Interactive Storytelling with Gwyn McCormack

By Malin Hamilton Backer

Gwyn and Marvin

Telling her story of Marvin, the little boy that was shopping groceries for his surprise picnic with his Grandma, we meet Gwyn McCormack who is currently dressed up as the character Barbara the baker.

“Can anyone tell me what is next on the grocery list?” Gwyn asks whilst pointing towards the board with a picture of a bottle of lemonade. “Wine!” A three-year old little boy shout out, leaving his mum in shock and filling the room with laughter.

Gwyn story time session isn’t like most others. She dresses up as the different characters, using sound effects and handing items from the stories told for the children to feel and creates a fun, meaningful and interactive learning opportunity for all children, in particular to those with special educational needs.

Being a teacher and award-winning SEN trainer for the story of Marvin’s Market Adventure, this way of learning is close to Gwyn’s heart. “Children needs to have the real objects to hold to make sure their literacy experience is meaningful and accessible and inclusive of all children. And I think some children if you just read the book without the props to hold it’s not as meaningful. It needs to consist of language development, fine motor skills, tactile discrimination and so on… If you’re blind for instance and you don’t know what an apple is or a fish is, it’s important to hold the objects to experience what you can’t se,” she explains.

It doesn’t have to be difficult to get the children to interact with the stories or to explore the child’s everyday environment. Today Gwyn used props such as colourful flowers, a cardboard fish and even gave out a shopping bag each to the children with all the groceries the character Marvin needed.


Gwyn’s top tip to parents:

“Make sure your children experience it and not just read it. It is so easily done! Count the plates in the kitchen with your children whilst setting the table and the coins when you pay for food. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that.”

There's never a dull moment in Gwyn's story telling events!

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