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The Sound And Action Story Circle

I first came across this exercise in Sri Lanka where it proved to be a great way of interacting with a group where there was no common language – all you need to run this exercise are the words “copy me” or as they say in Sri Lanka “Copy Karana”.

1) Get your group into a circle and tell them to copy you.

2) Proceed to enact a journey using sounds and actions – no words.

This is where the fun is to be had – will you ride a bike, swim across a ravine, swing like Tarzan, eat something nasty?

3) Now with the original version you can simply get the participants to have a go – but because we’re interested in literacy we’re going to go one step further. Once you’ve completed your sounds and actions story ask the class what happened making it clear that there is no right or wrong. Very quickly a story will develop. Be sure to ask the participants’ questions like “who is the main character?”, “Why are they on that motor bike?” “What colour is the motor bike?” etc.

4) When you’ve heard lots of interpretations of your sounds and actions story you can get one of the participants to have a go and afterwards explore interpretations of their sounds and actions story.

5) Now send your participants off into groups so that everyone gets a go at creating a sounds and actions story.

6) After ten minutes or so depending on the size of your groups (allow enough time for everyone to have a turn) get your participants to go off and write a trailer style description of their story.

Joseph Coelho
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Directed and Devised by Jonathon Lloyd
Co-written by Joseph Coelho
Showing until 20th February

“An Invite From The Queen”
A musical in a book
Words by Joseph Coelho
Music by Matthew King
Illustrations by Neil Irish
Narrated by Griff Rhys Jones
Order online


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