Submitted by Fiona Beal
We are very pleased to announce that a teacher has been selected to accompany the African Storybook project team to an African Storybook project workshop as well as a Reading Conference in Nairobi in August. The teacher is Yolandi Ferreira, the English teacher, from Laerskiool Helderkruin in Johannesburg.
Yolandi was competently aided by the computer teacher, Noeline van Wyk, and they sent in 63 very good stories written by different grades in their school. They asked every child from Grade 3 – Grade 7 to develop a story using PowerPoint and a drawing application on the computer to write and illustrate their stories.
Megan Rademeyer from SchoolNet was invited to attend one of their lessons and she writes ‘They did a session launching the project in the hall using two of the videos from the course videos and said how useful the webinars have been. Yolandi showed a PowerPoint while I was there using some course examples that seemed to get the class excited for the task. As a class they also used the Smartboard to collectively brainstorm one example story so they could get used to the terminology like “theme”, “character”, “plot” etc.
The kids are very excited about writing a story for a genuine audience and purpose. They have been told that only the best ones will make it to the website – so they are really keen to make sure that their stories are good.
This is a really exciting project. The portal of stories will be great – but
the African Storybook Project is also doing worthwhile work in terms of encouraging good writing.”
We say well done to Yolandi. At the pre Conference African Storybook project in Nairobi Yolandi will be sharing what she did with the African Storybook team from the four pilot countires in Africa. After that she will attend the Pan African Reading Conference in Nairobi. Again we say well done Yolandi and Noeline and congratulations to all your students!
Schoolnet and the African Storybook projectIt has been a great privilege for SchoolNet to be involved in this wonderful project by creating and running a four week free online course for interested teachers in South Africa in digital storytelling from 15th April to 15th May. There were several teachers who, like Yolandi, did a sterling job in coming up with a wonderful selection of stories from themselves and their classes. I am sure the African Storybook team had a difficult time selecting who would be the winner of their incentive prize.
Ways of illustrating storiesWe had a number of really excellent stories from teachers who discovered their writing gift within them. Something that fascinated me during this course was the ingenious ways that teachers used to illustrate their stories. Take a look!
We are looking forward to the launch of the African Storybook Project website later this year.