Week One of Young Storytellers

Arrived at the school to begin the creative process with the kids. It was easy to tell which participants had the after effects of a lunchtime sugar rush. The volunteers stood around patiently. The kids didn’t.

We stood in a circle. First up was introductions, and a round robin of names.

The kids wanted to give their ages. The volunteers didn’t!

What’s your favourite…

We reached a comprise, and agreed to recount our favourite food or animal. Times have changed, when did we move away from “what’s your favourite colour?” When it was my turn, I told them I loved sushi, and left the kids to decide whether it was my favourite food or animal – never too early to get their creative process started.

Times definitely have changed – I was in my 30’s before I tasted my first spicy tuna roll, these 10 years olds greeted the mention of sushi with a “yum!” Well it’s LA, I shouldn’t be surprised.

Take a Seat

After the introductions, we started to discuss the structure of a story – beginning, middle, end, Protagonist, Antagonist, climax, dialogue etc. Part way through, the kids asked if we could sit, and they settled themselves, cross-legged on the floor.

The volunteers moved gingerly into a seated position, not one cross-legged stance amongst us. In my role as a mentor, I thought I might mention the relationship between the cross-legged position and early onset of knee problems. But I soon realized the benefits of having the kids sit like this. With their legs tied together, it stopped them fidgeting.

Signed, Sealed and Delivered

The session ended with the creation of a contract, that we all signed. There was a selection of pens. I signed with orange ink – well it is my favourite colour. I should have had my lawyer read the contract first, apparently I’ve agreed to do the chicken dance if I’m late to the weekly session.

Next week, volunteers get assigned to a kid……