Notes from Morda Weekend 1

Day 1: Thurs night

When you come to have a go take a look at: A page of Mantle of the Expert planning 

Morda MoE Questions

How do I cover the skillsI need without leading/ controlling the activity?
How do I scaffold the questioning to move the learning staying on track and planning for the project objectives?
How long does a session have to take?
More help with the use of TA in role. HOW CAN I make the most of this?
Do you have a structure to plan a mantle?
Do you have an identified outcome?
How well does MoE work with autistic children?
My understanding of Mantle
How does it dovetail and  support curriculum objectives?
How much of the curriculum will I deliver through the mantle approach? ( By the end of the course)
What can we do to link exciting mantles to required outcomes?
How can we make a fictional world connect to the real world?
How can we work in the fictional world and the real world at the same time?
How can we pull children back to your vision when they have gone a different way?
How to explain to the children that it is not real?
Do you need to explain?
Will it help them get at least expected progress?
When is it ok to bring real into the Mantle and still keep it Mantle?
How will I manage to cover LOs over 3 year groups?

Context 1: Hole

Step 1: Just glance over here…what’s the first thing that you notice?
Step 2: has anyone else got another question? What is underneath – twilight role- special tape – only people allowed to be there. [foreshadowing]
Step 3: hands behind back- now there is this…come over and look at this it’s quite heavy – motions to the bag.
Task 1: can you create as bigger hole as you can using rope-( doesn’t have to be made of chain or rope- could be chalk but be careful it is heavy . If you feel like giving a helping hand
Step 4: The thing about this hole in this story is it is a bit jagged. I’m just asking everybody to give it a bit of jaggedness. We’re just having to imagine it is all the way around… can anyone make it more jagged over there…
Step 5: Luke divides group into teams – one team puts tape around the area. Another removes the cover.
Step 6: Luke explains what the hole is
Step 7: Luke (Teacher in Role, TIR) says “I am here this morning and this massive hole appeared I am thinking about safety but I am not sure what else to do…..” .someone says, go down Luke responds: “Trained people will go down not me.” [Foreshadowing the expert team, which will be represented in time by the students).
Step 8: One of the group suggests taking a look – Luke invites him to look. He says, it is very deep. Luke [in full role] offers to ring his boss.
Some one suggests a camera.
Someone suggests putting up signs.
Step 9: Luke [TIR] ‘It sounds to me that you have seen this sort of thing before….. this is more than a repair. [Luke is ‘positioning’ the students as if they are the team (expert teams will have a history). Luke [TIR] “I don’t know the area”.
Step 10: “Would you be interested representing the people who know what to do with this hole. If you are interested just come over here…- moves group to gather around.” [Luke is judging that the group is showing signs of being interested, so he feels confident now to ask the question. Something he wouldn’t have asked earlier when the group were just curious. For more on this read:

Step 11: Out of role – discussion who is the team ? So who would be working with this hole? There followed a conversation where the students gave suggestions and Luke responded inside the fiction. Such as: “Don’t tell me we are going to have the archaeologists on this- they’ll hold up the job for ages!”

Step 12: Luke: Now we have the beginning of a responsible team . – people who know about hole- right sort if equipment. Can anyone think of the type of equipment we will need. – giving jobs…

Step 13: Task – Can I ask people in back row to stand up, Can I ask people on front row to knock on the door of the people and inform them what is happening in the road. They may be in families … just do your best. [The group are now operating inside the fiction, taking on the roles of the Team with the responsibility to inform local people]. 

There followed a discussion around, creating the team: What is the responsible team?… What name would you give this team? … Danger is having lots and lists of mini teams …Be careful if going down the hole before you send a rope down send a probe down…imagine what us actually down there.

Who is the client? –
What is the job to be done.

A photograph of another way of making the hole using chalk.

