Seven Story Steps
7 simple story steps for our 7 stories!
This week, the children each walked through one of the stories we’ve heard so far.
They chose an a piece of paper with an image that represented the story’s “gift” (lesson) - you can see these small works of art below - and then walked from stepping stone to stepping stone through the story.
You can use this at home as a game. Lay out seven cushions or pieces of paper marked 1-7 in a circle, or in a winding path. The only thing you need to remember is to put 1 and 7 next to each other, because every good story leaves you where you started, but with a whole new understanding. You can even use this as a way of exploring, talking about and understanding a situation at home. It might help diffuse hot feelings, and anyone can be the story star: frustrated child or misunderstood adult! I've had a go below.
Here are the 7 steps - you can use them to break down any story. For adults and older children, there are more complex structures such as the Hero’s Journey, but this is a brilliant “skeleton”.
The children will be using it next week to write their own stories, so watch this space.
Here it is, and below, I've applied it to one of our stories - and I've set out an example of a home situation, too.
1. Who is our story star? [you are! The name of child and then the character]
2. Where’s home?
3. One day, [something unusual happened or was done]
4. In response, [the story star responded by…?]
5. But [things do not go as planned and something unexpected happens - a problem or a baddy]
6. So [to put it right, our story star reacts again - and if the problem is solved by a secondary character, perhaps they are the real star of the story, like Oonagh, Finn McCool’s wife!]
7. And so... [the result was that…? and this is where the story’s gift / lesson comes from]
Here’s a couple of examples...
1. who is our story star? The poor fisherman
2. Where’s home? sea / middle east
3. One day, the fisherman caught a beautiful copper bottle that had the seal of the wise king Solomon on it. But when he opened it, an angry genie came out and threatened to kill him because no-one had left him out for thousands and thousands of years!
4. In response, the fisherman said this wasn’t very fair - what about 3 wishes?
5. But no - the genie was determined to kill the fisherman for letting him out because people were horrible and he was angry.
6. So the fisherman said, “haha, magic? magic? a genie? what kind of fool do you take me for? I don’t believe you came out of that bottle!” and made the genie even angrier for not believing him. “I’ll show you I’m a magic genie!” shouted the genie in his foolish tantrum. And he went BACK INTO THE BOTTLE!
7. And so the fisherman put on the stopper, threw the bottle to the bottom of the sea and thanked his lucky stars for the good life he had.
1. who is our story star? The child who loved lego
2. Where’s home? LegoLand
3. One day, a wicked fairy stole all the Lego in the world and there was nothing, nothing, nothing at all anywhere in the world worth playing with.
4. In response, the child's friends and family suggested other activities
5. But nothing, no, nothing at all could replace Lego for the unhappy child and the sky went dark and the fairy vanished, and her horrid spell couldn't be ended!
6. So the child had a think. A long think. He found some other toys and put his Lego-games into them! He realised that the spirit of the Lego was still in him and he could write Lego, read Lego, draw Lego...
7. And so he realised that no matter what horrors the wicked fairy tried to throw his way, as long as he had his imagination and a determined spirit, no-one can ever take away the things you love. ;)