Year 3 children across Dudley have been introduced to smoking dragon Big Kind Red and the effect he has on the health of little dragon Baby Cerys.
Building on the Straight Talking Tour to primary schools in Dudley and Wolverhampton, and the public art project Straight Talking: If You Love Me, Keep Me Smokefree, Year 3 children hear the story of smoking dragon Kind Red and the effect he has on the health of little dragon Baby Cerys. Then all the children make their own baby dragon puppet to take home and tell the story, supported by the Straight Talking postcard. Their message is clear, that second hand smoke affects their health as well as the smoker and they would like the smoker to not smoke around them.
Year 3 hear the story of smoking dragon Kind Red and the effect he has on the health of little dragon Baby Cerys. Then all the children make their own baby dragon puppet to take home and tell the story, supported by the Straight Talking postcard. Their message is clear, that second hand smoke affects their health as well as the smoker and they would like the smoker to not smoke around them.
Every child successfully made a dragon. The arts workshop was run by puppet maker Jim Morris who devised a simple step-by-step process which all children could follow and successfully complete.
Even children who initially were apprehensive about their ability became confident puppet-makers with the support of workshop leaders. At the end of the workshop, when they are encouraged to ‘bring their puppet to life’, some became confident puppeteers too, using drama and different voice techniques to act out how their puppet may spread the smokefree message at home. Most children wrote down as reflection feedback that they felt very proud of their puppet because they didn’t believe they could create something so wonderful.
Many children were excited by the prospect of sharing the information they had learned about second hand smoke and taking control of the health message. They talked informally about smoking and how what they had learned made them determined never to become smokers when they grow up.
917 children in 20 schools took part in the workshops over the autumn of 2016
We re-visited three schools two weeks after their workshops. Following a script children, as part of a class discussion, were asked to respond to a set of questions. There were then opportunities for children to share their thoughts about the performance and keeping their homes smokefree. Class teachers were also asked for their comments.
146 Year 3 children were involved in the evaluation.
82% reported they had used their dragon puppet to share the story about second hand smoking with an adult, and given them the postcard.
“Since I took my dragon home and told them the story, no-one has been allowed to smoke in the house again, because they did before. It’s a lot better now and not so smelly!” Sedgley pupil
“What’s the matter my beautiful baby?” Boomed King Red. “Why do you cough so?”
“I don’t know,” whispered Baby Cerys. “I have a very sore throat and my chest feels tight.”
King Red puffed and puffed, filling the room with even more smoke as he frowned and thought about what on earth could be making Baby Cerys poorly. He had no idea what was making her ill.
Can anyone here think what might be making Baby Cerys poorly?
Click here to download the Dudley Smokefree Arts Programme 2016-17