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Storytelling with ‘Wonderlands’

Wendy Woolfson Storytelling in Wonderlands

Click on the links to watch and listen to Wendy Woolfson bring Johanna Basford’s designs to life through stroytelling.

Storytelling within ‘Crazy Botanic’

Storytelling within ‘Peking’

Storytelling within ‘Macbeth’

Storytelling in the Supersized Forest

Please visit the Wondertale wiki to be astounded by the creativity and imagination of young writers across Scotland (Glow username and password required)

Wendy, Johanna – thank you sincerely – what an inspiration for all of us, Anna

Walk to School Week and Scotland’s Nature Festival!

This week is ‘Walk to School’ week. This campaign is organised by Living Streets and takes place during National Walking Month in May.  This year the campaign focuses on the benefits of walking and sets a task for each day.

Find out more about this campaign here

This is also the year of Natural Scotland 2013. It aims to encourage everyone to explore and find out more about our nation’s stunning natural beauty.

As part of this the ‘Scotland’s Big 5’ campaign aims to get everyone talking about Scotland’s nature and joining in the fun of discovering five of the country’s iconic species – the red squirrel, red deer, harbour seal, otter and golden eagle – and the places where you’re most likely to see them.

We have been inspired by these campaigns and while you walk to school we would like to challenge you to look carefully at natural patterns and treasures. To capture what you see in drawings and photographs and to create a pattern trail map for others to enjoy and appreciate your local area. Imagine if you managed to spot one of the Big 5!

Every day we have set a different challenge

Day1: Tiny natural patterns


I thought that these looked a little bit like dragon ears!

Day 2: Tangled natural treasure

 I’m still searching – I wonder what you will find.

Day 3: Fragile natural treasure

Our small Shetland pony ‘Tiny’ is casting his winter coat. The birds are collecting Tiny’s hair and weaving it into their nests.

Day 4: Gigantic natural treasure

I think this tree has a great deal of character and the branch stretching across the trunk looks like an arm

Day 5: Living natural treasure

Last year a pair of swallows built a nest above our front door and they have returned this year. They build their nest from mud.  It is incredible to watch the mud being layered up bit by bit. I stood for some time waiting for them to forget I was there and return to their nest. I’m very proud of this photograph.

To help you observe carefully why not try looking through a viewing frame. Simply take some thick paper, draw the shape you wish to look through – it could be circular, square, lots of little holes etc. With an adult place the paper on top of some plasticene and use a sharp object to create a hole in the centre of your drawn shape. Use scissors to cut out from the centre to the edge of the shape you have drawn.

You can download this book below to capture sketches in, or indeed create your own.

Please upload your photographs and drawings to the appropriate page on the wiki to help create a nationwide collection of Scottish biodiversity.

Wondertales – Watch again!

Wendy Woolfson, a storyteller from Glasgow used Johanna Basford’s exhibtion to tell stories. She looked carefully at 3 of Johanna’s wallpaper designs. ‘Botanic Crazy’, ‘Peking’ and ‘Hamlet’. You can view these on Johanna’s website.

The three designs were combined to create an incredible ‘Wondertale’.

Learners across Scotland then explored the exhibtion and began to create a collaborative story with Wendy. Johanna’s boat inspired a flood of ideas and an octopus caused chaos reeking havoc below the boat! Many of the suggestions involved superhero animals, bees, penguins and mermaids. Wendy used ‘Wonderbeasts’ to help generate ideas. You can explore ‘Wonderbeasts’ here. Johanna has also created a PDF of Wonderbeasts which can be downloaded from her site and this could help to inspire your Wondertale. 

Wendy took us on an incredible storytelling adventure yesterday. To listen to her stories, undertake the warm up activity and begin to breakdown how she created her stories you can watch the Glow TV event again by clicking here. (Glow username and password required)

Wendy, thank you so much!

Before and after the live event we recorded Wendy telling more stories in the gallery and we will share these and behind the scene photographs from the event later this week.

Welcome to Wonderlands

On Monday 13th May at 10 am Dundee Contemporary Arts will open their Gallery doors to Glow TV viewers and we will step into Johanna Basford’s exhibtion ‘Wonderlands’! Wendy Woolfson will be our storyteller and she will help us to learn to look carefully for detail in Johanna’s exhibtion, capture the detail in words and create a Wondertale!

To join the Glow TV event click here (Glow username and password required)

Doodling/Drawing Idea 1

Take a black line for a walk.

I used a felt pen because it flowed well as I drew.

Turn the shapes and lines created into an outdoor space such as a forest, river, fungi circle, wildflower meadow etc.

I chose to turn my first line walk into a simple planted area and the second into a rock pool.

For the rock pool I used thick and thin nibbed pens to add definition and detail.

Happy doodling!

Look, capture, create

Welcome to the Look, Capture, Create blog we are delighted you are here!

My name is Anna Rossvoll and I am currently working for Education Scotland as a Development Officer with the Emerging Technologies Team. I am here to support you. Please do ask for support by posting your question in the discussion forum, leave comments on the blog or contact me by email

This learning space is also supported by Sarah Derrick, Head of Education at Dundee Contemporary Arts. You have direct access to Sarah’s expertise via the discussion forum and by leaving comments on this blog.

Please do use the opportunity to ask and share your learning with us.

Curious and creative learners are invited to join us on an inky adventure with Dundee Contemporary Arts, designer/illustrator Johanna Basford and Education Scotland to explore our understanding of the importance and beauty of Scottish Biodiversity.