Practical Sheet

Silent book-theatre

WHAT IS A SILENT BOOK…
AND A SILENT BOOK 
THEATRE? 

The Silent books are books that narrate exclusively through images. These books can therefore be “read” by everyone indifferently, because have no language or age, so even those who cannot read or have learning difficulties can use silent books that are easily understandable but above all interpreted.

The “reading” of the story is given by the interpretation of the illustrations through our own words. However, the lack of words should not be misleading because the narrated story in these books follows a real script. In the relationship that is created between teacher/narrator and child/listener, the story has a strong creative power that establishes a really deep bond. The silent images encourage the narrator’s VOICE and therefore the creation of personal language. A silent book requires a great capacity of storytelling.

Inspired by these silent books, the Grimm Twins (the artistic duo) have created a creative workshop to realize a personal silent book that is, first of all, a real artist’s book and thus a direct expression of each child. A silent book is built and narrated by the creative force of each child. The telling through the images of the silent book, requires a great empathy, and a sort of identification with the various characters, and it will be the storyteller to find out their voices, also looking for them inside of himself. 

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT? 

The tale becomes the means through which the teacher reaches the children emotionally and involves them.  

Making a silent book together is a complete experience, not just a simple manual work. A path that starts from the story and the dialogue between the children and the teacher, continues with the construction of the book based on the story and ends with the use of the book as a theater. 

After telling the chosen tale the teacher will involve children in the creation of an artist’s book where the story with its scenarios and characters will be created by children. 

This book becomes an extension, both of the oral tale (the words materialize with shapes and colours) and of the child who will find in this particular medium a very valid instrument of expression. 

The workshop of a “silent book-theatre” has a strong playful value and allows children to express their emotions, feelings and needs, to experiment and explore their abilities in a protected way.  

The construction of their own “silent book” (or “theatrical scenario”) will increase children’s awareness of their expressive and interpretative abilities. The silhouettes of the characters that children will personalize, become an extension of their own being. 

THE “BOOKCHILDRENBOOK METHOD” 

WORKSHOP 

  • For the realization of the scenario and silhouettes of the story with children, we will use the “BOOKCHILDRENBOOK method created by the artistic duo Grimm Twins in 2011, a workshop on how to make artist’s books.  
  • The creation of the “silent book” has both a playful and a creative toy value, it is able to stimulate children and give them an additional means to interact with others and the environment, as well as a “powerful” means of expression (“AFFECTIVE/EMOTIONAL, CREATIVE/EXPRESSIVE, COGNITIVE. SOCIALISING, SYMBOLIC AND THERAPEUTIC” p. 203 Marina De Rossi “Didattica dell’animazione. Contesti, metodi, tecniche. Nuova edizione”, Carocci Editore, Roma 2019
  • The teacher must prepare the kit that the children can use according to their creative ability. The graphic kit will contain the characters of the story and the environment where it takes place (example: the forest, a castle, etc.). 
  • The teacher can draw them in the simpler way, maybe just make simple black and white templates that will be printed on cards of two different colours: one neutral (ivory or cream) and the other with a colour to choose (blue, red, etc.). It is important to use only two colours! Once the characters and elements of the landscape (e.g. trees, flowers, houses, etc.) have been drawn, must be composed on one or two pages in an orderly manner, according to the sequence of the story, so that the children can mentally “tell” each other the story during the realization of their “silent book-theatre”.  
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MATERIALS 

  1. An A3 sheet of 220 g to be divided longitudinally. The rectangle thus obtained must be folded in half and then again in half so as to have an accordion effect. This support will form the basis of our silent book and is called “leporello“.  
  1. At this point, the children will cut out the characters and objects of the scene and add them to the book by gluing them together according to the pre-established sequence. 
  1. This will allow each child, during the creation of their own book, to tell the story.
Cut longitudinally and fold in half.  The “leporello” 

👉 Look at the tutorial how to make “silent book-theatre” to tell the stories!!! https://youtu.be/yoEPZwBGb-k 

👉 Look at the tutorial of telling the story with the “silent book-theatre” https://youtu.be/FwuEknGEdTM  

THE TIME MANAGEMENT 

CHILDREN NEED TIME! 

The TIME is a fundamental element for children. 

It will be a “relaxed time”.  The children will also make silhouettes (the two main characters of the story) and put them on sticks like puppets so that they can move freely and use them for the storytelling. 

The book, created in this way, becomes in fact a sort of theatrical scenery where the child can stage the story and the oral story can therefore also be accompanied by an “animated and visual” story. 

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