Children in Munich Tell their Strong Stories
„The day I noticed I am strong“. This is the title of the story exercise for 94 children in third and fourth grade at a school in Munich during a special project week in April. The project combines promoting resilience and media literacy and was developed by the IZI and PRIX JEUNESSE.
The week started with a screening of films from the international coproduction „The Day I Became Strong“, short dramas based on real experiences in children’s lives, promoting resilience and cultural understanding. The children loved the stories and were eager to find their own moments in life when mastering a challenging situation. In small groups they presented their stories to the other children.
On the second day the children worked on what makes a good story for children, how to write those down and how the stories can be turned into scripts. Together they developed a ‚story of strength‘.
Days 3 and 4 were dedicated to the creative implementation of the stories. The children were shooting their stories with tablets, or they were producing photo stories or working with animation techniques, in order to visualize their strong stories. Some kids worked on the school ground, others went outside and recorded sound and voices. One group worked on presenting their story in the form of a theater play. For the stage design they produced photos and sound as well as designed costumes.
Big excitement on the final day: Time for presenting the stories! 13 films and one theater play were shown to a big audience of fellow pupils, students, teachers and the whole project team. All stories told about strong moments in a child’s life, written and realized by the children themselves. Every project and the children behind it received frenetic applause.
Project leader Prof. Uta Hauck-Thum from Munich’s Ludwig Maximilian University remarks: „Education in times of digitalization means giving children the opportunity to use media in a self-determined and reflected manner for their individual learning processes as well as for creative expression“. Maya Götz, head of IZI and PRIX JEUNESSE adds: The resilience of children can be specifically promoted, so that they can face the small and bigger challenges in daily life“. Maya Götz has conducted Storytelling Clubs in countries like Lebanon and Taiwan. Her team supported the activity in the school in Munich.
A special highlight during their project week: Per video chat the Munich kids connected with pupils in Taiwan that were working on the same project. Each group acted out their individual stories, with the children in the other country trying to guess what the story was about. With the help of pantomine and other small helping tools they overcame the language barrier and even could teach each other some basic words in each other’s language.
Overall, the project week was a great success and enriched everyone who participated in it. In the school year 2019/2020 a similar project week will be conducted at all Munich primary schools.