On Friday 21 February and Saturday 22 February, CBN held a two-day workshop on family histories, facilitated by Professor John Parkington. The workshop was held in the CBN classroom at the Clanwilliam Living Landscape Project and twelve invited participants from Grade Seven attended on both days.
We began with family stories, particularly form a book called Eva’s Diary, by Bridget Krone that really resonated with the local family scene. Two stories were specially written for the workshop: The ghost remembers, and Mickey’s memory. We also were moved by poetry from Vietnamese writer Thanhha Lai from her book: Inside Out and Back Again (a US National Book Award winner).
John then took the group through his own family tree, demonstrating how quickly the number of people involved increased and explaining concepts of generation, gender and relationship. The children were fascinated and began to draw their own, sometimes complex, family trees. We then connected some of these with a world map – with surprisingly widespread results.
We played a card game with pre-prepared writing suggestions (rules: only one change of card allowed!) and the children wrote avidly on the family topics they found on the cards.
Saturday was more informal with more from Eva’s Diary, discussion of how Saturday Sessions would work in the future (and of social media of choice in Clanwilliam, which seems to be WhatsApp) and some large and excitable paintings.