“Misty Forest,” by Larisa

Once a legend was told about a little girl called Skye and her parents who went for a family trip in the Misty Forest and had never been back since 2001. One day on January 13, 2010 a girl called Jemma Wilson decided to go inside the Misty Forest even though the police told everyone to stay out. As she entered the forest she heard the ground shaking from below and also heard violins and someone singing. As she traveled deeper into the forest she felt a heat energy or a source that made her feel tired. She decided to rest in an old abandoned cabin. When she entered she saw another person inside floating but that person ran away. Jemma decided to go after her and saw that girl from the legend Skye.

Skye told Jemma to leave but she disagreed. Jemma asked if she was still alive but Skye said no. She said that her parents were not alive as well but were a living soul, so she needed to find them.

Jemma said, “This is why you were guarding the forest and scaring the people you wanted to find your parents.”

Skye looked pale and sad that after all these years she couldn’t find them.

Jemma said, “Do you want help finding them?”

Skye accepted her help and they traveled for days and Jemma’s friends and parents were looking for her and were terrified that she was gone. After one week of searching for Skye’s parents they found a lot of clues that all ended up in the same place. The part of the Misty Forest that Skye was scared of she said she was scared of because something huge attacked her and her parents in there. Jemma said that if they wanted to find her parents then they had to go look in there because everything led to there. So Skye and Jemma went inside the deepest place in the Forest and they looked and looked and looked. Suddenly something attacked Jemma and it was a type of lion that was huge but luckily Jemma knew how to calm the lion down and they decided to travel on the lions back because they were very tired and hungry.

They traveled a little more until they found a huge cabin in the middle and when someone came out they stared at Skye and ran toward her. It was her parents and as a gift Skye’s parents teleported Jemma back to her parents. Jemma’s parents thought it was a miracle that their daughter just came out of nowhere. Jemma started explaining where she had been and introduced Skye. Skye also started explaining to her parents and introduced Jemma, and after a few years their parents were best friends and Jemma and Skye had a lot of friends.

“Nellie” written by, Isabella, Riley, Angelina, and Anvitha




 
 
A map of Magic City 

In the year 2020 the gravity went missing in Magic City. Here for the first time is the story of this historic moment, as told by those who witnesses it first hand.
Once upon a time, there lived a Guardian of the City named Nellie. Nellie was a 14-year-old cat fairy. They had wings, could turn between cat fairy and human form, and liked to wear a flower crown. They also liked to fight off monsters who would threaten the city, as well as their rival, Dark Destro, leader of the mountain lions. They lived in an underground secret base with a powerful security system.

It was a typical day for Nellie. They woke up, defeated Dark Destro, ate breakfast, and started practicing their battle techniques using a bag full of dirt as a punching bag. Then they carefully got into their gold car and drove down to the chocolate river. They got down to the chocolate river and had a picnic with s’mores.

They also went shopping for the day and picked up superhero pills from the grocery store. Once their shopping was done they decided to start looking for villains on Devil Street (where most of the city’s villains lived).

Nellie was starting to fly around Devil Street when suddenly something changed. They realized they weren’t flying anymore—they were floating. Nellie wasn’t the only thing floating, either. So were the houses, so was the chocolate from the chocolate river, and all the people on Devil Street. Gravity was gone!

Nellie didn’t know what was happening. But suddenly a fairy with leaf wings, rainbow hair, and clothes made of moss appeared before them.
The fairy said, “My name is Anastasia. The gravity gem has gone missing! No one knew that there was a gravity gem, but… NOW IT’S GONE! AND I’M TELLING YOU, IT SHATTERED INTO PIECES! AND NOW YOU GOTTA FIND IT!!”

Nellie thought to themself, “Oh my god, such a rude fairy. Bossy!” But they didn’t say it out loud. Instead they said, “Okay, fine! But you gotta do me two favours… Give me thousands of super power pills. And also tell me where it is!”
So Anastasia told Nellie where the gem pieces were: in the Central Tower, behind a door that had never been opened before. But Anastasia had the only key, and was willing to open it for Nellie. However, Anastasia warned Nellie that Dark Destro was working to keep gravity broken.
Dark Destro had sent a dragon and two mountain lions to guard the gem pieces, keeping anyone from getting close.

Nellie knew that the dragon must have been hypnotized by Dark Destro, so they needed to break Dark Destro’s control.
Nellie had a secret power that they only liked to use at the most important times… they turned into a super, SUPER cute cat! The cat was so cute that it de-hyp- notized the dragon, breaking Dark Destro’s control! The cuteness was so strong that Dark Destro’s hypnosis controller exploded in Dark Destro’s hands!