Some further planning for Hole –


Day 2: Friday

1. Nora Morgan and Juliana Saxton – Asking Better Questions

2. On this page you will find a list of downloadable resources and teaching tools.

Planning for Scott

Step 1 [Task] . Please find someone who you don’t know very well. I am going to set up an entry with you using a “symbolic” entry. – [Luke shares a piece of text]
In your groups could you read the text critically and look for some questions.
The piece of text is challenging- have you had a look at some of the words in there? Those who can read stay quiet…those who are funding it tricky have a go….Collectively supporting those who are struggling.
Step 2: What were the main questions that came up? Did his ambition over come the need.? Discussion about teaching history – values at the time? Presenting history truthfully.
Step 3: If we had Scott here what would he think about the dogs?
Step 4: Task: Could I ask you to split in half this part of the room, could you represent the voice of the family . The other half could you represent the questioners . [Luke goes over to talk to those representing the family}: What sorts of responses would you expect the family who are concerned about his good name to articulate when asked questions about his decisions?
Step 5: Let’s see what emerges( low threat) If you imagine the different depictions and paintings and photographs of the return, the boat stuck in the ice, especially chilling pictures if the animals. [narrator voice ] Can you looking detail? [shadow role] The light, the shadow. I am going to ask the family about a painting that is in the family house of Scott sometime in his life. We are talking about wealthy family, he can convince people that’s the thing to do
Step 5: [Task] Please put note books down could you imagine the picture in the family house. Not at the exhibition in Cambridge. I do know that they have original painting in the house. I am going to count down form 5 and ask you to represent a possible painting of Scott in the house ….remember this is a painting…. You might want to stand…here we go: count down from five. 5-4-3-2-1… The students represent the painting… [Using a convention from the list of dramatic conventions]. Can you just cast your eyes around.
Step 6: Ok relax. Please sit down. Now could you represent a family portrait? Get in groups of two or three. Now can you represent a family portrait . Using dramatic conversion . Quickly creating sign…images…remembering it is a painting…there is an artist who is asking the people to stay still. Count down …three, two one. It is coming your way by the time one comes you need to be in the still image….taken from theatre form.
Step 7: Luke asks half the room to stay as the portraits. What are you noticing about the half of the room who are representing the portraits? Luke take suggestions e.g. They are all looking away. Here…pride…. The position of the eyes is very significant….and relax.

Some portraits of Scott:











Friday Afternoon


During this context Luke introduces the ‘continuum of engagement’ tool. You can read more about this aspect of the approach here –

Step 1 

Task : Could I ask you to stand in a circle . I am just going to ask you to step into the circle Holding the cloth and say, ” This belongs to a person in poverty because….” 

Step 2ATTRACTION  Luke  k holds out the cloth in a particular way in held out arms  and walks around the circle and listens to the responses. Each person speaks their thoughts about the [signing by the way he carries it ] 

Step 3. Luke lays  down the cloth , so we are given a range of types of poverty would you agree ? 










Step 4 INTEREST I am going to give you another image. “Can you get into a group of three?Look at image.  ( image of Beanstalk and characters looking up Beanstalk) Is this a version of a story you know? ” Group look at image. ” Is there anything else that you pick up from it?” 

I am going to give you a little tool. Luke gives a sheet …what was he up to getting our attention. Was it attracting?_ 

INTEREST : Think about the implications of this thing growing in the middle of the house? If this is growing through the floorboards…it is going to be a catastrophic event. Discussion about poverty – being turfed out if house and importance of the seriousness of this issue. Introduce Tension around possibility if no house ( foreshadowing ) Luke discusses this version of the story being different and from a different part if the world. 










Step : Now I have to ask you to make an agreement and the agreement is that when we get the pink cloth out that is the house. So do you want it here or somewhere else? So could I ask some people to arrange it 

Step: Task group of people arrange the cloth and the chair ( Luke reinforces the significance of everything in the space) GIVEN …this is a home . 

How can we get the chair to represent the right sought if chair in the dramatic space.? 










Step : Luke moves the students over to another part of the room: Would you mind coming over here? TIR “yes, everyone I know you want to know what’s going on, I did give say I would give her advice, I said I would get back to the team, you see where we are standing. This is approximately the size, that’s number one. Number two, you can see it growing, I’ve never seen anything grow so fast. That’s the position we’re in, I’m not sure if we should take it on. Have a chat with each other, I don’t mind what we say, we could always get back to the other building work. 










Step ENGAGEMENT This calls for us to go and have a look. Shall we go and have a look? Di you want to meet her? [TIR as spokesman]  Would you come and have a little word with me, because I don’t want to do it on my own?  – Luke asks how can build the mantle team before we go back to the wood ? …imagining the back story …the headquarters needs to be somewhere in the story. 

Step It has been agreed that we all go down there. All I will ask you to do is zip up your tool bag when I count down from 3,2,1. Do you want to take them with us or do you want to leave them here because we will have to do something if she sees us with them. 

