Narrative Journey is an approach to working with children that uses narrative cues and story framing to incite their interest in the natural world. On the one hand it could simply be a practitioner offering children narrative cues, like picking up a decaying leaf and claiming it to be a fairy’s wing and then watching what children do with that information - hunting for fairies, foraging for leaves or even the construction of intricate fairy houses. While on the other, it could be a full-blown epic tale that spans vast areas of open countryside where children and their families navigate the landscape using story as a map or guide to landscape features - exploring, discovering and spending time together enjoying a sense of place. In this context Narrative Journey is a way of storying spaces and landscapes, of placing meaning on landscape features, and a method for restorying historic places through the application of fiction and non-fiction stories.
Researched and developed as part of a PhD with the European Centre for Environment and Human Health (ECEHH), Exeter University Medical School, Narrative Journey has been primarily designed for practitioners who are keen to support children's physical activity within natural environments. However, its application goes far beyond physical activity and has been applied in an array of experiential learning contexts for both children and adults. As a method of engagement it can be used in geographical applications such as mapping and way-finding, nature connectedness and awareness programmes, early years education and play, historic and cultural activities and story and performance applications. To this end Narrative Journey is an approach to experiential learning in its broadest sense for a diversity of applications and groups. For further details see links below, and in our 'Training' and 'Projects' pages.