CULMINATING EXERCISE: CREATING YOUR OWN MYSTICAL POWER SYMBOL AND HEROIC ADVENTURE
Through the use of imagination and creative writing, students will design their own mystical power symbol and demonstrate an understanding of the principles of effective storytelling.
- Paper, pens, pencils, coloured construction paper, clay (optional), markers, crayons, scissors, glue, file cards, iPads, computers
- Open space in which to move
1. As a class, discuss the significance of the Auryn in The Neverending Story. What are its magical powers? Where do you think it came from? What is a talisman or mystical object? Have students name other stories they have seen read or heard of that are about a heroic adventure using a mystical object. Why are such objects important to the story? How do they serve the hero?
2. Invite students to create and name their own mystical power symbol that can be worn or carried.
3. Option 1 (for younger students): Students will write three or four sentences describing the types of power the object possesses and how it can help the hero on a quest.
4. Students will then volunteer to be put on the "hot seat" in front of the class or in small groups. They will take on the role of the hero or heroine with that mystical object and respond to questions posed by the other students, who may wish to ask the heroic character about their adventure, the special powers of their object and how it helped them on their journey, etc. Both hot-seaters and questioners improvise their questions and answers and enjoy the process of using their imaginations.
5. Have the class come together to discuss what new insights they discovered while hot-seating.
6. Afterwards set aside a section of your room to create a display gallery with everyone's creations, and place the file cards next to each student's symbol.
7. Option 2 (for older students): Working in pairs, students will write a short story adventure about two friends who go on a quest. These friends have each been given a mystical object with special powers to help them on their journey.
Things to help the students create and give shape to their story:
- Who are the heroes?
- What is their day-to-day life before the adventure starts? What does their regular life look like?
- What specific events happen to make them start this adventure?
- Who is their mentor (a wise person offering advice to them and/or giving them each mystical symbols to help them on their journey)?
- Who are the friends they meet along the journey?
- Who are the enemies or adversaries they meet along the journey?
- What hardships or trials do they face?
- What is the climax/confrontation (ultimate challenge) they must finally face?
- What did the heroes learn from this quest? How did they change?
- What happens when they return home?
8. After a period of revisions to their draft copies, students will submit their final short story. Then, all stories will be collated into an e-magazine. Alongside each story, students will also submit a photograph of their symbols and come up with a title for their short story adventure.
9. Each pair of students will then combine with another pair of students. One pair will become the characters they have just created, and the other pair will act as the reporters interviewing these heroes and heroines about their adventure. As in the hot-seating description above, the students will improvise their questions and answers, discovering new insights into the heroes/heroines and the significance of their respective power symbols and the role each plays in their imaginary adventure.
10. After a sufficient amount of time for the first set of reporters to ask their questions, switch and have the groups reverse their roles, with those who were the heroes/heroines becoming the reporters and vice versa. Then repeat the exercise.
11. Have all the groups then come together and discuss what new insights they discovered.
- What about the making of your own mystical power symbol did you find surprising? What did you find challenging? Why?
- For younger students: What were the similarities when you saw the gallery of mystical power objects? What were the differences?
- For older students: What were the similarities in the way the heroes and heroines carried out their quests? What were the differences?
- What new insights did you discover while hot-seating or interviewing the heroes/heroines?
- What would happen if you weren't allowed to use your imagination? How important is it for you to be able to use it? What would happen if we lived in a world without imagination?