Usually when I’m working with the Youth Media Team at an event I don’t get to see much of what’s going on because we’re busy preparing for interviews, interviewing and writing up our account of what has gone on. Yesterday at SCoTENS (Standing Conference on Teacher Education North and South) I made an exception on Conor Galvin’s recommendation. It turned out to be a very good recommendation to go to the Fighting Words workshop.
Fighting Words provides free tutoring and mentoring in creative writing and related arts to as many children, young adults and adults with special needs as we can reach. Our programmes and workshops are delivered mainly by volunteers. (ref: http://www.fightingwords.ie/about-us).
At the workshop we worked though a creative writing exercise aimed at Primary level. Sean Love from Fighting Words in Dublin led us through the exercise with Geraldine Wilkins from Fighting Words in Belfast documenting our story. Sean started by getting us to suggest a main character. With 3 potential characters (with names and foibles included e.g. Sarah who only ate yellow food) we then got to vote on which one we would choose. To vote we had to close our eyes to provide a secret vote. I have to say I just loved the idea – it was such an effective way of coming up with a main character, their friend, their ambition and their greatest fear. After we had chosen all of these in a similar manner, we began the writing process. The idea is to create the beginning a story that can then be taken in many different directions.
As I was sitting in the workshop it struck me that this might be a great process to come up with ideas for games or animations in Scratch in CoderDojo. Sometimes I find that the kids can come up blank when they’re trying to come up with ideas and I think this might kick start that process for them. Even the process of coming up with ideas as a group is very creative and might in itself provide enough to get kids over their initial lack of ideas.
Having seen a scaled down version of the process I’d love to see a full on workshop so thank you Conor for the recommendation 🙂