Workshop for Creative Writing at Funder Skole, 2005
In January 2005 the Danish version of the Tollund Man's website was the starting point for a workshop for creative writing at Funder Skole in Silkeborg, Denmark. Funder Skole is located close to where the Tollund Man was discovered.
The workshop was led by the writer Sally Altschuler who was in charge of an interactive writing process where two classes created two works of fiction about the Tollund Man by using the information on the website about the Tollund Man and the Iron age. The students offered their versions of what it was like to live (and die!) like the Tollund Man - who he was, why and how he died, as well as how he and his contemporaries might have lived.
Amtscentret for Undervisning, Aarhus Amt and Funder Skole were in charge of arranging the workshop.
We have not published educational material on the website due to our pedagogical view. We believe that the students are able to find all the relevant information about the Tollund Man and his time through personal experience with the website.
In connection with the workshop the website underwent a usability test, and its usability in relation to students and teachers was evaluated by observering the class during the writing process. Silkeborg Public Library was in charge of the test.
The Tollund Man was Resurrected – in the Students' Imagination
During the writing process the more than 2,400-year-old Tollund Man was resurrected in some way - more precisely in the minds and imagination of the two classes.
The two classses (7th. grade) spent three weeks on the workshop during which the writer Sally Altschuler paid them several visits in order to help shape the base for a fictional story about the Tollund Man.
Both classes had an exciting and inspiring course during which they produced two well-written novels about the Tollund Man by use of much hard work and diligence.
The Tollund Man Solemnized
Students and teachers kicked off the project by going on a evocative field trip to the place where the Tollund Man was discovered, which isn't far from Funder Skole, Bjaeldskovdal bog approximately 10 kilometres from the center of Silkeborg.
One early morning the students took off, carrying lit candles to pay tribute to the old man from the Iron Age. With a song, written for the occasion by one of the teachers, Marianne Kristensen, and accompanied by the evocative music of an accordion, the students placed their candles in the ground where he was discovered with the hope of finding the inspiration to describe the events that led to the sacrificial death of the Tollund Man.
The workshop for creative writing took its starting point at www.tollundmanden.dk. Here the students were able to find inspiration and information about the Tollund Man and his time which they could use for the writing process.
Aside from paying the classes visits, Sally Altschuler communicated with the students on the internet during the creation of the stories. They used a conference room link-up on the internet to send chapters, corrections, ideas and stories back and forth until the texts found their final form.
Usability Test of the Website
During the entire writing process employees from the library observed the students to see how they used the website. Three people had to observe if the website was user friendly and if the students were able to find their way around the website as well as find inspiration and information. Afterwards the observations were used to improve the usability of the website.
The writing of the two novels about the Tollund Man and the usability test were both part of the collaboration of Silkeborg Museum, Silkeborg Public Library and Amtscentret for Undervisning, Aarhus Amt. The collaboration had already resulted in the official website for the Tollund Man www.tollundmanden.dk
The memorial plaque close to where the Tollund Man was discovered.Big picture
Photos on this page: Elin Jørgensen, Funder Skole
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About Sally Altschuler
Sally Altschuler has received several awards for his books. Read more on Litteratursiden.dk.