The Perse School

Leading children’s writer Steve Cole sparks monster story fun at the Prep

11 Jun 2018

Steve Cole, author of Astrosaurs and Young Bond, gave a dynamic rollercoaster of a talk to the Prep about books, ideas and the role of the imagination.

His energetic humour had children giggling and shrieking with laughter throughout the talk and workshops.

He challenged children to create the extraordinary from the ordinary in their use of language and storytelling. He explained how the title ‘Astrosaurs’ was created by combining the words astronaut and dinosaur. Thus star sailors and terrible lizards became star lizards and he encouraged children to experiment with language in a similar fashion.

Steve Cole skilfully guided the children in a dramatisation of an improvised story. He signposted plot structure and encouraged pupils to develop characterisation in a humorous manner. Volunteers relished acting as an evil professor and her unwitting victim.

Year 4 enjoyed a fabulous workshop about Steve Cole’s recent book Stop Those Monsters. He explained that he used a familiar story, The Wizard of Oz, as a starting point and then made it unfamiliar.  He encouraged children to tell him the original plot and explained how he had altered it to create a new and unique story.

Steve Cole helped the children to create and narrate their own monster story based around a monster they made up together. He encouraged children to consider the monster’s motivations for visiting our world and to think of a secret weakness to defeat the monster. His dynamic dramatisation of encounters between the monster and humans had the children in fits of giggles.

He ended his visit with a lively rendition of songs on his ukulele. Children accompanied him with vibrant enthusiasm, singing ‘Stop those monsters or they’ll be stopping you!’

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