A trip to Fighting Words

This morning I went with two Champlain students to “Fighting Words”, an organization that works with young children in an environment that gets their imagination running wild. They have class groups of about 20 Dublin primary school students and write a short story about anything they like. As a group they come up with characters, a plot and how the story starts. For example, this morning’s story started with a talking soccer ball named Johnny who had sunglasses, a mustache and a basketball best friend named Mr. Smith. Johnny’s greatest wish was to play on Barcelona’s soccer field, where Claire, a little girl that found Johnny in a field had promised to take him.

While the class are coming up with these ideas, there is a writer typing the story out on a screen and an illustrator who draws out the characters of the story. The children then each finish the story themselves in the next room with the help of some of the Fighting Words volunteers. They can add characters, change locations and end the story in any way they please with the aim of the whole process to have them using their imagination and develop their creative writing skills. At the end of the workshop, each student is given a copy of the book they wrote with the pictures that the illustrator drew in the mix.

This organization is absolutely amazing and has a really good feel good factor about it. I can guarantee you that after spending a couple of hours watching one of these workshops, it will 100% brighten up your day and put you in an amazing mood. We encourage all of our students to do some form of volunteering while here in Dublin, and Fighting Words is a great example of one of the volunteer organizations that we work with.  Fighting Words was started by celebrated Irish writer Roddy Doyle in 2009.  Here is a great article from The Guardian about Fighting Words.

Adam Clark

Head Resident and Activities Coordinator

Champlain College Dublin

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