Worshops for Younger Teens
Primary School Visits
Sarah is very happy to work with primary level students and adapt content so as to be suitable for class discussion and participation at primary level. She also offers themed writing workshops – such as:
Led by Sarah Mussi
You are on board ship when a sudden severe storm hits! The boat is sinking. You can only take ten things and rescue three people. What will you grab?Amongst the things you select are a pen and paper. You know you must write an account – a document that will let the ones who may never see you again know what happened.
In this workshop you will explore how to develop your own voice, write a first person account of events. In the great tradition of Samuel Pepys to the Wimpy Kid you will learn how to record a retrospective narrative.You must write down how you have survived, built a shelter, fought off wild animals, hunted for food, worked with your companions and attempted to build a raft to escape on. You will try to use vivid description in your own unique voice, so that everyone will know how you have suffered.
With examples from KENSUKI’S KINGDOM, ROBINSON CRUSOE, THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK and LORD OF THE FLIES, as well as Sarah’s own novels – you are in great literary company.
But will you escape from your desert island? And if not, will your firsthand account survive and bear poignant witness to your struggles? At the end of the workshop students will have explored aspects of the ‘human condition’, an existential theme that drives all great writing. They will have completed a detailed, moving, written account of one person’s survival against all odds.
THE MARVELOUS MANUSCRIPTS OF TIMBUKTU!
Have you ever dreamed of going exploring? Have you even wondered what it might be like to ride a camel? Well don’t be sad anymore that you haven’t, because in this workshop we are going to ride camels across burning deserts, fight off crocodiles and hippos on the Niger River and journey through strange deserts until we reach TIMBUKTU!
THE MARVELLOUS MANUSCRIPTS OF TIMBUKTU is a workshop that will take you across the Sahara with an author who has REALLY BEEN THERE! Together we will explore where libraries come from, why libraries are SO IMPORTANT, and create our own secret manuscripts with our own special stories scribed on them. Come in your old clothes (that desert is a bit sandy, and we may need to use some of it to make our manuscripts look authentic). Bring along your imagination (the people in Timbuktu had to hide their manuscripts in the desert to keep them safe from marauding invaders – so I hope you like playing Hide and Seek the Manuscript). Together we will travel the Old Ink Road. (Scholars, who loved to read and write, trod a secret road across the desert and told stories around the fire every night. We too are all going to tell stories around a camp fire – don’t worry, adults, we will build a fire out of pieces of orange paper and our own creative imaginations!) And THEN we will learn what goes into a story worthy of being in a library!
All travellers are welcome. We will learn how to plot a story and record it. We will return from Timbuktu with our sacred manuscripts to show you all we reached the famous libraries there.
THE FALL OF ICARUS
Led by Sarah Mussi
Old masters tell old stories: stories that taught lessons and contained hidden truths.
This workshop will explore the story behind the famous painting by Bruegel. In Greek mythology, Icarus succeeded in flying, with wings made by his father Daedalus, using feathers secured with wax. Ignoring his father’s warnings, Icarus chose to fly too close to the sun, melting the wax, and fell into the sea and drowned. His legs can be seen in the water just below the ship!
‘Hubris’ from the ancient Greek means extreme pride or self-confidence. When it offends the gods of ancient Greece, it is usually punished. This is the main idea behind Greek tragedies – the idea that the hero has a fatal flaw which leads to his downfall and eventual death.
But how do great writers write compelling tragedies? Which human traits are ‘fatal’ and how can we plot a story in which the hero brings about his/her own demise?
Inspired by the FALL OF ICARUS, with examples from ancient Greek mythology, Shakespeare and Sarah’s own work (in BREAKDOWN with the myth of Eurydice and Orpheus), at the end of the workshop students will have investigated the Greek myth of Icarus and the conventions of Greek tragedy. They will have created their own hero with a fatal flaw and woven tales to explain everything that is happening in Breugel’s enigmatic painting.
Following in the tradition of The Girl with the Pearl Earring students will explore how one great piece of art can inspire another.
Age Group: 7-13 Yrs
BEWARE OF BOARDING SCHOOL!
MURDER. MYSTERY and JOLLY HOCKEY STICKS
Led by Sarah Mussi
It’s your first term at St Hubert’s! The school looks amazing – just like Hogwarts! The other students are friendly and the teachers welcome you with big smiles, so why is it that as you step over the ancient threshold of your new boarding school, you feel a cold shiver run down your spine? Why is it that as you pass up the great stone staircase, a girl hurries past you and whispers:”Beware, lock yourself into your dormitory at night, don’t go down to the West Wing alone, specially not after dark.” ?
You decide to investigate and write down everything that happens – just in case. You never know – just in case – a document that will let the outside world know what’s been going on at St Hubert’s.
In this workshop you will explore how to plot a mystery – you will learn how to explore the milieu of a closed community and investigate the special genre of school settings.
You will need to write down how you make friends, meet your teachers, score house points and set out to discover what exactly is lurking in the shadows of the old school!
With examples from Malory Towers, Harry Potter, the Demon Headmaster and Murder Most Unladylike, and Sarah’s own novel HERE BE DRAGONS – you are in great literary company!
But what will you find behind the locked door of the old library at the furthest end of the West Wing?
And how much of it will you disclose to your worried parents?
At the end of the workshop, students will have explored all the conventions of writing stories in a school setting. They will have drawn on their own experiences and the works of many best-selling authors to complete a detailed, thrilling, written account of mystery, magic and mayhem.
Plus interactive plot based workshops: e.g:
I HAD SIX SERVING MEN
How to identify elements of a story.
ACROSS THE RAIN FOREST
How to plot the entire through line of a story.
WHO DUN IT?
How to write in the Murder Mystery Genre in writing