What is a Whoosh?
The Whoosh was created by Professor Joseph Winston of the University of Warwick and it is now widely used to support children as they develop understanding of narrative, from ancient sagas to Shakespeare and contemporary novels. It is a form of physical storytelling in which key actions, objects and words are represented physically. It is much more than acting out the story: it means actually becoming the story..
How do you Whoosh?
To whoosh, pupils stand in a circle, creating a performance space. They then take it in turns to become characters, objects or sounds as the leader reads the story.
When you say 'Whoosh' everyone returns to their place in the circle, ready for the next section of the story. There are plenty of advantages of whooshing. It's a circle activity in which everyone gets a go, regardless of age, ability or command of language. It's a safe medium within which to explore new ideas and experiment with new roles. It helps to develop empathy as pupils become active participants rather than passive recipients. They are more likely to engage with the story by doing it, rather than simply reading or listening to it.
It enables children to retain details of the narrative more effectively and to discuss the meaning of a story with greater understanding and insight. And it's lots of fun!
What's in this book?
50 Bible stories for use with 7 - 11 year olds, follow-up activities, discussion starters and prayers, and tips for leaders on how to use the whooshing technique.
How do I use this book?
It can be used with minimal preparation to provide a full Bible story teaching programme or to supplement an existing one, and is suitable for a range of contexts: Sunday school, midweek group, family service, holiday club, Messy Church celebration, or primary school.