We love books here at Northbridge International School Cambodia, and the first week of March has been Book Week: a week to celebrate storytelling and books in a variety of ways!
We started the week with a visit from a real author, Clive Pig (also known as Mr Storyfella). He presented an amazing storytelling assembly for our students from Kindergarten to Grade 5, telling us the story of the old man and his young son who wanted to travel through their town. The children were enraptured by Clive’s story as they joined in with the old man, his son and their poor donkey travelling up and down and up and down the hills and valleys of the old town.
Clive Pig specialises in oral storytelling, seeking stories from all over the world and retelling them in his own way. He brought with him a special suitcase full of trinkets and souvenirs from places he has visited all over the world, each of them with its own story. The students in primary were fortunate enough to see these up close and to hear some of the stories that accompany them.
In Kindergarten, Clive Pig told the story of a hat seller whose hats were stolen by monkeys, and how he got them back. The children loved joining in with the repeated refrains in the story: “I’m going to market, to market, to market. I’m going to market to sell my hats.” They also imagined what might happen next in the story by becoming the characters.
In G1, Clive Pig led the children in a picture storytelling activity. What is behind the keyhole of the mysterious third tower visited by our story’s hero? The children’s imaginations have the answer, and they also now have the key to unlock their imaginations!
Grade 2 heard the story of the little old lady who lived on her own in Scotland, and the monster who visited her. Each child drew what they imagined the monster to look like and added incredible adjectives to describe its feet, legs, body, arms, hands and neck.
Grade 3 heard the story of Mouse-Deer and the Tiger, which came from South East Asia. Mouse-Deer was only a little creature, but always managed to outsmart the bigger, scarier creatures with a cunning plan. Grade 3 have been inspired to create their own stories about creatures that overcome obstacles, and they are busy writing their very own class books to share with parents soon!
Clive visited Grade 4 and shared one of his own stories: Colin the Chocolate Kid. Colin loves chocolate so much, and one day he wakes up to find that he has turned into chocolate. But Colin is so addicted to chocolate that he starts to eat himself! Grade 4 students enjoyed hearing the story, then writing the second chapter: What happened when Colin came to Northbridge International School!
Grade 5 heard all about the legend of the Crocodile Man, who will come and eat you up if you don’t eat every item of food on your plate. His teeth are said to resemble grains of rice. Clive Pig then shared an old Hungarian introduction to stories that the students joined in with, and then they had the chance to write their own before sharing with the rest of the grade, taking the stories off the page and putting them onto the stage.
Clive Pig brought with him a vast knowledge of stories and folk tales from around the world, and he leaves many of them here with us to continue to retell and adapt. Find out more at Clive Pig’s website: http://www.clivepig.co.uk/
In addition to our visiting author, we have had several other events taking place throughout the week. A Guess the teacher reading competition saw many students attempting to identify our mysterious teacher readers, for the chance of winning a signed copy of one of Clive Pig’s books. On Tuesday, some remarkable readers from Grade 5 shared some stories during recess times in our reading tents. A bookmark-making competition took place on Wednesday in our library, and a book-related scavenger hunt took place on Thursday.
We ended the week with an almighty day of reading, storytelling and performance! We started the day with a character parade, in which we all paraded around the school in our character costumes before joining together in the gym to enjoy a story told by Mr Richard. We then invited parents back to classrooms to enjoy a Snuggle Up and Read, sharing stories and special times together in families and classes. Following that, our teachers designed special book-related activities for our students to participate in and enjoy before the grand finale of book week: the performance of our school musical, CATS! What an incredible show and a wonderful way to finish off our celebration of storytelling.
So in book week, and beyond, we encourage you to share books with your children. Share them not only to learn about the world, but also to spark a love of literature, to enjoy time together to bond as a family and to allow you to travel to places in other worlds together without even leaving the house. And more than this, share stories. Share stories from your own culture, from your family history, from places you have travelled. After all, as Clive Pig explained: “There are more stories than there are stars.”