Educators from six schools in Malta, Turkey, Ireland and Slovenia gathered in Maribor, Slovenia in December for another mobility visit under the Erasmusplus project ‘Building on the opportunities to storytell stories” (Boost). The project, which aims to improve literacy standards in the respective schools, started in September 2019 and will end at the end of this school year.
Participants from Malta included Deputy Headmaster Marise Bugeja and educators Alison Cini and Natasha Cauchi from Theresa Nuzzo School and educators from St Benild’s/Stella Maris College – Josianne Bonnici, Sarah Ziada, Sarah Gatt Coleiro and Victoria Mallia.
During the enriching visit, the educators observed classes where all the students were involved and shared good practices that were put in place according to the various needs of the students. They participated in team building activities that were not only enjoyable, but could easily be adapted for younger students.
Pupils at Maribor School are encouraged to work in groups and teams. The thematic approach has also been extended to the physical education lesson by including the famous children’s story Little Red Riding Hood. The lesson incorporated movement according to the sequence of the story. The music lesson was also tied to a story.
The older students at the school presented a different way of telling stories. They conducted research and introduced ‘paper play’ – a form of Japanese street theater and storytelling art that was popular in the 1930s until the advent of television in the mid-20th century. This is carried out by kamishibayathe “kamishibai narrator” who went to street corners with sets of illustrated boards which they placed in a miniature wooden device in the form of a stage (box) and told the story by changing each image on paper. The students drew the illustrations themselves, including the art. Educators watched presentations on how the Slovenian school combines storytelling with role-playing using traditional stories and costumes, incorporating history while teaching their young learners in a fun and creative way.
Educators participating in the mobility realized that storytelling can be a great resource and used to improve literacy at all ages.
Educators have realized that storytelling can be a great resource and used to improve literacy at all ages
The simplicity and minimal use of technological equipment was clearly noticeable, and the students always seemed to enjoy their learning experience as it was based on hands-on learning. It empowered the students and they felt motivated to be able to create something original. There was more communication between educators and students. This child-centered approach has definitely helped students holistically.
Following the mobility, the teachers, together with the pupils of the six schools, will compile short stories about the local culture and publish them in a book.
The project is coordinated by the Theresa Nuzzo school, Marsa. Other partners are St Benild’s/Stella Maris College, Gżira, Osnova Sola Borcev Za Severno Mejo School in Slovenia, Salaskoli School in Iceland, Saint Colmans School in Ireland and Toki Ortaokulu School in Turkey.
The project is part of the KA229-School exchange partnerships and is funded by EUPA in Malta.
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