Wolf Brother author Michelle Paver helps literacy come alive at Chiltern Open Air Museum
Author of Wolf Brother, Michelle Paver came to Chiltern Open Air Museum in May to launch a new Wolf Brother literacy theme day. She chatted with school children about how she created her stories telling them tales of her own experiences meeting wolves and tasting seal blubber! Pupils from Booker Hill School in High Wycombe and Rickmansworth Park School took part in the launch day with Michelle and described the day as ‘a wonderful experience, full of excitement, anticipation and belief’.
Michelle’s page turning Wolf Brother book has sold over a million copies and is the first in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series. The Wolf Brother story is set six thousand years ago. Evil stalks the land, and only twelve-year-old Torak and his wolf-cub companion can defeat it. Their journey together takes them through deep forests, across giant glaciers, and into dangers they never imagined.
Michelle Paver with the Deer Mage at Chiltern Open Air Museum
Staff at the Museum have created the atmosphere of the story using a replica Mesolithic camp site and woodlands on the Museum’s grounds. Using actor educators, who remain in character through-out, the Wolf Brother story is brought to life, enriching children’s imaginations and immersing them in the story. During the theme day children are asked to ‘walk into the story’ and ‘live in it’ as they meet characters inferred from the Wolf Brother plot. Through these meetings children gain some understanding of what it was like to live during the Stone Age era. They meet with the Deer Mage in his secret camp and create a totem to protect themselves against the huge evil, killer bear who is hunting Torak. They also meet with a Stone Age hunter who shows them the high value and significance placed on each part of an animal. Finally, they create a Stone Age replica weapon or a ‘journey stick’ as they travel through the Museum grounds and woodland following in the steps of Torak’s wolf cub and his ‘wolf speak’ descriptions.
Michelle Paver signing copies of Wolf Brother
Museum Education Officer, Cathy Silmon who has 22 years working in primary education, believes that when a story context is explored and brought to life, children feel empowered and that this ‘empowering’ then makes a real impact on the quality of their writing.
Some of the school children that met Michelle Paver at the Wolf Brother literacy theme day launch
Feedback from schools who have attended literacy theme days at the Museum has been fantastic;
‘The day after the trip the kids were amazing, retelling the story of Little Red Hen, even children who normally say nothing were talking and adding their own bits… We are expecting great work from them in the coming weeks.’
The Museum offers literacy theme days exploring Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian, The Little Red Hen, Goldilocks, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, The Three Little Pigs and Owl Babies. All are cross-curricular theme days that combine both history and literacy.
The Wolf Brother literacy Theme Day is now available to book.