Today has been fun. I have been working at Woodlands Infant School in Shirley exploring their topic of China. Last week the Year 1 children were introduced to the traditional story of the ‘Four Dragons’ after which they wrote a letter to the Jade Emperor voicing their displeasure about his treatment of the aforesaid dragons (getting the Mountain gods to squash them) as they were “only trying to help the people”. I donned my Chinese outfit and appeared in their hall where they were ’summoned’ to explain themselves! It was a lovely day, with the children fully engaging with the fiction and where we used ritual to context build (standing to speak to me, bowing and sitting upright). This was the third time I had worked with this group of children (2 classes of 30 – split into 3 groups of 20 for this activity) and it was noticable that even those who had found the earlier sessions more difficult to engage fully with were able to sustain the fiction.
We used image work with narration, small group enacting and dance to explore the story and the day culminated with a celebration (once the Emperor had seen the error of his/her ways) with all 60 children creating a dragon dance together.