storytelling in school shows

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  • #7756
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    From: “ruehlmann”

    Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2017 14:34:04 -0400 (EDT)


    Storytellers!

    I’m hoping to get a little clarity from those of you who tell in schools about what your goals are for assemblies.

    I’ve been doing assemblies for years.  Sometimes I’ve done stories from history or programs that were so theme based that the educational component is built in, partly because I know that schools are very focused on wanting curriculum connections.
    I have a somewhat different scenario that I’d like to work on this time.
    I am going to do a whole program of Victorian era stories that are literary but public domain .  They won’t be verbatim; I’ll be editing for length and telling in my own words  (they’re not by well-known authors like Poe or Kipling!)
    So here’s my query:
    1.  What do other storytellers, working in schools, suggest about what needs or does not need to be accomplished during school assemblies?
    2.  Because I’ll be doing assemblies (probably 3-6th grade for this project), not visiting classrooms, I’m not thinking of including open-ended discussion.  I am curious, though.  Do tellers find open-ended discussions in a large assembly to be a fruitful use of time?  (I actually do know a couple of tellers who do this successfully, but have not been particularly drawn to doing it myself beyond a short Q&A at the end.)
    3.  I have always believed in just telling stories and not moralizing about them or analyzing them in a performance setting.  But I’m wondering if I should address anything like this in order to appeal to what teachers want to accomplish.  So tellers, do you pontificate at all–to satisfy teacher/administration need to be educational?
    For instance do you ever talk about story structure (especially since these are literary stories that tell a bit like folklore)?  or story intention?
    Or do you just tell the story, provide a teacher guide and hope the teacher follows up?
    One thing that I am considering is using introductions to the stories to slip in tidbits about the Victorian time period and culture.
    I sure would appreciate any insight people have!
    Thanks,
    Lynn Ruehlmann
    #7758
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    From: “Constance Vidor”
    Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2017 19:00:13 -0400

    Lynn,

    I am a school librarian and I tell stories at assemblies in my school several times a year. I have found that I have to “market” myself and compete to get that precious assembly time, even though I am free!

    You asked about open ended discussion, so I’ll respond to that.

    An approach that has worked well for me is to include open ended discussions within the storytelling. Frankly I would prefer and feel it is a more authentic and magical experience for audiences to experience a story without the interruption of pausing for discussions—but I am finding that my community is more responsive to programs that include a lot of “active involvement” in the form of discussion and students talking. (I think listening is “active!!!!”)

    Here is how I do it: I ask teachers to group students in pairs or trios (“buddy groups” and sit with their buddies in the assembly.) It is nice if you can arrange for each buddy group to contain a mix of ages. I have combined 5th and 6th graders with 2nd graders and 1st graders with 4th graders. But you could have any kind of combination.

    I tell the story, pausing at certain intervals and asking students to turn to their buddies and discuss possible responses to a question that I pose. “What advice do you think the queen gave to her son?” “How do you think the hero answered this riddle?” and so on. Then I give a few buddy groups an opportunity to share their response with the entire group.

    My students really enjoy this and I have heard some wonderful insights from them during the “share” parts of the programs. This approach can be adapted for many kinds of stories and can encourage critical thinking and ethical reflection. For example, you could ask, “Do you think that was a WISE (or KIND or FAIR) choice and why?”

    I was inspired to explore this approach by Csenge Zalka, who describes a way to incorporate question-discussion-sharing in one of the stories in her book Tales of Superhuman Powers.

    If you decide to try this, let us know how it worked for you. Best of luck!

    #7759
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    From: “Richard Martin”
    Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2017 07:29:15 +0200

    On 30 Mar 2017, at 01:00, Constance Vidor (via storytell list) <storytell+constancevidor=gmail.com@lists.storynet.org> wrote:
    I tell the story, pausing at certain intervals and asking students to turn to their buddies and discuss possible responses to a question that I pose. “What advice do you think the queen gave to her son?” “How do you think the hero answered this riddle?” and so on. Then I give a few buddy groups an opportunity to share their response with the entire group.

    Very sound methodology. It was the basis of much of my classroom teaching (English as a foreign language) in over 30 years in a German high school. My only amazement is that students told me so few other teachers do it!

    Richard Martin
    **************
    The Terrified Suitors is the latest upload to the video gallery – over 60 folk tales available to watch

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