The Boat Builder's Story
Source:Second Nature - Environmental Studies Pack (5-14), SNH & RSPB - available from the RSPB.
Inspired by an outdoor programme 'Woodland Ways' developed by English Nature at Lathkill Dale NNR.
- To use storytelling to describe the changes that woodland has undergone in the last few thousand years and to appreciate that woodlands were once essential for survival.
- To develop a sense of stewardship for local woodlands
15 minutes for the story + 30 minutes for the boat building activity
You will need
- Blindfolds (optional), one for each child
- The Boat Builder's story (see downloads)
- A costume or accessories for the Boat Builder to wear (optional)
- Raffia for boat building activity
Did you know?
The Time machine stories were originally written to be told as a sequence of six stories, see Introducing the Time machine for further explanation of how to sequence and use the stories.
Before the ActivityDecide where on your visit you will introduce this story. Prepare blind folds and the boat builder's costume if required. If possible learn the basic content of the story so that you avoid reading from a script and thus can use gestures and eye contact to make the story come alive.
The activityThe boat builder's story tells us that he has been responsible for building some of the finest war ships in the country. The large oaks found in many parts of Scotland are ideal for this purpose. His ancestors were among the first people to build small skin covered boats called coracles.
Explain to the children that you want them to imagine that they are
going to travel back in time. Five thousand years ago wildwoods
covered most of
Scotland however something happened that changed the wildwoods. To
find out more about what happened to the woods, they are going to travel back in time 1,000 years and meet
someone who lived here at that time. Use blindfolds
or ask the children to cover their eyes, then all count back to 1,000
years ago, 100 years at a time. On an agreed signal the children uncover their
eyes and meet the boat builder who tells his story. They then
re-cover their eyes and count forwards 1,000 years to the
present day. Once they have returned to the present, use the discussion
points below to reinforce what has been said in the story.
- Who was the character and why did he clear parts of the forest?
- Can the children think of a name beginning with B to remember him by?
- What sort of vessels did his ancestors build?
- How did the boat builder describe the forest?
- If the children have previously listened to the Iron-age farmer's story - Had the forest changed since the Iron-age farmer lived here?
- What did the boat builder feel was causing the change?
- What animals were present that you don't find in Scottish woods today?
Suggested Follow up
This story can be followed by other Timeline stories, either taking place in the same spot or by moving to other relevant spots on the site.
Back in class you could enact a Timeline drama. Create props and costumes and count back in time, visiting stages of the time-line with the children playing the role of the various characters.
Research present and past uses of wood for boat building.
DownloadsThe Boat Builder's Story
The resource pack 'Telling Stories' is available from the Scottish Storytelling Centre.The Scottish Wood website provides in depth information on our native woods and their uses.
Find out about making viking ships
Find out about making a replica coracle, using the traditional methods, for a modern day test of the legendary voyage of St Brendan and his monks
Find out about the wood used in the famous boats at the Battle of Trafalgar
- Language - main
- Social studies - main
- Technologies - main
- Expressive Arts - associated
- 2. Primary
- 3. Lower Secondary