Table of contents
2 The world of words
3 The picture book as a medium of literary experiences
4 "Die große Wörterfabrik"
4.4 Ratio image text
5 Writing leeway
5.2 Freedom from fear
5.3 Interior design
5.4 The beginning
6 Writing occasions
6.1 My Word
6.2 The Word Store
7 Presentation of results
In this work, I would like to investigate how children can be supported on the path of their own writing. How do children learn to gain experience in the world of Scripture and discover the world and themselves in the process? What conditions must be met for such "writing leeway" Kohl & Ritter 2010: 7)? What impulses are possible and suitable to enable children to transition from the real world of the classroom to the world of fantasy? I would like to investigate these questions from working with picture books, especially using the example of the picture book by Agnès de Lestrade and Valeria Decampo " Die große Wörterfabrik:" in the classroom. I will explain why I consider this picture book to be very suitable for primary school and what children can discover with the help of this book. But when looking at and dealing with the texts and images of the picture book, there should be no end. Children want to discover for themselves, but also develop, create something unprecedented. Finding the balance between what you pretend to be a teacher and the freedom of the children is not easy. Teaching impulses, well thought-out beginnings that make you want to create a world and find yourself in the process, can give security and overcome writer's block. What transitions to one's own fantasizing and writing can be, I would like to examine on the basis of theoretical preliminary considerations. I would like to try to open up a space where the children think about language, get to know words as something valuable, with which you can discover a lot and learn to understand yourself as a language creator, to whom the words obey.
Currently, more and more publications are appearing on the market. Many authors draw attention to the importance of creative writing and develop concrete teaching examples for the classroom. Examples of this are the works "Spielzeug Sprache" by Eva Maria Kohl or "Schreibszenarien" also by Eva Maria Kohl and Micheal Ritter.
2 The world of words
Words open up new and strange worlds. They tell stories of unknown and sometimes quite well-known but unnamed things. You can have many colors and feelings. Often they seem strange and strange, other times clear and simple. Words can bring joy, hurt, heal, excite, scare, redeem, make us laugh and much more. They kidnap or enchant. In stories we can rediscover ourselves, we see worlds that we know well, that are very familiar to us. Another time something enters the world that doesn't belong there at all. The world is turned upside down or suddenly works differently. Everything that could be relied on before is now completely twisted. Animals talk, things fly around, you encounter things with magic powers, maybe behind the next corner you meet a real pirate, a ghost or a UFO. Nothing is impossible in stories.
"You can and should play with language." (Kohl 2006: 7) Letters are twisted, words are tried. You can juggle with them, turn them upside down or reassemble broken words. Words put up with a lot. Some educators take the view that children must first be able to speak the orthographically correct written language in order to write their own stories and play with the language. But already in pictures, children use opportunities to express themselves and invent stories (Kohl & Ritter 2010. 22 f.). Children discover writing very early on as something they want to experiment with. They test fonts and, for example, provide first drawings with their names and then with the names of close relatives. These first experiences with letters and writing must be taken into account in school. Children can already do a lot. As a teacher, you should support them in their skills and look for new worlds with them.
Creative writing offers a variety of occasions to pick up the children exactly where they are. The child and not a correct, orthographic flawless typeface should be the focus. Children should experience that writing is fun and can be "a medium for articulating one's own thoughts, feelings, fantasies and fictions" (Kohl & Ritter 2010. 22 f.). Writing should again be understood more strongly as an aesthetic process in which the child can experience and test himself and the world sensually. Writing thus becomes something personally relevant that can reflect one's own self and the world in which one lives.
In order for children to experience writing as something so wonderful, a determinedly designed environment is necessary. Getting to know words and writing begins with the encounter with language. A long underestimated, but versatile and valuable medium for this is the picture book.
3 The picture book as a medium of literary experiences
The first literary experiences a child often encounter in picture books. The bridge to get to know other literary genres is laid very early. They gain their first positive experiences in dealing with books in view of the concise text and the dominant images (Hollstein & Sonnenmoser 2007: 186). The picture book offers very sensual impressions. The children can touch the paper and let the colors affect them. In a familiar setting, in close relation to the reader, they can discover the pictorial worlds. This lingering immersion is becoming increasingly important in the age of digital media, in which the child is exposed to images racing by. By reading aloud, the child can be addressed individually. Questions or difficulties in understanding can be discussed together. Reading aloud creates and strengthens the relationship between the reader and the hearing child. The time that the adult takes belongs to the child. Children enjoy this and they like to dream together with others in foreign worlds.
The children usually like to get involved in these strange worlds. Often it is not a problem if there is magic and talking animals in fairytale worlds.
Picture books convey the "basic form of experience processing" (Hurrelmann 2010: 9). The first picture books that children encounter usually have a narrative character.
The picture book based on fiction allows the child to identify with their own problems, but also offers sufficient distance. With the picture book, you can work on your own problems and overcome fears. Children may encounter exactly the topics they are afraid of and are offered suggestions for solutions.
Picture books are media of aesthetic education. "Image reading and image comprehension are becoming key qualifications in the age of digitized imagery." (Thiele 2010:14) The children deal with the pictures, discover details. They perceive colors and moods, they learn to understand symbols. The children discover what images say beyond the text. Above all, the picture books are exciting, in which text and image contradict each other. They ask the children to refrain from their usual gaze. The children think anew about truth and reality. Children appropriate the world, they broaden their horizons (Ritter 2008:24).