Step  So let’s go to the woods then…

Step Luke takes the cloth and lays it over the chair and walks away. ( Iconic – 

signing that a lady of poverty will be sitting in the chair) 

Step I need someone who will be prepared to represent the lady. ( member of the team sits in the chair) And you are Anna…

Task: Can we think about a possible name for the person who sits in the chair? …Group agree on a name Ala. 

( ideas for reflecting on the story …retelling the episode of the story ) 

Task: The builders are going to arrive here…but we have LE the bags . IT was lovely meeting you this morning, but it was such a big job? Can we get upstairs at all.

Ala AIR ” Of course you can .Just come in” 

Luke. So we need everybody, can you just take up a position outside in the wood. 

Luke says I have brought them all


Ala AIR Come in come in…it just keeps growing it is going up and up.. Come  in..Is there anything I can do for you? 

Luke TIR let’s have a look. we’ll think about if there is anything we can do and then we will get back to you. 

Step : Team in role start to discuss possible actions. Some teams mime interactions . 

Luke moves around the teams talking in role about  their  ideas. CIR moves around talking to each team about her problem and the state of the house. 


Step: Back in classroom mode we can do ask about what has happened in the fiction. There is a team here which think that ….I don’t know if you think that’s a good idea. Teacher selecting possible ways that the story will go from children’s suggestions 

Step : Think about the implication of tree down- e.g. getting tools , warning neighbours, damage done to forest and woodland, fire wood, 

This business of the word implication- working from what the kids say. If the children say we need to chop the tree down…I am wondering where Ala might be living? [ implication – are the group a team who will only do the work if they are paid? Can we build a team of builders that are doing this to person]

Reading: An article on the Teacher Compass (also known as the Circle of Progression.








Sat Morning

Reading: A blog on developing knowledge for using in a context: Preparing the Ground 

Discussion: Teacher in/out of role, Full role, Twilight role, Secondary role.

Teacher in/out of role – the teacher takes on a role within the fiction, but comes out and back in repeatedly to facilitate and support the students.

Full Role – an adult or child how has a defined role within the fiction and stays there as long as the work needs them to. The teacher is free to facilitate.

Twilight Role – is a role taken by the teacher which is undefined or unnamed and operate on the ‘edge’ of the fiction. Often used to facilitate with a voice from inside the fiction.

Secondary Role – Is a role defined but not yet in the same location: the subject of inquiry. For example, Scott himself who is not ‘in the room’.

After the weekend, Luke and I discussed further examples. This is one we agreed on:

Teach in and out of Role = “How would you expect a giant to walk?” Teacher represents the giant walking under the instructions of the students. Then comes back, “What about his hands?” Etc
Twilight Role = Inside the fiction but undefined. “How are we going to get close enough to see him, without being seen? None of us want to end up as breakfast for a giant!”
Secondary Role = The giant (not yet encountered, but talked about): “They do say, he is as tall as a great oak and his roar makes the ground shake.”
Full Role = The giant encountered and represented by a person: “Look carefully, what is he up to? Quietly now, we don’t want to be caught.”
Shadowy role =  A discussion of the giant as introduced by the teacher in the ‘if I was…’ For example, “If I lived near the giant I’d be worried about my children’s safety.”


Reading: Four Projections of Role

Reading: More on Language: Mind Your Language, High Challenge Low Threat


The King’s Shilling

Step 1: ( The hook) Have you ever seen one of these before ( Holds up a metal tankard with a glass bottom ) discussion about the tankard…it being used to trap conscripts into taking the Kings shilling. 

Step 2: “If you can imagine me as a Captain saying to all my other officers we need crews. People are not come and join our [switch to twilight role crews willingly . Why do you think they are not doing that?” Team respond …”It is dangerous etc. ”

Step 3: Just for the moment can you take the point of view of the Captains deciding what the conscripts do. Not the officers…the officers and paid in gold coins…The conscript class are paid in coppers. What would you want them to do? It’s a sailing boat …there are no engines

Step 4 : Can you just tell the person next to you what you want the conscripts to do?Luke offers a couple of suggestions – “One thing I want my conscripts to do is serve up in the officers mess/ scrub the desks/ hoist the sails etc. [ Luke now addressing team as if they are officers and co-constructing the sort of place and jobs that people do on the boat] 

Step 5: Has anybody else got some jobs they want their conscripts to do? 

Team give ideas….gun management, scrubbing decks ….Luke responds and adds to the ideas the team are giving ..Someone suggests that some conscripts don’t like to climb the masts 

Step 6 : Luke responds in role [ twilight role]  “We actually do have one of those…not on my boat….whether they’re afraid of heights or not they have to get up….Do you find that …they get up….We do need the loaders…Have you found they do it willingly.” 

