Saturday, 29 November 2014

Storytelling... Inspiration from PlayIceland2014

What great fortune to talk with Georgina Elsom and to watch her storytelling... well it should not have been watch, it should have been interact with... but a room full of adults are, for some reason, never as interactive as children... is this because we have lost our playful spirit, because we are not as in touch with our imagination, or is it because adults become more self-conscious to the point that it inhibits them from participating (or maybe all of the above)...

The story is not set... the story evolves with the audience adding to it, participating in it, Georgina linking ideas and imaginations together...

I have a short film from the PlayIceland2014 conference that illustrates this...



 You see on the film how Georgina takes advantage of what is happening in the room... noises in the background do not become distractions but are woven into the story fabric. The ideas from the audience are intregal parts of the story making it impossible to know exactly where the story will go - the story becomes a journey that is taken together.
I took the film to remind myself how I can too encompass this interactive story style with my preschoolers at Filosofiska... it almost feels like a natural step from the storycards where we have been creating stories together. For me this together feeling... this collaboration is so essential... in philosophy it is a collabortaion of ideas and thoughts, in this kind of storytelling it is a collaboration of imaginations... and I can imagine it would be very easy to have a meta-dialogue with the children about the story afterwards... what happened, why did that happen etc etc

Story telling is an art that has mental, social and educational benefits on children, so it is well worth taking the time to get creative with the children. Storytelling is an activity that can transfer emotions and feelings and also can boost thinking capacity... and I think this is why I felt so inspired by Georgina... I felt the connection to our philosophical work and that I could start to aplly this story-telling technique into a kind of philosophy session - a chance to explore ideas through the medium of storytelling and imagination...
In the story-telling by George, she asked regularly for reminders about what had happened in the story previously so that the story could keep in moving forward ... this encourages the children to listen actively as well as helping them work on their memory - developing their memory capacity is an important tool in learning...

So much can be explored through storytelling - emotions, culture, norms, kowledge etc etc - and by having interactive, hands-on story telling means we can extend the stories to those who find just listening hard... as their learning language involves more of their bodies than just their ears...


The following day as we were visiting a preschool Georgina showed us howeasy it is to breathe life into stuffed animals... by the time I got my camera in action I had missed the whole walking across the room (although I got to see it) but did manage to catch how small small movements can enable the children to believe in the story-telling powers of the animals and puppets - so I really encourage you to take the time to "mess about" with soft toys and puppets... privately and with the children to develop storytelling skills. The film below shows the breathing... and also shows how important it is to test, experiment and explore the life within the toys available to you.



If you ever get the chance to meet Georgina I highly recommend that you take that opportunity. You will not regret it...

2 comments:

  1. I had no idea that you took video! I am so glad that you did. I loved this part of the journey SO much. Georgina is amazing.

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    1. I realised that I was never going to be able to explain what I was seeing adequately with words... and I really wanted to remember... so decided to film a short clip to support my memory...

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