This week in "Building Stories With Word Elf", we were introduced to The Magical World of Fan and Caitlin's invisible friend, The Word Elf.
The Magical World of FAN (Fantastical Areas of INvention) is a place where you can be anyone, do anything, and go anywhere. We talked about the four rules we have to follow in order to travel to Fan, which are:
1. Have fun
2. Be Nice
3. Try something new
Each day of class, students meet on the Launch Pad to talk about what they remember from the last class and to review the rules. Then, we PUSH ALL THE BUTTONS and launch into the Magical World of Fan!
We spent the first day creating the Magical World of Fan using the "Yes...and" game. In this game, one student comes up with something he/she thinks is in Fan, such as "A house!" The next student says "YES! and..." and he/she adds something else. As the students added these things, they would stand up to become them, themselves.
Then suddenly, a gust of wind blew us in the direction of one of the arrows on the floor, and we noticed a mysterious yellow note on the wall. We found three in total. Each had a single word on it, and students took turns tracing the words on the notes. When we put them in order, the notes said "Give a gift!" This note from Word Elf reminded Caitlin of a game she knew by the same name, and so we played!
In "Give a Gift", one student picks up an imaginary gift, being sure to show us the size and weight of the present. He/she presents it to the other student, who opens it and declares what's inside. Thank you's and your welcome's are exchanged, and then we switch.
After playing these games, I asked the students if we ever run out of ideas. One student claimed that yes, sometimes he ran out of ideas. I asked him, "So when you run out of an idea, what happens next?" And he said, "I get a new idea." Exactly!
At our second class, we started to talk more about who we thought Word Elf was. Thursdays are special days because Word Elf leaves us a Word of the Week, and everyone was pretty stoked for that. But before we could get there, we launched into FAN and immediately were blown in four directions to find four more mysterious yellow notes. When we traced the words and put them together, they said "What Are You Doing?" This, of course, reminded Caitlin of a game she knew, by the same name.
In "What Are You Doing?", one student begins an activity, any activity at all, such as brushing teeth. Another student asks, "What are you doing?" and the first student has to name an activity DIFFERENT from their current one. Once that activity is named, the second student starts doing that activity. Another student comes to ask "What are you doing?" and the game continues.
When the game was over, we discovered four tape lines on the floor, and when we fit the four notes into the lines, the shape that was created was an arrow. When we followed the arrow, we were lead to a mysterious package, and inside....was our Word of the Week! Students sat at the table with markers to complete their Word of the Week activity.
Each week, students will receive a Word of the Week and a Story of the Week (on the back). The story gets a new chapter each week, and by the end of class, students will have a complete story, which they have read carefully and circled their "Word of the Week" in each one.
Next week we will review some games from this week, continuing to explore the themes of "Ideas are Gifts" and "We never run out of ideas!" We will also start talking about the structure of stories, ie, beginnings, middles and ends, and learn to identify the beginning, middle and end of a story. And of course, we will get a new Word of the Week. :)
See you in class!
Caitlin & The Word Elf
Caitlin Lushington is the Co-Artistic Director of the Enso Theatre Ensemble, a teacher, director, and actress. Sometimes she works too hard, sometimes she forgets things, and she strives to put the car keys back in the same place every time. She drinks tea every morning from her TARDIS mug and "Mr. Tea" diffuser. She loves the morning and wishes she had a photographic memory, so she could remember the names of every person she meets.