Step 7 One of group responds now in role ….”They don’t complain to us…they might complain to others they don’t complain to us. “ 

Discussion follows about how we select the responsible team. Thinking about the client….is this a responsible team? …Being the officer class. 

Luke : “If you are taking the kings shilling you are saying you are willing to work for the king…so take care when you take a tankard. “ 

Discussion about choosing responsible team 

Luke talks about why we need to be careful about the morality of who we become in the fiction 

Luke models how the teacher can move in and out of role…an acceptance of moving in and out of role  .Only 40-50 % in role…rest in class learning. 

Discussion about being in role

Luke discusses different types of role ….difference between being in and out of role and being in full role 

Full role : someone stuck in the fiction  – can not come out of the fiction during the dramatic action. 

Secondary role: where at anytime you can invoke someone who is not here yet 

Twilight role : moving in and out of role – subtle changes in language as the teacher slips into the language of the represented role. 

Example Jack and the Beanstalk – Lost and Found team 

Luke: Task: Ok guys can you just put your note books down at the moment. 

Step 1: Can you just for the moment imaging you are a group of people who are very good at finding things. 

Step 2: Can you just for the moment represent yourselves as one of these people who finds things…can you just get into a photograph of this. Imagine that this is for our brochure…you can work in your own or as a team. I will count down 3,2,1  and now you will be in the photograph….. Luke clicks… We have 7 photographs . 

Step 3: Can you decide in your group if you had a photographer with you or if you this was a drawing?  . ( introduces a secondary role- the photographer. ) 

Have you got a photographer, in your team ? 

Step: Could I ask all lost and ask to just stand? We are at the offices …so can you just continue with your admin jobs… Luke gives suggestions…starting now… ( team begin to represent jobs enacting their roles  ) 

Step Luke pauses the team in their action, ” We have  got a job just come in…take a seek. We have a huge person just come in and he has lost an expensive chicken…can you we  ? Have any of you got time to help with this? How about we bring him in and have a chat with him ? ” Now team are fully in the fiction 

Discussion about role as a still picture – that can not hear, see what is going on etc. 

Enacting a role to be able to hear, speak, etc . 

Luke goes  out the door. 

Luke enters in secondary role : Come in arms crossed…head down ” I have accepted the kings shilling…now what do you want me to do” 

Discussion about who else could be characters in the story – Can foreshadow other characters entering the drama that are not here yet? …The family at home…other conscripts – Looking at the impacts of the actions of the characters in the drama. 

Question : How  much pre knowledge is needed? 

Choice – Do we need to follow the orthodox understanding that teachers has knowledge and fills up children? 

Group look at a number of statements about beliefs / principles about how we see learning and the professional choices . 

Technique to draw people into the learning. 

Step : [Scaffolding device ] Just imagine you have got a tankard…Could you just get a coin into there without anybody hearing you. Come and work for me.Its a shilling a silver shilling and it is very thin….Don’t let anyone see or here….The team mime putting the coin inti their tankard. Luke discusses not direct teaching 

Example – animating an inanimate 

Step 1: Would you mind creating a shape …all if you are in the mountain. Can all of you represent part of the mountain. The base is over by the window…the top might be by the door…Can we make sure that everyone is part of the mountain? 

Step 2: This mountain is famous.. many people climb this mountain…This mountain has been here for many many years. The icecaps are melting and the mountain is hurting. As a human I can hear the voice prof the mountain . 

Step 3: We are going to hear the voice of the mountain…if anyone would like to speak representing the mountain. Let us hear what the  mountain is saying ….

Team in role speak as the mountain …e.g  I have been here for millennia you are hiring me…I am changing…it is not too late to change me… 

[animating an inanimate object -poetic and abstract role] 

We are talking about organising  a global explorer expedition world survey…. enabling expeditions to reduce their environmental  impact . This broadcast will go out to prove that they are careful explorers who will care for their environment. We will pay for them for 6 weeks to stay…with accommodation and all the equipment they need to do that job 

Client : 

Responsible Team : A team of explorers called together t give information to everyone else about a safe way of  exploring

Commission : 

Questions…Where would the explorers stay? …house…camp…cabin??? 

Where are the team exploring- desert, poles, rainforest, space, 

Teacher using the technique that they don’t know …getting the information from the children ( the ignorant professional ) 

Scaffolding from underneath and leading from behind.