"That's a great idea!"
Students in Ellen Choolfaian’s fifth grade were in the creativity zone. Ideas were coming fast as they invented the main character of a story together, with the encouragement of two visiting educators. While one educator asked for more information, the other drew it on the class’s white board. With each new attribute, the hero—Cat the Rat, who has a pickle for a tail, wears a big hat and whose weakness is bowling—tickled their imaginations even more. The story would write itself.
This was only the beginning of the students’ time with the Story Pirates, a nationally renowned group of comedians, musicians, authors and teachers who uses fun to validate students’ imaginations and teach the building blocks of storytelling and character creation.
Students get inspired to write
Learning the building blocks of character and story creation
While grades K-4 participated in a stand-alone Group Story Writing Workshop with two Pirates, Meadow Pond’s fifth grade classes are meeting with Dylan, a comedy writer, and Eric, an actor, for a weeklong intensive in which each student will create their own story. What’s more, on June 13, Story Pirates' actors will debut—via Zoom for the whole school—two never-before-seen adaptations of stories written by Meadow Pond fifth graders!
Story Pirates visit was set up by the MPES Compact Team, a committee comprised of parents, teachers and a support staff member, led by Principal Ashlyn Field, and funded by the MPES PTO.
“We believe that learning and writing should be joyous,” said Field. “The Story Pirates embody that. In addition to bringing authors into the school, we want children to see that they are authors, too.”
Collaboration inspires ideas
"If you can draw it, you can write it."
After collaborating on Cat the Rat’s adventures, the Pirates handed the fifth graders a personal packet to use in developing their own main characters and story arc.
“If you can draw it, you can write it,” Dylan and Eric reminded the students. “You have permission to get weird!”
By the end of the first session, fifth graders were already capturing the ideas tumbling out of their imaginations and trying them out on their classmates.