One of the main priorities the school has for their Victorian project is to increase collaboration skills in the class, as well as the other Creative Habits of Mind (Imaginative, Inquisitive, Persistent, and Disciplined). As the creative practitioner working with the teacher and class over five weeks, I have tried to make the activities as interactive and varied as possible, while remaining focused on the desired outcome: to bring all the work together into a book with a cover that the children have printed, as well as to reflect, self-assess and value their creative skills.
This week, the children continued to work in their groups to develop the scenes that will make up their story. They practiced acting out each scene, writing dialogue, making a story map, and writing a blurb for the back cover of their books. This meant that each group discovered and drew upon the strengths of individuals with in their group: for example, one boy had experience of acting in a commercial and was able to show the others how to bring a character to life through acting, while one girl was particularly good at writing, and was able to bring lots of ideas for dialogue and setting to the story map. It also meant that there was the opportunity to give and receive feedback: after practicing their scene together, each group presented it to the whole class who offered praise, encouragement, or positive suggestions for improvement. This is an example of a core principle of the High Functioning Classroom: visibility of process where the work in progress is shared. See here.
Each group chose a title for the story and everyone voted for their favourite – the consensus being ‘The Runaways’. In the afternoon they worked on some more illustrations to accompany their story.