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Professional experience

Second graders make dolls

Focus on supported teaching
8-year-olds write fairy-tales, make dolls and perform a play in the Danish lesson

Helle, teacher

Fun and educational, but with slight adjustments for the next time

'The children have all said that they had fun during the process, and academically they have achieved the benefit from the lessons, that my colleagues and I had hoped for. Only one thing needs to be done differently next time; the decorating of the dolls. To avoid drying time and to make it extra easy, we used crayons instead of paint. The soft crayons had the disadvantage of smudging which prevented the self-adhesive foam rubber letters from sticking properly when the dolls were brought to life on stage in the classroom'.

With fairy-tales as a theme, year 2 at Halgård School in Holstebro have completed a teaching course supported through creativity and the products it requires.

The children's Danish teacher, Helle Østrup-Kristensen, often uses the option of supported teaching. It has many advantages, according to her and her colleagues at Halgård School. One of them is that it intensifies children's motivation when the teaching is varied.

Here is a glimpse of Helle's thoughts and experience with fairy-tales as an overall theme, combined with practical creativity.

The academic intention was to introduce the children to create stories according to the 'three-part story structure' (beginning, middle and end). It includes recognizing differences as well as internal and external personal characteristics. And also to listen to and practice emphasis when reading aloud.

As fairy-tales are the product of good imagination, this was an ideal opportunity to include other activities in the process, Helle explains. Therefore, the children had to both write and perform their fairy-tale as a play and create and make life size dolls with distinct characteristics.

The children used themselves as models for the large dolls. Each doll was made from two pieces of imitation fabric that were stapled together and stuffed with newspaper.

Each doll's external personal characteristics were created through the colouring, while its internal characteristics appeared as text on its clothes, using self-adhesive foam rubber letters.

The children wrote down keywords from their fairy-tales in groups, following the three-part story structure (beginning, middle and end).

Before the final performance of the plays, the children rehearsed their lines and accentuation.

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