What’s behind the painting on the wall? … sparking imagination!

Picture waving with red scarfThe painting on the wall started to shake and twist. Then the corners were lifting off the wall.That’s impossible, the corner of a picture can’t lift like the corner of a page! As we look around the room at each other, wondering what is going on, we realize that Sammy isn’t in his desk chair. Where did he go? Sarah looks back at the picture and realizes that the tail-end of Sammy’s red scarf is disappearing into the snowy picture on the wall. We peer closer and closer as the edges of the picture seem to be waving at us, begging us to have a peak behind it. I bravely go forward and lift the edge of the frame … What do you think I see?

Involving students as actors in the start of a story is a great way to gear up imaginations!!

We love to start off in a group, telling the beginning of an adventure tale that really gets the students interested and engaged. (Just like storytelling in the old days, verbally creating an image of what is happening. Add a little background music and see what happens.) Then, when the kids are hooked … ask questions! What’s happening? What do they see, feel, hear, taste? Whose with them?

cartoon of child skier with red scarf

Next, everyone goes back to their table/desk and draws what they see, then describes it. Circulating and asking more questions helps them fill in more and more details… What are you wearing, what happens next, what time/day/year is it, how do you feel?

Editing happens later. With any author young or old, letting imagination flow is key to great storytelling!