope you enjoy using them

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  8. Hi Suzanne,
    I love your idea of the storycards and how you use them for such rich, spontaneous language experiences. Thank you so much for posting. I will have to find out about dropbox, then maybe you could send them to me too!

    Julie

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    1. I have been able to send them via e-mail... of you send me your e-mail in the comments... I can then send you the image... and then I will not publish your reply... so your e-mail does not go public... getting better at this all the time and learning as I go...

      all the best
      Suzanne

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  9. if you send me your e-mail I will not publish them... but it will wait in my box until I have the time to sit and send you the cards... and then I will delete the message so I know I have sent it... So if you know you have sent me a request and you haven't received anything yet, please have patience...

    Suzanne

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