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The Story of Me 22 Primary 2 authors. 19 volunteer illustrators.

The Story of Me Project Rationale

I am a primary school class teacher, based in Scotland. I teach Primary 2 (age 6 -7 years). I designed the Stor y of Me project to promote recall of vocabulary. It was inspired by an article I read recently by Turk et Al (2015)* which found that children were more likely to recall target vocabulary if it was used in sentences where they themselves were the subject of the sentence. At the same time I had been doing lots of work with my class on improving their drawings of themselves. I had been modelling the step by step process I would take to draw a person and discussing with them all the elements that one might think about when trying to represent somebody in an illustration and then, following on from that, how you might illustrate what they are doing in the picture. I put together the project based on these on these two ideas to see whether co-authoring and the experience of being the subject of both text and illustration could make target words more memorable for children and also to see whether seeing themselves represented by an illustrator would improve their self-portrait skills! I am currently studying illustration and I was engaged in this project as an illustrator as well as the class teacher (although the children were not aware that some of their stories were being illustrated by me!). The model was as follows: • Identify target group of words for each child – these were a mixture of ‘high frequency words’ and ‘keywords’ from our reading scheme. • Children create sentences about themselves using these words. • Aspiring children’s illustrators were recruited to work (virtually) with the children in the class – they draw one illustration for each child’s sentence per week. • Child is created as a central character so each sentence becomes part of a story about them. • Aspiring illustrators gain experience in the creation of a character and placing that character in different situations each week. • Illustrations come back to the children via email or online sharing. • Over the 4 weeks of the project the children will compile a special book (either a paper book or an e-book) containing an illustrated story about themselves.

_____________________________________________________________________ *Turk, D. J., Gillespie-Smith, K., Krigolson, O. E., Havard, C., Conway, M. A. and Cunningham, S. J. (2015) Selfish learning: The impact of self-referential encoding on children's literacy attainment. Learning and Instruction. Vol.40, pp.54–60.

The primary aims of the project were as follows: • Children develop a strong relationship with the target words and recall them accurately. • Illustrators model good quality drawing and illustration for the children and the children develop their ability to draw figures and faces. • Illustrators gain experience creating a character and placing it in different situations. Other intended outcomes: • Children get a taste of the collaboration of author and illustrator. • Children gain a better understanding of the work of both an author and an illustrator. • All children see themselves in the role of an author – they have written a book! • Children’s ideas are valued and celebrated. • Children themselves are at the centre of the story – they are important and interesting. The stories that follow are the 22 Stor y of Me books created through this collaborative process. The results of the project are also analysed at the end of the document. I hope you enjoy the Stor y of Me! Susannah Jeffries

Angus Played With His Toys!

Author: Angus Illustrator: Lesley-Ann




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The Children Could Ride the Dragons!

Author: Cameron Illustrator: Maddy

My Brother and I Played!

Author: CorreyLeigh Illustrator: Virginia

CorreyLeigh liked her mum SO much. I love my mum and it is nearly her birthday.

Gary and I got my mum some chocolate tulips and she liked them. She was happy with her children.

Me and my brother played a song for my mum. It was called ‘I Love You Forever’.

I could make a picture for my mum. She has had the best birthday ever!

I Painted My Mumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s T-Shirt!

Author: Emma Illustrator: Fern

Emma had 3 favourite colours. She liked pink, red and purple.

She had a pink and purple t-shirt on and the children loved it!

My mum helped me make a new t-shirt with lovehearts on it.

I painted on my mums t-shirt and she was super super mad!

After I Played I Ate Pizza!

Author: Hani Illustrator: Susannah

I was at my house. What should I do?

Me and the other children played on the x-box.

After we played we ate pizza.

Maybe I could go to candy land.

I Played In The Park!

Author: Jamie Illustrator: Fiona

I went to the park. What park? The one near Michaels.

All the children were in the park. No one else could fit in.

I played on the chute and the roundabout.

I asked my Dad if I could go back home to play on my xbox. He said yes!

Author: Jayna Illustrator: Lisa

Hi my name is Jayna and I love cats because they are cute. I love puppies and another thing I love is my Dad.

So now I have introduced myself, we can talk. Do you know what is different about me? Well my feet are different sizes! and I always like to play outside.

