Teacher-Artist Partnership 2018/2019
Visual storytelling project with Scoil Phádraig Naofa, Mountmellick
In a residency that spanned a full academic year at the school, I facilitated a visual storytelling project with Fifth Class, in partnership with class teacher Caroline Greene and HSCL Miriam Geaney.
The project involved an initial child-led explorative period, discovering the history of and experimenting with techniques for creating non-verbal texts. The boys decided to focus the project on developing a photo-comic: writing, performing, designing and producing a magical realist graphic story centred on their school caretaker, dragons, and a secret portal beneath Mountmellick, all set against the backdrop of the 2018 Slieve Bloom mountain Fires.
We established a Writers Room, where the class worked collectively on the story they wanted to tell, collaborating to establish plot, settings, characters, actions.
We then explored storyboarding, experimenting with how to tell a story with only pictures, and encountering the different types of shots, foregrounding techniques etc. A team of students worked across the school site as actors, directors and camera crew, and a second team in the classroom worked as illustrators, background scenic artists and sound effect typographers.
Parents and families were invited to become actively involved, becoming actors in one of the scenes. Finally, in the Editing Room, the boys were introduced to Photoshop skills, where illustrations were merged with photographs and arranged into a comic grid.