I too left feeling inspired after Saturday. I plan to begin working on storytelling Monday morning after attending “Storytelling is not just for September.”

Some quick suggestions to follow each day of the week…

  1. model storytelling an event the class experienced together with rich story language across 5 fingers.
  2. class gathers to retell the same story with a storytelling partner. Teacher coaches students to remember characters names, say what the character said, etc.
  3. sit in a circle and retell the same story as a class. “Today we are all going to share the fire drill story as one storyteller.”
  4. while children tell the story, teacher sketches the pictures across pages
  5. teacher writes the words on the last day and students have time to tell their own stories with partners.
How it relates to this class: Rather than drawing the pictures for the story, take pictures of 5 quick, consecutive events for children to tell the story from. Children can document stories themselves using pictures they take in sequence as well.

3 responses to “Storytelling

  1. I love the ideas you posted about storytelling. I do storytelling in my kindergarten classroom every morning and often find it a little boring, to be honest. I think the suggestions that you offered are great ways to make storytelling interesting and keeps students engaged. Also, it clearly shows the connection between storytelling and writing. We often teach our students to plan a story by telling it across their finger or touching each page of their booklet before getting started but I’m not sure if they ever really understand this means. Through these storytelling activities, I think the connection is made clear.

    A TC staff developer once suggested trying storytelling after lunch and yard. In my classroom, we have quiet time after lunch and I always find the children to be too wound up and they have trouble resting. I recently taught the children how to come into the classroom, sit at their seats and practice a story. After a few minutes, they can share their story with their partner. I find it to be a relaxing activity after yard. Teachers can also learn a lot about their students by hearing stories about what happen at lunch and yard.

    Thanks for this suggestions. I will definitely try them out in my classroom!

  2. Thanks for sharing this information about storytelling. And I think that you have provided an excellent way to use photography with it. It is giving me ideas for our group projects.
    What if students made little books out of their pictures? And then these little books got a bin in the library? Could we make this a class book somehow?

    Also, I am thinking about the piece we read “When the Children Take the Chair” by Karen Gallas. I would like to experiment with extending storytelling beyond a unified class story in a way that Karen does.
    She let students share types of stories in a way that they wanted. So for those of us concerned about finding time for fiction (aliens and made up stuff, etc.) storytelling during the community meeting is a great place for it. Gallas even mentions that these stories took up “call-and-response sequences in which their language became repetitive, much like a predictable storybook, and they allowed their audience to take over the repeating part of the text.”
    I think this form of storytelling empowers students to develop their own voice, encourages them to begin writing down their own ideas, and allows the students to learn from each other as readers and writers.

  3. Your blogs about storytelling are great. I have been working on storytelling in my classroom for my mini marp, and your suggestions and ideas are fabulous.
    I have been using mini voice recorders with my students during conferring. I use these when the students are starting a new story and I want them to pause and storytell first. (I also have been modeling storytelling and having writing partners story tell before they go off for idependent work).
    The students then go ahead plan their story and then write it. Afterwards I come back and confer with them again, this time replaying the first conference back to them. They get to hear themselves storytelling – and so far, their reactions and actions have been amazing. They are adding A LOT more details to their stories after listening to themselves, and the next time I record them they are working harder to tell all the details of that particular moment.
    I have found (so far) that recording their storytelling has been a great starting point for me to get my students to write – more.
    If anyone has tried something like this in their classrooms – or has any other great ideas like above, please share!

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