Learning through fun: My first Gloriously Curious workshop
This week I had the challenge of leading a ‘Gloriously Curious’ workshop for around 90 children at a school in Doncasterr. My book, ‘The Glorious Book of Curious Cocktails,’ had inspired a ridiculous recipe inventing session to teach young minds about literacy and encourage creative writing. The book is all about inventing disgustingly delicious concoctions, aimed at five to ten year olds who find traditional learning methods hard to engage with.
After explaining a little about the book, I asked volunteers to pick out funny nouns and adjectives so we could compile a list of random ingredients to go into a big cocktail. I then quickly drew out the items in order to create a very silly drink!
I then asked for volunteers to follow an actual recipe Id created, with children reading out sections of the recipe and following instructions of how to add each ingredient. Each child was encouraged to feel the ingredients and describe how each looked and felt using lots of adjectives. I referenced adverbs, alliteration and onomatopoeia as we were mixing our crazy cocktail. There were also lots of giggles upon scooping out the toad slime and troll poo!
The initial presentation gave the children lots of inspiration for how to create their own recipes which could be gross, silly or more sensible if they preferred. They were encouraged to make lists and use lots of literary devices when writing out their cocktail, and then go on to draw their zany inventions.
The session went well and I got lots of great reactions from the children. One child asked the teacher, “Does this mean we’re skipping English lesson today?” To which the teacher replied, “This IS English!” It’s always great when learning feels more like fun.
I then went around the classes, assisting children with their ideas and encouraging them to add in lots of descriptive words to make their sentences more inventive. I was really impressed with the children’s ideas and there were some excellent writing and drawing skills. A lot of children asked where they could get the book from in order to do more activities at home (though perhaps their parents won’t be so convinced about Toad Slime and Troll Poo!).