IMPROVISED FAIRY TALES
I have interactively improvised fairy tales together with elementary school children. The children then expressed their feelings and experiences lived through their senses with verses and short poems. During a course lasting the whole school year we wrote a class fairy tale and made it into a performance for the end of the year.
Elementary school children are able, by listening to a fairy tale, to experience the free flow of their feelings and so to have access to their inner lives. To consciously find words for what they feel in themselves is the beginning of knowing oneself. They learn to bring inner experiences to the outside world, thus making them “experienceable” to others. Developing these abilities is crucial for the verbal teaching of all subjects and is particularly important in one’s mother tongue or in English lessons.
How many children do not first find the way to themselves and later cannot find the way out of themselves! How many children sit hidden for years on their chairs in the classroom! The conflict with other pupils or with some teachers and the steady noise and chaos in the classroom can also serve as a hiding place.
FINDING WORDS FOR YOUR INNER LIFE
In this seminar children learn to find words for their inner lives, which is very often not addressed in their families or at school.
Furthermore they improve their verbal language abilities.
The seminar is basically composed of experiences made through the senses and rituals. Two examples:
Experiencing one’s senses is fundamental in order to find the way to oneself. Listening to five noises: The children sit in a circle wearing blindfolds. The five unusual noises will be played one by one (i.e. a bird feather will be gently brushed against the ear of the child). The children are supposed to explore the sensation and find a word or analogy for each noise.
For children, there are adequate rituals too. They also feel that they were once kindergarten children and that later on they will no longer be elementary school children. Jumping ritual: barefoot and using both legs, they jump onto a chair, from there onto a table, and then back down to the floor again. Wearing a blindfold, they will then feel the “magic word” inside them, to which the jumps had led them, and they will write it down on a coloured card and put it under a stone with the cards of the other children.
The words gathered during the exercises can be used in the next lesson as the starting point for a thought, a poem or a text.
The series of seminars WordSoundBody (WortKlangKörper) will be dedicated to allowing experiences during the day in the same way as during the night.
Poetry with Ulysses, Poetic Harvest, Poetry and Senses, Poetry and Ritual, Word Ritual Tree.