On your marks
Make sure everyone knows the story. If it’s a very familiar one, you could try telling it with lots of mistakes in (e.g. ‘There was once a shepherd who had a hundred elephants…’) and inviting the children to spot the mistakes.
When everyone knows what goes on in the story, ask them to brainstorm (or thought-shower or idea-waterfall or whatever term you prefer) to make a list of all the people or animals or items of scenery that might have been there (shepherd, shepherd’s wife, second shepherd, sheep, sheepdog, wolf, gate, walls, tree).
Then get everyone to choose one of these characters. Eventually you’ll be telling the story from each of these points of view.
Before that, though, build up gradually with one or more of the following:
- Hot seat the characters
- Draw an outline of your character on a big sheet of paper. On the inside of the outline, jot down the character’s thoughts and feelings. On the outside, jot down anyone else’s thoughts and feelings towards them.
- Play 20 questions (you can only answer yes or no) to find out who the character is.
- Draw a picture of the story from your character’s point of view.
- Now go round the circle and each person can tell the story from their own character’s point of view.
What might you learn?
Well, who knows? But it might be, that the baddies are not as bad as they seemed. Or that the goodies are not as simple as all that. Or that there were dangers that you’d never thought of, repercussions for the community well outside the limits of the original story.
Keep your ears open for the insights that the children will come up with and show how much you value these insights.