The mountain lions saw what was happening and tried to attack Nellie. The dragon flew in and protected Nellie though. The dragon was on Nellie’s side!

And the lions were defeated!

Nellie gathered the gem pieces and reformed the gravity gem. They then put the gravity gem into the chocolate river, restoring gravity. As the chocolate river and all the houses and people returned to the ground, chocolate began raining from the sky.

“Candy Land,” by Shreyashi

One day, Nella went to her friend Beary’s house. When she arrived they both went upstairs and made a pillow fort.

Then Beary said, “Let’s go to Phoenix’s house”, so Nella called Phoenix and asked if she and Beary could come over for a sleepover.

Phoenix said “Ok, I will pick both of you up. Make sure you guys get your stuff”. They both got their stuff ready. A few minutes later, Phoenix arrived and they all went in the camping van.

Nella said, “Do you guys want to go to Candy Land?”

Both of them nodded. They all went to the Candy Land and met their friend Gummy, the Gummy Bear. All of them went down the sour strip candy slide and the twizzler swing.

They had a fun day and finally, they went to rest on their cotton candy bed.

“Alicia,” written by Mayukha, Saraniya, and DJ

Alicia was an 8-year-old human who was secretly a superhero at night. She was super strong and super powerful. Her most secret power was lava rainbow where she shot lava out of her wrists. Her best friends were her pet blue bird and robot named Carl. One day Alicia was studying math. She liked math. Alicia got stuck on a math question, so she called her pet bird, Luna, for help. Luna was very smart.

When Luna got to her room she didn’t know the answer, so Alicia called Carl. Carl had four arms and he was excellent at math. When Carl got there he solved the problem, so Alicia was good.

Then it was nighttime, that’s when the evil ninjas came out. The ninjas were always trying to destroy the world. They slimed the city and threw stink bombs that made people go to sleep. The slime was also smelly.

Alicia wanted to save the city with Luna and Carl. Alicia fought the ninjas using her lava power and her water power. Her lava power made everybody melt. Her water power was very cold and it froze ninjas.

Carl was a robot, so he didn’t fall asleep when the ninjas threw their stink bombs— that made him very powerful. Luna had moon power that helped people float and walk on air. Luna had space bombs that could help everybody not to fall asleep, or heal their injuries.

Luna saw the ninjas with her special eyes (she lived in space, so she could see everything), and she told Alicia. The ninjas were sliming things and Alicia used her water power to freeze everyone. Next Alicia, Carl, and Luna went to the beach.

It was National Friendship Day in United City. There was a giant party at the beach. People were eating cake, and drinking juice—those were things the ninjas liked to do! Alicia, Carl, and Luna invited the ninjas to join the party! Luna put friendship dust on the ninjas. Her friendship dust was pink with a little bit of red and it sparkled. Also, it smelled like chocolate chip cookies.

The ninjas felt very happy to have joined the party. The ninjas suggested that characters from United City’s neighbourhoods combine their powers to protect the city.

So, Charlie, Charlie and Ely and Alicia combined their powers.

Suddenly some sun liquid fell from the sky and onto Alicia’s volcano house. The sun liquid brought new bad: Sun Bad Guys! The Sun Bad Guys were wearing black and white striped t-shirts, black pants, black shoes, and black hats. Alicia used fire to fight the Sun Bad Guys. Alicia held a torch to the Sun Bad Guys eyes and they melted back to the sun. When the Sun Bad Guys got back to the sun, they looked back down at United City and saw the party. The party looked awesome and fun, so they went back!

Alicia saw the Sun Bad Buys and thought, what are they doing back here? Alicia said the Sun Bad Guys could stay at the party if they agreed not to use their powers. Luna used her friendship dust again. The smell of chocolate chip cookies made the bad guys extra nice.

Everybody danced together on the beach.

Alicia played these songs: “All The Love In The World”, “Havana”, “Back To Love”, and “My Favourite Things”. The ninjas and the Sun Bad Guys flossed. They ate chocolate bars and drank orange juice. The ninjas ate cupcakes and slime pizza. Luna used her magic to make lots of rainbow balloons fall from the sky. Then, everyone in the city exchanged friendship presents!

