Small solutions for big problems

For two of the groups I was working with as writer-in-residence at ELC School in Thailand, we worked on miniature worlds. We began by designing a cast of characters, then had some of those characters miniaturized by shrink rays. After mapping out an epic journey across a single room in the house, I surprised my young authors by springing a climactic challenge upon their characters: a deadly creature.

Well, not SO deadly if you are normal sized, but for our miniature characters, beetles and centipedes and frogs could prove quite hazardous. This activity began with each student pulling a critter out of Bag #1. Then, from Bag #2, they picked out two “tools”—items such as toothpicks, buttons, clothespins, and the like. Using a brainstorming sheet, the students had to use their problem-solving skills to figure out how their characters could use the tools to escape the critters.

Here are some photos of their work in progress:

elc2015_bigproblemsmallsolution05 elc2015_bigproblemsmallsolution04 elc2015_bigproblemsmallsolution03 elc2015_bigproblemsmallsolution02 elc2015_bigproblemsmallsolution01

Now that they have been faced with the climatic problem and brainstormed the solution, the endings of their stories should be relatively easily to write! My time as writer-in-residence is finished at the school, but I’ve been promised that some of the stories will be sent my way so that I can see how they turned out!

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