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11 September 2018

From folk tales… to storybooks for ‘literacy’ (Read in Thai)

“All palatable food, once eaten, will be digested and passed, but literacy will always be children forever.” This is a statement concluded by a teacher at the end of the training reflection and wrap-up session and the handover of the 5 storybooks to 124 schools in the central region, totaling 1,769 copies. The storybooks are the results of teachers’ participation in the pilot course “Material Creation Workshop”, part of “Literacy Hand in Hand” project implemented by World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT). The workshop has got attention from Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC), Primary Educational Service Area Offices and schools from 4 provinces in the central region, which have sent more than 35 teacher representatives to join.

WVFT has piloted the material creation workshop for the central region in Kaeng Krachan Area Development Programme, Phetchaburi province, with 3 phrases of implementations:

Phase 1: Training on material creation and activity design to apply in classroom Phase 2: Training on Bloom, which is a programme used for composing stories; monitoring results from the application of the knowledge gained; and planning for further knowledge transfer to other teachers Phase 3: Activity reflection and experience sharing, which is considered the final session of the workshop

“It was a great activity as it has motivated teachers to become active in applying a range of activities learnt from the workshop, such as creating teaching media from secondary materials and applying different techniques in actual practice, starting from our own classroom and school. After the trial, the results and obstacles taken place in our classroom would be shared with other teachers in our school. What is working and beneficial would be extended to use in other 27 schools -from kindergarten and primary schools, to junior high schools- in Kaeng Krachan district,” Phatthanan Khachen or Teacher Nhong, a teacher from Ban Nong Makok School, Kaeng Krachan district, Phetchaburi province revealed what she’s benefitted from the training.

Meanwhile, Montra Phonsattha or Teacher Bee, a teacher from Ban Nong Hong School, Kaeng Krachan district, Phetchaburi province elaborated how she’s further applied the knowledge learnt from the workshop. “We’ve planned with WVFT staff how to pass on the knowledge to teachers in other nearby schools who didn’t get to join this event. The story creation through Bloom, which was introduced by WVFT, is much interesting. If the stories are co-produced based on the ideas of teachers and students, both parties will take pride in their joint creations.”

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The “creations” Teacher Bee talked about refer to the 5 storybooks handed over in this event. They are the results of the work of the teachers participating in this workshop, who got into 5 small groups to visit different communities in Kaeng Krachan district and collected data on stories actually happened within each community. With cooperation from community leaders, village scholars and community member, folk tales have been selected and told to the teachers, who would discuss within their group to agree upon the selection of the most intriguing anecdote, which will be chosen to create the story plot, outline, complex, climax and resolution as well as to come up with how the story should be presented. The 5 storybooks are: 1. Malee and the Bright Eyes 2. A Monkey and Its Red Bottom 3. The Lovely Cow 4. A Tricky Dog 5. Our Home is the Best

Each story has an objective to promote reading and writing skills among children from kindergarten to grade 6. All stories are integrated with proper teaching techniques and incorporated with different morals.

“Each story marks different features. For example, stories for kindergarten kids are composed in poems with rhymes, which better stimulate children’s association of ideas and listening and reading skills than proses do. Stories for the older kids are incorporated with other different means of presentation,” Teacher Nhong gave examples of techniques which promote children’s age-appropriate literacy. Then, she cited some morals from the storybooks. “Malee and the Bright Eyes presents the boundless and gracious kindness of late King Rama IX whereas Out Home Is the Best is aboutthe sense of love towards hometown, for example.”

Though the pilot course “Material Creation Workshop” has completed, the age-appropriate literacy enhancement outcomes last. The instructional media supported by WVFT and materials created by these teachers -with their knowledge, vigorous efforts and hearty dedications- have resulted in the 5 model storybooks. More storybooks are on their way, due to further knowledge development of each school teachers who have joined the training, with their hope to enhance students’ learning and reduce child illiteracy rate very soon.