Gale-force winds? Waves seven metres high? Lobster fishing? These things permeate students’ lives in Grosse-Île on the Magdalen Islands, and what better way for me, a landlubber based in Montreal, to learn more about the students’ experience than to ask them to tell stories. To kick off the storytelling, I gave the Gr. 3-4 class a cliff-hanger I wouldn’t have been able to resist as a child, with a nod to the wild weather on the Islands…
‘It was a dark and stormy night. The reindeer were scared and didn’t want to pull the sleigh. How was Santa going to get around?’
I furiously transcribed the story, trying to keep up with the students. We worked and played hard – it isn’t always easy to come to consensus, as anyone knows who has been part of a team – and made something together that was more and different than any one of us could have done on our own. Seeing the excitement on the students’ faces during the creation of the play and their pride on sharing their work was a testament to what the arts do to bring people together.
To hear two students and myself speak about our project with guest host Julia Caron:
- Creativity for Epic Storytelling, CBC radio
To hear the play, complete with narration and sound effects created and recorded by the students:
- A Boat Saves Christmas, CBC radio
- Islands on the Air, CFIM with host Jonathan Patton
Many thanks to Grosse-Île School, CAMI and Artists Inspire for making this project possible.
Happy holidays to everyone! May you all find a boat this Christmas.