Art days – Storytelling visits – History sessions with real objects, leading to Art & Literacy activities

I’ve worked with schools for 18 years, in the Norfolk Museum Service and with the Inspire Discovery Centre, Norwich (closed in 2011). Inspire provided outreach to schools across East Anglia.  So I have a very broad experience of primary schools!
I now visit schools and museums as a storyteller, artist and historical educator.
You can get an idea of my school offers on this page, and for detailed Lesson Plans please click open this PDF
Jim Kavanagh School lesson plans

History visits – full and half days

Romans and Vikings
Not all Romans were soldiers, not all Vikings were raiders.  Lets use my collections of objects to think about everyday folk, do some archaeological investigating and art, and hear a tale or two as well.


A handful of my Roman coins with one of the magnifiers we can use to study them

My Lewis chess replicas – I’ve forged them to look their 1000 year age, and there are enough pieces for a class

Storytelling visits, full or half days
adaptable for all ages, and for specific topics on request
(with drawings done before your very eyes!)

Romans & Greeks: the Romans stole all the Greek gods & goddesses and changed their names, but loved their tales!  Bickering, selfish heroes have adventures, and the gods with their magical powers just can’t stop interfering in the lives of us little people.
as well as Pharoahs and too many gods, there were some ordinary people by the Nile as well, and they liked to tell tales.
Celts: beautiful clothes, galloping chariots, warrior queens, boastful champions and magic in every green hill – the wildest, fastest tales of all.
Anglo Saxons & Vikings: The Saxons favourite tale is Beowulf, and everybody knows Vikings raided our land, roaring & swinging axes, but is this all they did?  After considering the real story of these Norse people, we have fun with their tales of giants, dwarves and magic, drawn from our main source, the writings of Icelandic Norse folk.  Odin and Thor feature in their mythology, but they also wrote their own adventurous history of exploration and war, known as the Sagas.


Olde Tales: which could also be called Folk Tales, a world wide gathering. Poor folk outwitting the rich, farmers finding treasure, greedy priests, brave kids, riddles, dragons, trolls, tricksters, unwelcome visitors and other tales which were told before the electric light began our decline into mush brained torpor.
Animal Tales: a must-have in every storyteller’s bag, from around the world and always good fun for a drawing or two.


Telling and Drawing as part of the Ark in the Park workshops

Art Workshop Day all ages

A simple way for everyone to contribute to a large picture for the classroom, from a range of different topics (Celtic, Greek/Roman, Saxon, Viking, Pirates, Folk and Animals)

A tale about growing food; I provided the figures of Lizzy to colour and cut, and you can see some of the new words amongst the drawings

Lesson plan – we discuss the topic in question, elucidating what the children already know
– I introduce any important words to be used in the tale, and show/explain any necessary details (eg above: how wheat is sown, harvested and milled)
– we have the tale
– we then decide what characters and things we need to draw for our picture to relate the tale. – Everyone picks what to draw (or to colour in on my pre-prepared sheets, for any non drawers) and we get busy drawing, coloring and cutting
– we assemble the big picture, which can also include the important words
The picture can be in sections, and of a size and shape to suit the available classroom space!


Mousehold School, Norwich – over 300 children contributed

They don’t all have to be as big as this one!  The Dragon is in the shape of nearby Mousehold Heath, with some of the surrounding streets and the river below.

Jim Kavanagh storytelling and drawing