Writer and lead facilitator | Adventures in Learning
A magical project that casts Birmingham’s children as heroes in a quest to find the genie’s lost story and bring their own tales of Arabian Nights to life. Presented by Coney, Library of Birmingham and Birmingham Rep.
Arabian Nights aims to engage Year 3 – Year 5 pupils in an interactive narrative adventure that will develop their creative writing skills, increase digital literacy and empower them as artists. Taking place over 4 weeks, it uses live performance, email, storytelling and involve pupils creating work alongside professional artists.
“I was definitely enthusiastic and I felt that I was being led on the journey too. I was just as excited as the children when we received emails! Watching the children in the Rep was great! Many of the children were whispering to their friend and saying, that’s my part, I wrote that! They were very proud of themselves!”
Katie (teacher), Nansen Primary School
On a day like any other, the class begin to watch an unusually boring video on the history of concrete when a technical fault occurs- the screen pixelates and the face of a Genie appears, asking the pupils for help: once a major character in Arabian Nights, he has disappeared from modern versions and his very existence is at risk.
Speaking to the class via emails and video messages, the genie helps them discover the stories of Arabian Nights and embark on a journey to Library of Birmingham to discover the magical secret room where the ancient book was lost… Discovering that the pages have crumbled to dust, the children must create new stories about the genie, complete the book in their classroom and return it to the Library so the stories can be shared. With a sprinkle of magic, the genie thanks the class by having their stories performed by professional actors on stage at the REP theatre.
Adventures in Learning
Adventures in Learning are interactive stories that take place in the classroom to motivate formal learning. They’re made with all the attention to detail and artistic values that characterises Coney’s work for adults, but are constructed in close collaboration with teachers to create an engaging narrative framework within which learning can be delivered.
Fran has been working with Coney since 2009. She is a regular contributor to Coney’s Adventures in Learning, having worked on projects including Arabian Nights, Inspiration Days, A Cat Escapes, and Rhyme Rocket.