Now let’s go outside to play. Oh no my little sister is playing in my back yard. But we can spy on her…

But to be a real spy I need to dress up like one. Great – no more spy dresses! I will wear something else… There, done. Lets write a plan… (1 hour later) I am done now.

Cat and Dog.

Author: Jodie Illustrator: Lorna

I walked to the shop. I was weary but I liked the puppy and the cat.

I took the cat and the puppy home and they liked it but they were sleeping. I had to wake them up. They played.

I had to go to work. My pets were not happy. I had go to work and I helped someone.

When I went home I saw my little sister painting on the dog and the cat! I had to clean them up!

I Play With My Dog.

Author: Kayla Illustrator: Susannah

Kayla liked milk, She poured the milk into her cup and she put the milk on the table where the cat was sleeping.

The cat knocked over the milk because he was playing with the dog. Then the dog barked and barked.

Kayla called her friends to go to the forest and they went with the dog. They found scary bears and the dog barked at the bears so they ran away.

We went to my mums house and we painted a picture of bear running away! The next day it happened all over again and I was so weary!

I Have A Great Dog!

Author: Kerr Illustrator: Laura

I Liked Playing in the Swimming Pool!

Author: Koen Illustrator: Lionel

Children Love Sleepovers!

Author: Kyle Illustrator: Megan

I am at my nanas. What shall I do?

Nana took me to have a sleepover. Children love sleepovers!

In the morning I played at my nanas with my toys.

Maybe my nana could take me to the shops?

Leah Played on the Beach.

Author: Leah Illustrator: Susannah

Leah is a writer. What a writer!

Leah is writing a story for children about leaves and trees.

I played with the leaves and then I went to the beach and played with the sand.

I could not build a sand castle because the sea came and washed it away!

The Tig!

Author: Lewis Illustrator: Lesley

I want to be a writer. What shall I do to be a writer?

I want to write books for children and especially for Jodie.

When I finished writing I played tig with my mum and my brother.

Maybe I could play outside with my bike.

I Called in the Tree in the Woods.

Author: Marcel Illustrator: Hazel

They went to the water and they met a friendly fish.

We met a bird called Kerr and we played basketball!

I Played Tig.

Author: Mario Illustrator: Kayleigh

I have a family. What are their names? Mario, Mummy, Daddy, Luciana and Xander.

Mario and Daddy played tig.

My mummy could help me finish my picture.

Author: Nathaniel Illustrator: Nicole

Yesterday I was drawing. I have a jacket but it didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have anything in it.

I was drawing someone important.

After I was done drawing I went outside and I found an incredible crystal.

I had enough of the crystal so I was making it into a potion. I completed making it into a potion. The potion makes me feel good.

I Played Rockets!

Author: Rachel Illustrator: Carol

I found a forest. What a nice house.

I found a pretty cushion on the pretty couch and I played rockets!

I wish I could be a real rocket!

She Writes Stories for Children.

Author: Rebecca Illustrator: Sofia

Rebecca is an author. What has she been doing today?

She is thinking of stories for children. She is going to write about a queen.

The children played with the queen.

The queen could dance fantastically. Do you like my story?

Never Enough Colouring!

Author: Ryan Illustrator: Susannah

I am Ryan. Yesterday I was playing with my dog but it was a bit boring. Then I went and got my colouring book. I can nearly draw anything.

It is important you need to keep in the lines.

I have a incredible amount of pens.

I completed my colouring and drawing book. It was enough colouring for one day!

Author: Samuel Illustrator: Miriam

It was Christmas. Everyone got a Nintendo Switch!

We played a Mario game and we were having an adventure.

We met Peach and she was friendly.

I called Luigi to tell him that we had finished the game.


Author: Sophie Illustrator: Claire

I am Sophie and I like lovehearts because my favourite colour is red and they are red. I like cats, and another thing, I like butterflies.

I was wearing a red jumper, sometimes I wear a different colour but I always wear a white shirt.

When I met the person who made my red jumper she was friendly.

I helped her write a story about a cat and it was great!

