I do a piece of teacher in role to introduce this to the kids...first of all i sit them round and tell them i've got something special to show them...i bring out an old pencil they laugh and make comments that it's just a rubbish pencil. Then i tell them that to me the pencil is very important because my grandfather gave it to me and he was an artist and i used to sit with him whilst he would draw thing sna dhe'd draw pictures for me....i go on and on and get really in to it and ham it up about when he died i took one of his old pencils and now when i hold it it reminds me of him...then i get up and move to my desk and fall over snapping the pencil on the floor in the process....sometimes this is greeted with silience sometimes groans sometimes cries of nooooooooo...and sometimes the boys going 'i didn't really believe it'.... I then go on to explain that the story was rubbish but because the pencil has a back story it becomes a symbol of my relationship with my grandfather. I know that sounds a bit naff on here but it works well in practice. The next step is to get them to do it so i start them in groups of 3 or 4 and their symbol is a chair. The characters for the scene are 1 - Mum/Dad - they love the chair because it was their mothers and they used to be read stories out of it when they were younger. 2 - Grandfather/Grandmother - They get sad around the chair because it reminds them of their wife/husband. 3 - Youth - They hate the chair because every Sunday they have to clean it but they are forbidden to sit on it. Then you can structure the scene how you like, i use monologues and thought tracking but you could do anything with it... That's how i start with symbols...sorry it's very long.