Kevin is busy with a full schedule of storytelling activities: from newly-devised story-writing workshops in primary and secondary schools to family learning projects in arts centres, libraries, early years settings and botanical gardens!
Recent work in schools includes:
Kevin’s work in schools in the first three terms of the year is richly varied with topics ranging far and wide: from the animal tales of Beatrix Potter to the 1960s space race between America and the Soviet Union! New workshops focus on developing fluent use of descriptive language and transforming story texts into playscripts (for Key Stage 1), and creating atmosphere and writing from a character's point of view (for Keys Stages 2 & 3).
During World Book Week in March, Kevin helped to celebrate the magic of stories and the power and beauty of words with well over a 1000 children and young people in schools in Croydon, Haringey, Sevenoaks, Eastbourne and Bexhill-on-Sea.
Video clip: Early Years Foundation Stage 00:30
© 2018 Sir William Burrough Primary
Here’s a short clip of storytelling sessions with Early Years Foundation Stage children in Kevin’s favourite school - the brilliant Sir William Burrough Primary in Limehouse, East London, where music, storytelling and dance are at the heart of the curriculum. The emphasis of Kevin's sessions here is on interaction and involving the children in the story-making process - from joining in with action-songs to role-playing scenes from the story and predicting story outcomes.
Kevin is currently working on a number of exciting projects and events in the wider community. These include:
To celebrate the opening of the refurbished Temperate House, Kevin is researching and performing a series - throughout the summer from May to September - of fun and interactive storytelling sessions featuring tales from temperate lands at the world-famous Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
A reprise of Kevin’s popular family workshop at the British Library in London, where he presents a close-up look at some of the library's legendary holdings: from books, stamps, maps and manuscripts to treasures of the sound archive - all with extraordinary stories to tell.
Kevin is busy undertaking research for a series of summer holiday storytelling sessions at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery, where he will be exploring traditional stories linked to images and objects in the museum's amazing international collection: from a colourful Japanese print to a rare Hawaiian feather cloak.
Recent early years work includes:
A project devised by the National Children’s Bureau involving a partnership between early years professionals, arts practitioners and cultural organisations. Working closely with small groups of toddlers and their families, Kevin and his partners are exploring 4 strands of literacy - books, oral language, environmental print and early writing. Kevin's main focus is on modelling the key role stories can play in children's social and emotional development.
Kevin continues to contribute to this popular series of monthly activities for very young children and their parents and carers at the De La Warr Pavilion, a masterpiece of modernist architecture on the Sussex coast. Sessions are linked to current exhibitions of artworks in the building's gallery spaces and are designed to nurture creativity, communication and confidence.
Video: Five Little Peas 00:57
From Playsongs Rhyme Time © 2017 Playsongs Ltd
Last year saw the release of Playsongs Rhyme Time, a series of downloadable recordings of fingerplays, tickle rhymes, knee bouncers, rocking songs, peekaboo games and lullabies for babies performed by Kevin with music by award-winning composer and producer Stephen Chadwick. This year the publishers Playsongs Publications are also commissioning short animations to accompany some of the rhymes and songs. Here's one of the animations. You can see more of them in the early years section.
Kevin lists his public storytelling events on Twitter @KevinGraaltwitter.com/kevingraal
Kevin’s work in schools included:
Working with Year 8 pupils at Norwich School to produce and share a piece of creative writing inspired by two gruesome traditional tales!
Presenting an interactive celebration of stories, songs, rhymes and games from around the world as part of a series of invited primary school visits to libraries in the London Borough of Brent.
Public events included:
A day of storytelling for Bexley Library Services as part of Bexley Book Buzz Literary Festival.
Storytelling at the British Library as part of an Activity Day exploring Harry Potter: A History of Magic, an exhibition celebrating the 20th anniversary of the publication of JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.