Monday, 28 May 2012

What Next?

We've had a wonderful summer!

Our Geography themed story session - Around the World in 7 Stories has had a fabulous response and has been a resounding success across bookstores in Mumbai. Our eager participants and their parents have been asking us "What Next?"

Well, as the next step, we plan to setup "The Story Place Nook" in Mumbai city. At our Nook, we will tell stories and continue taking children into the enchanting world of stories. And through those stories we'll teach them a little bit of Math, Science, History and Geography. It's going to be a lot of fun and exploration combined with some bits of hands-on activities and experiments.

Do let us know what you think about our plan, and if you would like your kids to become members of our Nook.

Your feedback and thoughts are very valuable to us, and will help us move our little dream to the next phase. So please do spare a minute and write your thoughts in the comment box, and of course please pass the word around :-)

Thanking you in advance.
The Story Place Team

Monday, 14 May 2012

Our Story Recipe

Many people have been asking us where we get our stories from. Well, some of our stories are originals from books, but we don't literally read the story from the book. We retell the story in our own words; we add extra bits of information or twists and turns to enable children participation in the story. We also remix and retell stories, this would mean that we combine two short stories together and retell it as one new story. And then there are some stories that we create on our own.

Through each of our story, we teach some concepts to children. Hence, the story is never told as is. We split the story into many parts, then we add bits of learning concepts into it and finally we weave it all together. What you get at the end is a new, interactive and engaging version of an old story!

Stories are often set in real or imaginary worlds. They have characters, a theme, a plot, action, adventure and drama. So in one way, the stage, the script and the acts are already defined for us. All we do is figure out what "learning concept" can be built into the story. For example, through our story (this one's our creation) "Adventures of Johnny Dragon", we take children on an Asian tour. Along with Johnny Dragon, we visit Japan, China, Sri Lanka and a few other countries.
Through Johnny Dragon's adventure we learnt facts about volcanoes in Japan; we also found out the length of the Great Wall of China and learnt about some Chinese inventions. The children participate in the story too. They read the clues and guess which country Johnny visits next. They also share their knowledge about each country and decide how Johnny should travel from one destination to another. Children by nature are very creative; they provide their ideas and thoughts and make Johnny's adventure even more interesting.

At the end, each storytelling session becomes an amazing learning experience - for us and for the children. So, if you'd like your children to be part of a creative storytelling session, then check out our schedule and do come visit us. Because, we'd love to build a new story along with you!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Three Stories, Three Continents and a Whole Lot of Fun

We've completed three out of seven stories from our series "Around the World in 7 Stories". We conceived the theme purely out of our lack of interest in Geography. We realized that if we were to create a story series around Geography, it would mean that we read through the subject force ourselves to think of how it can be put forth in an interesting manner to children. Today, three stories later, we are quite happy with our work, and so are the children.

We've completed three continents so far - North America, Asia and Africa. We began our preparations by creating a plan for all seven continents. In the plan we decided what aspect of Geography we should cover. We decided to stick to providing basic facts about each continent - number of countries, landmarks, languages and unique facts.

The next step was to find interesting stories. We spent many week reading as many as stories as we could. And then the stories were remixed and tailored into our version so that they could revolve around a continent. It wasn't easy in the beginning, but slowly we got the hang of it.

We decided to use the laptop (technology) as a supporting tool during our storytelling sessions. The laptop is used to show pictures of continent and countries, and is not used to display a slide show of the images from the story, because we want to leave the "imagination" part to the children.

Children who have attended the three stories know the location of all seven continents. They know names of animals that are unique to North America, they followed a trail in Asia and learnt about volcanoes of Japan, inventions from China and facts about Sri Lanka and Israel, and finally they know about the unique creatures living in the Madagascar Island of Africa and the number of languages people speak in Africa. And all this they learnt through a story!

It has been a fun experience so far, and we our now busy working on the stories for the remaining four continents.

So if you'd like your kids to learn some unique facts about continents, or if you'd like to revise your Geography knowledge, then come attend our storytelling sessions. We'd love to travel the world with you!