The Story of Me Project Outcomes

The first thing to say is that this project has been a truly joyful experience. All of the children and all of the illustrators have been enthusiastic and fully engaged throughout and have produced wonderful work inspired by each others creativity. The primary aims of the project were as follows: • Children develop a strong relationship with the target words and recall them accurately. • Illustrators model good quality drawing and illustration for the children and the children develop their ability to draw figures and faces. • Illustrators gain experience creating a character and placing it in different situations. PRIMARY OUTCOMES Children develop a strong relationship with the target words and recognise them accurately. I selected the target vocabulary using the following criteria: • The child does not already recognise this word. • The word is not easy to ‘sound out’. • The word is either in the next block of Oxford Reading Tree ‘keywords’ which the child will need to learn or it is in the next block of ‘Literacy Rich’ words which they will encounter. I tested the children at the end of the project to see whether they recognised the target words. I waited until the end of the project, and in fact until after the Easter break to ensure that there was longer term retention of the words. Over all there were 103 target words used by the 22 children across the project (most children had one target word per week but others had two in some of the weeks) and 70 of those words were recognised accurately at the end of the project. This equates to 68% of the words being recognised by the children. Given that these words were not being directly taught or reinforced by any other means during this time and that usually a variety of modes would be used to support retention of target vocabulary I am pleased with this level of recognition being achieved solely as a result of this project.

Illustrators model good quality drawing and illustration for the children and the children develop their ability to draw figures and faces. This was one of the most marked and visible outputs of the project. The front cover illustrations you see in this document for each story are the children’s own drawings of themselves which they created in response to the work of their illustrator. I asked them to look closely at all of their pictures and choose one to be the basis for their drawings and I asked them to spend time looking at how their illustrator had gone about representing them. The resulting illustrations represent a tremendous advance for many of the children in their representational drawing ability. I have included some before/after pictures overleaf to exemplify this improvement. Illustrators gain experience creating a character and placing it in different situations. All of the illustrators in the project gave me fantastically positive feedback about their experiences. Throughout the project they were responding to whatever ideas were thrown at them by the children and often to ideas which were quite difficult to represent visually! They all expressed how much they had enjoyed being part of the project. “This has been a really fun project to be involved in. Satisfying too.” “Do let me know if you plan any more things like this -- it's been great fun!” “This is quite the learning experience!” “Can I just say it's been a real joy to take part in this project!” “I have really enjoyed this project and am sad that it has come to an end!” “It really has been a pleasure being involved in the project.” “It's been a pleasure being part of this! Thanks for coming up with such a brilliant project.” “I've really enjoyed being a part of The Stor y of Me and would love to do more volunteer illustrating if another project like this comes up in the future!” “Thank you so much for letting me participate in this wonderful project!...Waiting patiently for another project!” “I absolutely LOVE what you're doing and your encouragement of creativity from an early age. Art is ever y bit as important as reading and maths!” “It's been a pleasure being involved in this wee project and I'm delighted it's been such a valuable experience for the children!”

OTHER INTENDED OUTCOMES All of the other intended outcomes for the project were also realised – the children are deeply proud of their stories and were excited every week to receive their pictures from their illustrators. They gave a lot of thought and consideration to their writing and where they wanted to take the story each week. Their voices were at the heart of this project and their ideas were handled with care and creativity by their illustrators. ADDITIONAL OUTCOMES Along with all of these intended outcomes the project also became a powerful learning experience for the class with the regard to the construction of narrative and how to put together a story. In order for the story to work and the illustrations to follow one from the other the children had to pick up the narrative thread they had created the previous week and add something which followed (reasonably) naturally from where they had left off. At the start of the project they had to make a logical introduction to the story and in the final week they had to create an ending. This experience of story-telling over a long period has already made a difference to their writing and will also provide an ‘anchor-point’ example for us when we are talking about building a story in the future. If I was to repeat the project this would become one of the the primary aims in the project rationale and consideration would be given as to how to maximise this impact.

The Drawings of Me! Some examples of the fantastic improvements made by the children in their drawings of faces and figures. Examples from the same child before and after the project.

