Helping kids to Let their Imagination Loose--laughing all the way
A presentation for Keystone State Reading Association by Kitty Griffin
Use the familiar to help unlock the imagination. Take what you know and begin to s---t------r--------e----------t------------------c------------------h as far a you can. If you find yourself laughing, you're on the right track. Bounce!
There was an old lady who swallowed a fly…I don’t know why she swallowed that fly.
Wait a minute! This isn’t just an old lady she should have a name. Now, let’s giggle. What if her name is Ida Swallow? Names can really help pull out the smiles.
Now, let’s push this into a tall tale. We know she swallows a fly, a spider, a bird, a cat, a dog, and a hog. What if you create a super hero who helps save all of the critters she’s swallowed?
Now you play what if…
What if the hero gives her a bowl of Grandpa Chickenpops Stinky Soup, it’s so stinky that you throw up just smelling it?
Or what if the hero tickles Old Lady Swallow with a special feather and she sneezes them out?
Create your own tall tale!
Give your student a problem or a list of problems that they will be familiar with.
Global warming, water pollution, poor nutrition, etc.
Have them think carefully about a super hero who could help solve that problem. A good name is important. What makes them super? Or is it just a regular kid who has one special ability? Maybe it can be more than one kid.
Your character has a problem.
What will the character do to solve the problem?
How difficult can you make the situation for your character?
Fun with Fairy Tales
Let your students pick a favorite fairy tale and bounce it! Change the main character. What if in Red Riding Hood the Wolf was really kind and suspected that Little Red was after Granny’s hidden money?
What if the Three Little Pigs were bullies, trying to take over the neighborhood? Give them names like Spike, Pounce, and Chopper. Do you see how that changes the story?
Make a change in Jack and the Beanstalk by making Jack a Jackie. What if she sold the cow for magic potatoes that led down into the ground where a magic dwarf lived?
There is a reason children love to see the familiar flipped. Give them a chance to do the flipping. But always remind them, start with a good character and make sure your character has an interesting problem. Using the familiar can help lead them into all sorts of fun mischief.