Writing as healing for children, by Zaima Ahmed

Writing is a great way of expressing what is in your heart. Little minds have plenty of imagination and thoughts going on in their minds, but they don’t know how to talk about it always, especially if they are going through something traumatic.

Below are 5 ways in which you can encourage your child to write, and Story Planet available in our Alien Art Market which can help you do so :  

  1. Encourage your child to write a journal every day and reward them with a treat to keep them motivated. Let them pick their journal book and a special pen to write. When it comes to writing, children can get bored easily, so including fun stuff can motivate them – like our Character Zine! 

2. Inspire them to write stories. Sometimes kids portray themselves through their story characters or express their feelings through the story they are writing. There is plenty of free story writing worksheets available on the internet that you can download and print. These worksheets make it easy to form a story.

3. Be their role model. If you write a journal every day, your child will follow you and do the same.

4. Fun crafts and games that involve writing. For instance, you could create a fun DIY papercraft box for 3 emotions, “happy,” “sad”, and “angry.” Then you could put a notepad beside the boxes and tell your child to write about their feelings whenever they are going through any of the difficult emotions and then put the paper in the appropriate box. Our Flash Card Fiction game is in the making and will be sure to get kids thinking!

5. Turn your child’s writing into books. This can be very exciting for your child and it will give your child a sense of accomplishment and will improve their self-esteem. You could compile all of your child’s writings into a book every year and create an amazing cover every time. This way you can find all the stories in one place and you won’t lose them. 

“Jerry,” by Anna, grade 5

There was a rat named Jerry who made a hole. The hole was big. A human kicked the hole, then it got blocked. Jerry cried. So he made a private hole. All the rats helped.

Jerry lived in the hole for 18 years. The mouse ate dirt. Jerry ate dirt. And the rats ate dirt. The dirt was big. Jerry was old, and he loved the hole.

The mouse was 32 years old. The mouse was big. Jerry was big. A human came and kicked the hole, but he couldn’t kick it because the hole was too strong. Jerry bit the human. The human ran away. The human cried. Jerry was happy because the human wasn’t going to kick the hole. The mouse was happy too!

The mouse was 77 years old and Jerry was 81 years old. Jerry and the mouse couldn’t die. 1785 years later, he was 1748 years old.

The mouse was 1754 years old. They were very old. The hole was still there. Jerry ate ants.

Jerry’s mom and dad could not die. The mom was 6673 years old and the dad was 8435 years old. They were very old. The hole was still there, and Jerry and mouse were happy. The human who tried to kick the hole passed away. Now Jerry did not know but he was happy that no one could kick the hole anymore.

Sally, by students in Ms. Kent’s class

Once upon a time there was a girl named Sally. Sally Hensen was her full name. Sally lived on a farm until she was 12.

Sally Hensen was a very nice, kind, and generous girl. When she was in first grade, she would always share her snack with her classmates (which she wasn’t supposed to do).

When she got older she shared even more and more; she shared even more than her snacks. Every month she would go with her mom to go to the clothing donation with her mom to donate some clothes to the homeless.

On the day she was told she was moving, she was excited and scared and she was going to live with her cousins in Cornelia Town. Her parents couldn’t move because there was too much work on the farm.

Coping with COVID-19 as a graduate student, by Zaima Ahmed

“Very thankful to experience these enchanting trees on my everyday walks” – Zaima Ahmed

COVID -19 entered all of our lives without any notice. Our everyday normal lifestyle has been disrupted and there is a lot of uncertainty about what the future holds. It can be quite difficult when this is the first time you have experienced being at home all day and trying to get everything done from home. Quarantine has come with a lot of pain of not being able to meet friends and family and doing the things we love doing.

I am a student who recently graduated from a Graduate certification program in Marketing at  York University. COVID-19 entered my life when I reached almost the end of my program where there were many project deadlines. It became really challenging for me when all of my classes switched from in person to online. I no longer had in class activities or detailed lectures that I used to have before, no in person group meetings and everything had to be sorted online which was a big challenge for me. Apart from that, managing my groceries, observing proper safety measures, finding essential items that were out of stock and  the non-stop news and social media coverage on the pandemic were adding to my challenges. 

My mental health kept deteriorating and I realized that my mindset needed some change. 

I reminded myself that it was normal to have challenges in life and I have to accept that and face it with a positive mindset. If I didn’t help myself, I wouldn’t be able to help my loved ones, too. So I decided to find some resources online to help myself cope with this pandemic. 

