CBN and Stanford Creative Works workshop One


We were delighted to be asked to be involved in an annual initiative to give children in Stanford something to do in the holidays.

In the first of two morning workshops, we tackled the topic of Family with around 25 children from different grades, speaking different languages and from different backgrounds – and all getting on happily together.

We kicked off, as usual, with Books and Stories chosen from a selection on hand to cope with any eventuality. Very few of the children had been to previous CBN workshops, so we read well-known favourites as well as mixing up the quiet reading titles a bit.

Ellen Osman was able to be there today and gave some basic instruction in the CBN reading game to a deputation of First Camps Bay scouts, who assisted on both days. We liked this innovation! The scouts really entered into the spirit of things, doing paired reading and helping with problem words on a spontaneous basis.

When we divided into groups, one group did group writing with Lesley, one group read quietly with the scouts and the other group played the reading game (with noisy enthusiasm!) The group writing involved moving beyond basic information (there are five people in my family) to more imagination (my Mom looks like Rhiashna and my dad looks like Michael Jackson). We also looked at opening doors of different colours and imagining what might be behind them. (This activity inspired by a Swedish book for younger children that invites children to do just that.)

The whole day was beautifully conceptualised by Stanford Creative Works, with a mix of hectic activity and thoughtful creation that ranged from fabric painting to mosaic work. It was great to be part of this community initiative. Thank you for inviting us!

Suggested books for a workshop on the theme of family are from Maskew Miller Longman’s Stars of Africa series or Cambridge University Press’s Rainbow Readers. We use supplementary readers because they are the right length for a workshop and can be finished in one go.

Stars of Africa:

Lindal’s Little Cow (Polly Maxwell)
The new baby (Irene Lewis)
The day everything changed (Barbara Coombe, Heather Moore and Maggie Slingsby)
Say cheese! Say chillies (Reviva Shermbrucker)
Grandfather’s drum (Lize Venter)
The Ngesi fun run (Nola Turkington)

Rainbow readers:

My Mother (Daphne Paizee)
The jealous brother (Mabone Dora Sintu)
The band (a Neighbours story)

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