Urban Fairytales (Key Stage 2)

Z-arts worked with year 5 pupils from Webster Primary school on the Urban Fairytales project. With an aim to inspire writing, MA Creative Writing students Karin & Ellie from MMU went into the classroom to talk to the children about being writers and the writing process. The children learnt about what inspires them from everyday characters, objects and places, where they write and listened to their own stories.

We started by looking at traditional fairytales; their motifs,characters and story structure before introducing them to the concept of contemporary Urban Fairytales. The Urban Fairytales day at Z-arts focused on characters, the children took part in drama, visual art and writing workshops with artists to spark their imaginations.

ODD Theatre Company performed a funny modern day version of Cinderella with Blackberrys, BMXs and a Manchester backdrop and explored places and settings and potential modern day hero and villain characters such as dinnerladys & librarians!

Later we ran a Live drawing session with Illustrator Tasha Whittle, learning how to add emotions and feelings to characters, the children also went on sketching walks around Hulme looking at locations and buildings.

As part of the process each child was given their own Urban Fairytale sketchbooks to use as a place to write, draw, explore and imagine …

“They were really inspired by their Urban Fairytale sketchbooks and keen to take them home. It was nice for them to see writing in a totally different light… writing for total enjoyment. They didn’t have to write on lines or make it tidy, it was totally free and personal to them, a less formal writing experience.It promoted writing as as an organic experience where they could add illustrations into their text.” – Miss Hughes, year 5 teacher


The brilliant final stories were displayed at the Out Of Schools exhibition in MMU’s Holden Gallery.


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