I really liked the Child Mind Institute’s online blog post, “Anxiety and Coping with the Coronavirus,” by Rachel Ehmke. In this Blog post, Rachel shares some tips on dealing with anxiety in a healthy way.  The first tip that was super helpful to me was about tolerating uncertainty: the treatment for anxiety was not to make fear go away but to manage fear and tolerate uncertainty.  Anxiety and fear are both a part of our lives and there is nothing that exists that will make them fully vanish from our lives. From time to time they will appear and we need to accept them and face them with courage. This tip helped me to take my first step towards a positive mindset. 

“Lovely orange tulips brightens my day whenever I see them”

The second tip was to start regularly practising meditation, which is a tool to help people stay calm and grounded in the present moment by not getting caught up in the future or the past.  This was something that really helped me focus on my daily tasks instead of getting caught up in my thoughts about things I was worried about. I started practising meditation using the “Headspace” app. I did a few free sessions before buying the full premium version. At first it was very difficult for me to stay calm, but slowly I began to master this skill after doing a couple of sessions. 

Along with meditation, exercising for at least 30 minutes at home regularly has really made me feel more active and energetic and has also helped my mood stay more positive throughout the day. Since I was at home all day I was moving less so I realized that exercising more frequently was really important for my health. I did some Cardio workouts using my home elliptical machine and also did many HIIT workouts watching Fitness Blender workout videos on YouTube. 

My mother suggested that I pick some of my hobbies and start planning out some activities in my routine to make my days enjoyable. Now that summer has come, it’s the perfect weather to take beautiful photographs outside, so I started taking photographs of beautiful trees, flowers and birds. I love taking photographs and it made me feel great and calm. I also started baking new cake recipes I never tried before for my family. I am not someone who is great at cooking so when the cakes turned out great, I felt great. 

I am a Muslim who prays 5 times a day. My daily prayers and my faith and hope in God has given me the strength to keep going during this painful time. I believe that storms don’t last forever and soon better days are coming. Every suffering that we all go through in life is designed to help us learn, grow and become better individuals. 

We all need to strive towards a positive and healthy mindset during this pandemic so that we can support each other and survive this together. Human beings have been blessed with a lot of potential and are capable of doing so many things. I believe that we can stay strong and go through this too.

“Chini observing her new toy”

Online StoryMakers

Previously, we shared with you the characters our online StoryMaker students have developed, but every character needs a setting for the story!

Breaking the usual 3 hour workshop into more bite-size one hour online workshops, the second sessions of these have seen some fantastical settings developed and come to life by our Story Planet artists.

Drago’s Enchanted Forest

Squidson Washington III’s Cloud World

Doughnut City

Hakuna’s Spacious Jungle

The success of these workshops has even spurred us to develop a new workshop, which we are excited to be unveiling publicly soon!

A few more words on our StoryMaker from teachers and students:

“Story Maker gave my grade 5 students the opportunity to further utilize their own creativeness and broaden their understanding towards nonfiction and fiction stories.” –  Ms. Darote

“My opinion about Story Planet is terrific…..that’s because it’s like acting but you aren’t acting in a sense this makes me feel like I can just feel free and say whatever comes to mind because I know that they’ll accept it.” – Treshauna (student)

What has Story Planet been up to recently?

We have been working with four different classes to bring the magic of the StoryMaker workshop live to Zoom! Breaking up each workshop into three weekly one-hour meetings, these workshops allow the kids involved to momentarily leave behind the confines of their houses – some of whom have not left since the lock-down began – and indulge in their imaginations. For others, it’s a rare chance to log online and see their friends face to face. Although still far removed from the normality of a classroom and face-to-face meetings, being able to connect and bridge our worlds through Zoom has sparked dozens of embers we are excited to watch grow into bigger stories.

What the teachers are saying

I have had the immense pleasure of working with Story Planet several times over the last few years but I have never appreciated them as much as I do now during these challenging times.” Heidi Seibert (teacher)

This is the first time since the lock-down started that it feels like school!” – Mr Ahmad

The writing has been great, the kids are loving it! I’m so excited and proud of my kids for what they’ve done” – Ms Kent

And here are the characters over 40 students have collectively imagined:

Four-eyed Willy, Thunderhorn, and Snowy

Blake III and Hakuna

Sicky The Germ Monster

Zord – a half human, half T-Rex!

Squidson Washington III and Drago

To ensure we can keep supporting more students during the lock-down and beyond, donate to Story Planet here: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/13205 or via the link at the top of this page.

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