Making writing exciting

Literacy is always high on the educational agenda, and local organisation Altru Drama have found a novel way to make writing fun, exciting and a real achievement for children in Merseyside primary schools.

Following a visit to Chicago to work with American theatre company Barrel of Monkeys, Altru have created ‘The Monkey Project’ which is a real treat for schools.

The project starts with a six-week in school residency. Three classes of children take part in writing themed drama workshops, engaging in imaginative activities, modelling and group writing.

Each session culminates in independent writing time and each child writes a story in their very own Monkey Journal.  At the end of the residency, Altru teachers take all of the books and read every story – all 540 of them!

They choose a selection of stories from across the three classes and turn these into a bespoke performance – which has been written by and for pupils.

The performance takes place a few weeks later in the school hall and is performed by a Monkey Team of eight actors.  It’s a huge celebration of achievement, with each young writer credited as author of their story, lots of cheers, applause and laughter all round.

Children also receive their Monkey Journals back, with positive comments on their stories, and each child gets a certificate on completion.

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