But picture books do not only belong in the field of preschool. Many experience reports and teaching attempts show that primary school children and children of higher classes should work with picture books in a variety of ways. The choice and type of use are crucial. On the picture book market, there are a variety of sophisticated, profound and elaborately staged picture books that sensitively introduce topics or open up other perspectives and perspectives. Impressive pictures appeal to the readers.
And last but not least, the children's joy in picture books and the many action- and project-oriented implementation possibilities (Hollstein & Sonnenmoser 2007: 186) speak for their use in the classroom. How to use a picture book and develop writing occasions from it, I would like to show exemplarily in the picture book "Die große Wörterfabrik".
4 "Die große Wörterfabrik"
The picture book "Die große Wörterfabrik" by Agnès de Lestrade and illustrated by Valeria Docampo was published in its eighth edition in 2012 by mixtvision Verlag. It has already been standardized and awarded for many prizes, for example with the donkey of the month in the trade journal "eselsohr", as children's book of the month from the "Children's Book Couch" or with the "LesePeter" of the working group youth literature and media of the GEW.
Die Zeit writes about the picture book: " Talking about love, about the value of words, about the power of honest feelings, about butterflies that then fly - this is not easy without getting cheesy. in Die große Wörterfabrik succeeds." (DIE ZEIT of 18.11.2010) "Die große Wörterfabrik" is receiving very positive response from many sides. Why is backed up in the following remarks becomes obvious.
The picture book is set in a world where language is something precious. All the words that are spoken are produced in a large word factory. If you want to say something, you have to eat the words. In shops you can buy words. However, valuable words can only be afforded by rich people. People who don't have a lot of money are looking for words in the trash or trying to catch flying words. Paul, the main character of the book captures some words. They are meant for Marie. Although another boy tries to inspire Marie with expensive words, Paul manages to pronounce his very special words with so much feeling that Marie is enchanted.
It is a challenging book that does not show a "trouble-free, cheerful children's world" (Hollstein & Sonnenmoser 2006: 32). Paul has a big problem, there is so much he wants to say to his girlfriend Marie, but that's not possible, he can't afford it. I am sure that many children know this, who may have difficulties with the language or are shy. The picture book provides identification offers.
The book tells of love, which also gets along without big words. However, it also addresses socio-critical aspects and is not only aimed at young readers. Which social classes speak with which vocabulary? What do some children get to hear? But the book also makes you think about the value of words. It encourages me to think carefully about when I use which word. The children can learn to appreciate the value of always being able to speak.
And it is a book of hope, because not the one who can express himself well, who said in our language: "Always find the right words" wins. And it makes it clear that words can bring color to a sad world and that everyone has that ability. Everyone can make the world more colorful with beautiful words.
The children can understand their ability to write as something valuable that in the picture book only the big word factory can master. The children could help Paul and Marie with their own beautiful, great words.
The colors of the book are limited to browns, black and red or orange. The illustrations of the book do not show a trivialized, idealized representation of a world and the people living on it. Most of the adults appearing in the book look gloomy or suspicious. Another part does not seem to see the children or has closed their eyes. Some adults are also depicted only up to the neck or with their backs to the reader. Most adults wear black clothes. Many letters are printed on it. It seems to have become completely black due to the many letters and also symbolizes to the outside that its bearers must have a lot of money. These adults stand for the "rich and beautiful" who can afford a life with beautiful words. Few adults wear white clothing with gray lines and a red headgear. The lines are reminiscent of blank line paper. You can't afford described clothes. But despite the wealth, the wealthy adults do not seem to be happier.
The machines that work in the large word factory seem quite inhumane. They resemble robots and are made entirely of metal. On the helmets is written "words". Their task seems clearly defined and they work by cutting long ribbons of letters into words. A word machine wears a face and has the task of auctioning words in the final sale.
Curiously, the children appear in the world. They are not one-dimensional. Paul's face reflects fear, curiosity, disappointment, joy and many more emotions. Many children also wear white garments with gray lines. Also, most of them can not afford expensive dark garments filled with letters. But they don't seem to be sad or sad about it. On their clothes are often drawn doodles. In it you can discover childlike fantasy. Children have dreams, longings and fantasies. Paul wears a white jacket with grey lines on the day he visits Marie. Butterflies are scribbled on it. These butterflies symbolize his feelings, his excitement when he will say his words to Marie.
Oskar, another boy, is portrayed as an adult. He wears black clothes with many letters and has closed eyes. It does not seem to have the same imagination and playfulness as there is in other children. After his expensive, valuable, great words, the color of the world remains gray-brown. They seem to be doing nothing.
Paul's simple, small, at first glance insignificant words, on the other hand, fill everything with a warm red. After that, red butterflies fly into the whole gray world. It symbolizes the feelings of lovers who can transform everything even so dreary. They seem to detach themselves from his sweater and fly out. The butterflies show where the feelings come from and that they want to get out.
The illustrations are reduced to the essentials. Christine Kretschmer calls this representation "reduction to the scales of the model" (Kretschmer 2003: 26). The buildings are not depicted in detail, but all look similar and have empty windows and doors.
The images of the book succeed in showing reality with the help of tensions, contradictions and opposites (Thiele 1994: 69). The contrastingly chosen colors draw boundaries and type people and places. The book sometimes makes use of unusual angles. Some scenes are shown in a greatly enlarged close-up. The children are always the focus. Sometimes the representation changes with the new appearance of figures. The reader first looks at the staircase from the side. Marie looks down at Paul. Then the view changes into a top view from above. Paul is suddenly in the field of vision further down. But after he has spoken, Marie and Paul stand down together. Above them extend the spirals of the staircase.