Artist Biographies This document is produced with grateful thanks to all the wonderful artists and illustrators without whose generosity of time and spirit this project would not have been possible… Nicole Bennett, Maddy Bennett, Virginia Gillard, Lisa Good, Laura Hurst, Megan Jarvie, Kayleigh McCallum, Claire McCracken, Fi McCurdy, Lesley McKeran, Lionel Meyringer, Fern Miller, Sofia Nair Morna, Lesley Ann Shaw, Hazel Terr y, Carol Wall, Lorna Wallace, and Miriam Wilson. Maddy Bennett Maddy Bennett is an illustrator living in Northumberland. She has a particular love of drawing miniatures: animals, buildings, vehicles, cake – whatever the subject matter, she finds tiny captivating. Her spare time is crammed with writing, reading and exploring the countryside with her three young sons. She also photographs trees at every available opportunity. You can find out more on her blog Virginia Gillard Virginia is an actress. Born in Britain, brought up in Australia and living in Iceland. She also creates short stories, vignettes and playful drawings as well as visual poetry and patterns that represent her eternal search for home. Virginia is currently drawing as ‘the exhibitionist’ her cartoons are representative of her world. They are memories, they are reactions and they are filled with feelings. Laura Hurst Laura started a #draw365 project at the start of 2017 as a way to develop her style. Watercolours and fineliners are her tools of choice and the journey of discovery is far from over. Follow her progress on Instagram - @heylaurabelle Megan Jarvie Megan is an Edinburgh based Design student, studying Product Design at Edinburgh Napier Unversity. I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil but didn't fully establish my love for it until high school. I am always looking for new challenges and opportunities to expand and develop skills in all areas of art and design!

Susannah Jeffries Susannah is a primary school class teacher based in Edinburgh. At the beginning of 2016 she decided to draw every day as part of a personal â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;growth-mindsetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; challenge to see whether it was really true that you can learn to do something if you just keep trying! She is getting better each day and she is now studying illustration with London Art College. Kayleigh McCallum Kayleigh is a professional artist and illustrator based in Glasgow that loves drawing people and animals. Claire McCracken Claire McCracken is a Glasgow-based writer and performance artist who was discouraged from drawing as a youngster and has dedicated her adulthood to rediscovering the joy of felt tip pens :-) Lesley McKeran Lesley is an 'avid doodler' from Glasgow who enjoys sketching in her spare time! Lionel Meyringer Ever since he could wield a pencil, Lionel has loved bringing characters to life on paper. He recently completed a Diploma in Children's book illustration, converted a children's novel into comic form, provided illustrations for a kids' songbook and album, and is currently working on a picture book about a local squirrel called Sadie. Sofia Nair Morna Sofia Nair Morna is a portrait artist and an illustrator. Born in 1977 in Funchal, Archipelago of Madeira, Portugal. She studied a short course of painting at the University of Madeira. Since school she has participated in Competitions, Exhibitions (group and one-man show) and Projects. Her last exhibition was "Small Faces" at the Solent Showcase Gallery, in Southampton. She was the art director and founder member of the group Mad Space Invaders in Madeira. She works with oils, watercolours, inks, graphite and recently coloured pencils. Her style is realistic. She explores mythological themes, portraits, urban sketches and nature. She is currently living at Carlisle, Cumbria, U.K.

Lesley Ann Shaw Lesley-Ann loves drawing and cutting and sticking and printing over the top of it and thinks creating art should be compulsory in all walks of life. Hazel Terry Hazel Terry is an illustrator who has a wild pet seagull who knocks on her window to be fed and who follows her on foot or wing almost everywhere she goes. Hazel has worked as an artist in many different forms, starting by painting ceramics when she was 13 years old at a tiny pottery in the historic town wall of Great Yarmouth. Carol Wall Studied illustration at Edinburgh college of art many moons ago. She is now working as an intensive care nurse. She has not had much time to be creative, bringing up two kids and working so it was great to be involved in this project to rekindle her creative side and hopefully lead on to further projects. Lorna Wallace Lorna Wallace enjoys writing, drawing and painting and loves designing t-shirts and personalised mugs for her friends. Miriam Wilson Miriam is a freelance artist & illustrator based in Edinburgh, and graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design. She specialises in charcoal, oils and mixed media. Past projects have included illustrating Library Cat: Observations of a Thinking Cat by Alex Howard, and various commissions and projects which can be viewed at and at .

The Story of Me compilation  

A collaboration between 22 Scottish Primary School children and 19 voluntary illustrators.

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