Sunday, October 10, 2010

Storytelling-A Missing Art in the Classroom

We had another motivating staff meeting this past week.  I love our staff meetings because, although as  Educational Director part of my responsibilities include leading the team of teachers and assistants, I never leave a meeting without learning something from this group of talented women. 

This week one of our teachers has recently been to a workshop on storytelling and she shared with us what she had learned. 

It truly resonated with me that I do not do enough of that wonderful literary experience with children.  One of the key points she shared with us is that when you are telling a story vs. reading it you are connecting with your audience in a much more direct manor.  Your eye contact is constant.  You can involve your audience with motions; verbal or body or both.  You can see their reactions so clearly and really experience their involvement with you.

So motivated by Lini’s sharing, I pulled out a flannel board story that another one of my talented staff members, Clara, had made to What! Cried Granny-a fabulous story about a child who tries to sleep over at his grandmother’s house, but to her dismay she finds she has nothing for him to sleep in or with, so she must be creative!

 I first read the book to my students in the morning so they would be familiar with the story-this is not always necessary-but I thought it made sense for this story.  At the end of the day, I brought out the flannel board pieces and TOLD the story with their help.  This time we all acted out Gramma, we used hand motions for all the work Gramma had to do, they helped me with the repetitive language of the book and became the story.  It was such a community storytelling event.  We had such fun, and we were all engaged together. 

It was a completely different experience than the morning when we had read the book.
I definitely want to make storytelling a greater part of my literacy repertoire.  Give it a try!

And I will have to post pictures of Clara’s flannel board-it is so adorable-but my camera battery died-stay tunedJ

1 comment:

  1. I am sure Bill Gordh would be very pleased to hear that his workshop was so inspiring that even a diluted 2nd hand account motivated this great classroom storytelling experience!
    He stressed adapting the stories so that the phrasing, motions & sound effects feel comfortable to you as the storyteller. I am still working on bringing his musical 3 Billy Goats Gruff to my class.