“Pui-noon doesn’t want to be such a crying baby like what others call her.” The voice of the story teller, Ms Chamaiphorn Kham-iat, a participant in the Material Creation Workshop organised by World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT), is mesmerising Dao and Mak at Ban Na Nuea Community, Phlai Wat sub-district, Kanchanadit district, Surat Thani province. The two kids, sitting still in silence with their eyes wide open, are listening to the story attentively amidst the community’s local wisdom elites.
Owning to their engaging and entertaining nature, stories work like magic in boosting children’s creativity and linguistic skills development. That is why the 2nd Material Creation Workshop, under WVFT’s Literacy Hand in Hand project, has been conducted for teachers in WVFT’s project areas nationwide, after the 1st year piloted training for those in the central and northeastern regions. Starting with the southern region, the 2nd year workshop was held in Surat Thani province from 30 April to 3 May and attended by 35 teachers from 5 provinces. Ms Montra Phonsattha, the director of Ban Nong Hong School, and Ms Phattanan Khachen, a teacher from Nong Makok School, Kaeng Krachan district, Petchaburi province, who had attended the previous year workshop, joined the trainer team to pass on their knowledge in this event.
The training gave an introduction of story writing basics to the participants. After that, the participants would get into 5 groups to visit 5 communities in Kanchanadit Project to gather stories told by the local wisdom elites in each community. Then, each tale would be developed into a story book, full of words and phrases composed constructively to enhance Thai language skills learning. After adding some pictures, the story and illustrations would be loaded to Bloom, a storybook-making programme. The result of the knowledge applied would be followed up; the plan to pass on the knowledge would be developed; and the hard copy of the storybook would be published.
Ms Pirunee Labaiyusoh, a teacher from Ban Thung Din Lom School, Thung Wa district, Satun province, shared about what she’s got from the training: “I can make learning materials for students, create storybooks for students to read, and also teach them how to create their own stories. The process enables students to exercise a range of integrated skills, including reading, Thai language usage, artistic touch and creative thinking and take pride in their works once the stories are published.”
Meanwhile Ms Nittaya Sukkuea, a teacher from Wat Sisuwannaram School, Pak Phanang district, Nakhon Si Thammarat province said: “Now I understand how to create a story plot. I didn’t realise that a story must contain a crisis leading to the story’s climax and resolution. I’ve also learned how to use Bloom to create stories.”
Further, the workshop has brought the participants to practice making learning materials from locally available resources. Ms Maliwan Sutthikert, a teacher from Ban Triam School, Kuraburi district, Phangnga province expressed her impression of this activity: “Our use of the materials to make learning media based on something that can be sourced easily and locally, something that kids see every day, will boost children’s creativity and show them how to utilise everyday items in a practical and economical way.”
Despite the end of the workshop, the mission of the 35 participating teachers goes on as each of them will pass on the knowledge gained to other teachers in their neighbouring schools who did not have an opportunity to join this event, to enable them to contribute to the reduction of the problem of Thai children’s illiteracy, according to the objective of WVFT’s Literacy Hand in Hand project.