Kids love monsters; they never tire of stories from myth and legend. At the beginning of the Story telling and Art course, we travelled around the world, exploring stories from many different cultures, finding out about the spirits and mythical creatures that populate these tales. We encountered trolls from Iceland, dragons in China, a host of crazy critters in Japan, Baba Yaga in Russia, the Komondo bird from Africa, and of course, many hybrids from Greek mythology.
We discovered how influential these tales are in contemporary culture from Harry Potter to Studio Ghibli, and how integral to the human interaction with the natural world, where gods and spirits often represent the sky, earth, forests, forces of nature and ancestral memory. In many cultures it is believed that every object has a soul, and shamanistic rituals include worshipping the spirits and demons that inhabit the natural world.
For the half term workshop, we looked at a variety of mythological creatures, and then the nine children created their own. They took elements of their favourite creatures, and in some cases combined them with vegetables, plants and human forms. They gave them a name, and supernatural powers.