Teacher research and children's intentions: Story


How does a group create narrative together? This was one of the questions I wanted to explore this school year. Since seeing the work of Little Creatures films, I've been wondering about film making with children, which led to questions about how children come to inter-subjectivity in dramatic play.They seem to easliy agree on a story line, characters, and other narrative elements in dramatic play, but how does that happen? 
It would be difficult for me to follow children around while playing, so I began by asking the preschool teachers to send me small groups of children who care about stories a lot.

I asked the children, 'can you tell us one of your stories?' Then we spent time in the studio drawing and talking about these. Eventually I asked if they wanted to make a puppet show, play or a movie? That is when the stories started to meld together. This is one of the conversations the 'story group' had as the children sat around the table making characters out of clay;


A "One upon a time, there was a little school, and there were kids and teachers. The kids wanted a real cowboy in their school. But! one day, a cowboy came, and the kids were happy. And he said 'Yee haw! Go, horsey!' The horse went, and then the kids hopped on his horse. And the kids got a ride on his horse. And the kids were like, 'hi cowboy!' And the cowboy got his gun, but somebody stole his gun from him."

W. The meanie and the wolf. The meanie tried to catch the wolf, but the wolf ran away and he got away. The meanie tried to find the wolf, but wolf had a gun and he shot it.

K.. I'm gonna put fur. I'm putting a pouch for the babies now. 

A This is his bullet holder. He has bullet. You know how they put those little bullet things over them? This is it. I'm just gonna slice make (clay) now...

W Look at the ear. It's like a telephone- it's like a secret telephone ear. Like, hellooooo.

Anna Once there was a baby wolf who had magic a power. His ears were secret telephones. And he could call the whole world with his ears.

A Even him?

Anna Sure, this ear could call over to this ear. Hello, ear, this is the other ear.

W No, it could not. One ear could only call. The other ear just stayed there and text message. "Hello, sir."

A "Hello, sir!"

K.. "Hello sir!"

Anna It's time to finish up your work, because soon the kindergarten comes.
Walker I wanna stay when the kindergarten comes. I know what they look like, they're so huge.
K.  Yes, they are, and I like them very much. I like the kindergarten kids. They're very big. I can't wait to be as big as the kindergarten kids. I wonder if the kindergarten kids are coming right now?

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