Seasons for stories
Stories in school, with groups, on public events and other excitements
with Creeping Toad, 2022
celebrating the richness of the changing year, here are stories, sculptures, prehistoric adventures, occasional Vikings, books and boggarts
With stories spinning from the last whispers of autumn right through to earth giants, summer flowers and thunder-tigers, here are stories and activities to enchant and inspire.
Gordon MacLellan – Creeping Toad – is one of Britain’s leading environmental art and education workers.
Take a look at the Toadblog: Creeping Toad
WORKING AROUND COVID: see the end of this page for a plan of response to the ongoing Covid situation
Drawing on 30 years of professional experience, Gordon’s work blends environmental experience with creativity. “Much of my work uses storytelling and story making but I also make small masks, giant masks, flags, lanterns, pop-up landscapes and create wild and wonderful occasions”
A day’s visit to your school might include:
storytelling performances: lasting up to 60 minutes for up to 90 children at a time
stories out of anything! outdoors or in, we’ll use leaves and pine cones, twigs and stones and shells to inspire words, create poems and shape a set of stories never told before (allow 60 minutes for a class session)
puppets and headfuls of animals: like the illustration, we can make quick finger puppet animals or magnificent animal crowns. Allow an hour and a half for a class
From across lands and times: I can select stories to suit times and places: so we have had days of Native American stories, or Egyptian or Greek or Roman, there have been Chinese tales and African animal stories….lots of exciting resources to draw on here, to make new writing vibrant and lively. Castles are popular, too, with boxes of treasures to inspire a new adventure and release a bold princess or courageous dragon
story and book workshops: taking a bit longer (allow 90 minutes for a class) as well as discovering those stories no-one has ever heard before, now we will build those into the books that no-one has ever read before and leave the classroom with a library no-one has ever visited before!
pop-up storyscapes: allow an hour for a class: gathering ideas, images and words we’ll make quick 3-d landscapes holding the essence of a story in a setting, key characters and the words that set the adventure running
your own themes and ideas: or are you exploring a particular theme that you would like to involve some stories in? In recent projects, we have also made talking stone puppets, a giant eagle to hang from a classroom ceiling, prehistoric rockpools, a swarm of shadow dragons, pop-up castles
SEASONAL SPECIAL – IN WINTER’S COLD
Speaking of winter when the snow blows in and hopes freezes out and a lone figure walks down the long aisles between the trees…or tales of Midwinter feasts and Christmas wonders, and why Poinsettias are Christmas plants. The workshops described above could also be adapted to a seasonal theme…why not add a distinctive visit to your school’s winter work?
Charges: £280 a day
Fee includes storyteller’s fee, travel and materials. Can be paid on the day or I can invoice you. Activities can be adapted to suit groups from P1 through to Secondary
To book: contact Gordon directly at
or by telephone: mobile: 07791 096857
ADAPTING TO COVID UNCERTAINTIES
Given the strangeness of these last two years, I know a lot of my friends in schools and libraries, museums and nature reserves aren’t really sure what is possible at the moment or how circumstances may change in the next few months. I would really like to get back out there meeting people, telling stories and generally provoking a bit of imagination so how about:
- Book me if you can or if you want to and if things change, they change
- Distancing: storytelling isn’t always great for distancing so…
- if you need to book for 2 days to accommodate classes without crowding, Day 2 will come in at a discount of the usual rate
you never know who, or what, will end up in a Creeping Toad story!