We run workshops with class groups during school hours. These groups are from schools in lower socio-economic areas, or which have high proportions of students who are Indigenous or from language backgrounds other than English. We welcome primary groups from year 3 up, and high school groups.
Workshops are either one-offs for two hours of hectic writing fun, or term-long programs where students develop a more complex piece of writing.
School groups visit the Martian Embassy from nearby Redfern, Waterloo, and Alexandria and from as far afield as Villawood, Cabramatta and Warilla. Or we go to them, as we have for students in Wiley Park and Airds (see special projects).
All workshops are led by our expert Storytellers. In addition to the Storytellers, volunteer tutors work one-on-one/two with the students to ensure each student has the most opportunity of finding their voice and discovering their story.
Students will learn about the elements of successful storytelling, collaboration and finding their voice, and develop their confidence, empathy and of course, writing skills.
Below is a sample of our standard one-off workshops. If you're keen to book in but would like a workshop tailored to your class work, just let us know. If you're interested in signing up to a longer program throughout term, or would like to come on a different day, please get in touch and we can discuss.
Bookmaking: Short Stories
Welcome to our first and most popular workshop! Marcia the Martian Librarian is searching the galaxy for spellbinding tales. In this workshop students will plan a story about a Martian visit to earth. The group works together to create characters and develop a beginning for the story. In the second half of the workshop students are set free to create their own exciting middle and end to the story. All students leave with a bound, illustrated copy of their story.
Primary: Years 3-5
Let me tell you something funny: Comedy Script Writing
During this workshop students will be introduced to the basics of comedy scriptwriting. Students will work together to write a short script, prepare the script for performance, then perform their script in front of the group. Students need to bring a sense of humour, we supply crazy costumes and a few scriptwriting secrets.
Primary and High School: Years 3-8
Robot Birds: Poetry
In this workshop we delve into the mysterious link between birds (sometimes Robot Birds!) and poetry. Students will create a strange, wonderful Robot Bird that represents some aspect of their personality and write a poem about their first meeting with the imaginary bird. Along the way we’ll discuss all manner of exciting poetic tricks, everything from alliteration to onomatopoeia. All students leave with an anthology of the poems created during the workshop.
Primary and High School: Years 3-8
My Zine of Home
Let us introduce you to our fantastic book - HOME. HOME is a collection of interviews, essays, stories, anecdotes, poetry, lists, and photographs all about the experience of life in Redfern. During this workshop we’ll explore a few extracts from the book and use them for inspiration as the students create their own mini-magazine about their perceptions of home. The workshop will be a creative combination of collage and writing. All students leave with their own Home Zine.
Primary and High School: Years 4-10
So, every year senior students all over the state are introduced to their English Area of Study and told they'll need to be ready to do a piece of creative writing based on the concept for their Higher School Certificate. Generally this causes a touch of panic in the classroom...lucky we're here to help ease the panic. In this workshop we'll sidle up to the concept - Discovery, run through a sequence of helpful writing activities and give students a few strategies to use as they begin to grapple with creative writing for the Area of Study.
Students: Year 12
My Life on Film
Ever imagine what the film of your life would look like? This is your chance to make all the big decisions! Who are the stars? Who directs? What does the film look like? Who features on the soundtrack? What are the best lines? In this workshop, students will write a review of the film of their life. They'll reveal the plot, discuss the casting and analyse the look of the film. If there's time, we'll also try to sneak in a little script writing and ask the students to create a rough draft of the most important scene in their film of their life.
Primary and High School: Years 5-10
Our UBS School Workshops program is generously supported by UBS, our principal and founding partner.