In February 2013 I was invited to do a two hour session at Broseley Primary School as part of their Years 3 & 4 work on India. I have to confess, the thought of working with so many little children terrified me!
The kids loved the dressing up. It was lovely to see the boys trying on saris and the girls experimenting with turbans! We learned about toran door decorations, and did some tile painting. No session on India would be complete without a folktale, so I told the story of Savitri and Satyavan and how what seems to be the worst situation can still have a positive outcome.
I set a writing competition for the Year 3 and Year 4 children who participated (those who weren’t there were allowed to enter too). The children were asked to create their own folktale. However, I was unable to select a winner and therefore could not award any prizes as I had promised. It was not that I didn’t like any of the stories written by the children. I never got to read any of them because tthe teacher who had collected all the competition entries managed to lose them all.
My apologies to all the children who wrote a story for me. I had been looking forward to reading them. I do hope that didn’t discourage them from writing more stories. Many lessons to be learned, I think, and many storytellers out there have probably got similar experiences to share.