Thursday, May 22, 2014

Storytelling: Putting the 'Fun' in the Fundamentals!


Ring Around the Rosie
by Edward Henry Potthast,1910-1915
Since 2011 I have taught a storytelling residency at a private school in Massachusetts. The staff and students understand the value of storytelling and always make me feel welcome, respected and appreciated, but this year it didn’t end with the student’s final performance.

Last week I was delighted to find an envelope in my mailbox filled with thoughtful and creative thank you cards from all 30 students. I thought I would share some of the beautiful artwork, illustrating their stories, along with their impressions of the time we spent together.







Some comments from the student's thank you cards:
  • “I became less nervous and more confident in myself.”
  • “Thank you for helping me get over my stage fright.”
  •  “Thank you for teaching me how to interact with the audience.”
  • “You taught me a lot. This will help me in life.”
  • “I like how your ‘I wonder if’s’ were never demanding and always  kind.
  • “Thank you for helping me with voice and gestures. I became so much better at performing.”
  • “You helped me connect with my story and learn more about it.”
  • “I really enjoyed the experience!”
  • “I loved the bouncing ball game. It helped me focus on my story.”
  • “Storytelling was my favorite unit and you are my favorite teacher!”
  • “Storytelling was the best part of my year.”
  • “I really liked how you used games to help us with the performance.”
  •  “I wish we could have storytelling every year!”
  • “I had so much fun at storytelling!”
  •  “If I had three wishes I would wish you would come back to school.”

As part of my residency we learn the fundamentals of presentation, eye contact, body language, gestures, vocal intonation, etc. However, I also believe that learning a story is a whole body experience and children need to move! I use a mix of written and interactive activities to help them fully connect with their stories and characters, and I end every class with a storytelling game. Finish with fun and they will always come back for more!

Every storyteller knows that our work complements the Common Core Standards in many areas, including oral presentation, writing, and reading, but it does so much more. Storytelling creates confidence, camaraderie and a willingness to play, things that can’t be measured on standardized tests; it puts the fun in the fundamentals!


And here's some fun for you! If you can guess the titles of three of the four stories pictured in the above student artwork I will send you a copy of my new book, Story by Story: Creating a Student Storytelling Troupe and Making the Common Core Exciting , which offers twelve original storytelling activities. The first one to comment on the blog with three correct answers wins! Hint: One of the titles is embedded in one of the student's comments above.

IMPORTANT: Please note, your comment won’t be posted on the blog until I approve it for publication; this cuts down on spam. However, I will know who responds with the correct answer first by the notification in my email.


Karen Chace 2014 ©
Permission for private use is granted. Distribution, either electronically or on paper is prohibited without my expressed written permission. For permission please contact me at storybug@aol.com. Of course, if you wish to link to my blog via your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook page or Twitter please feel free to do so; I greatly appreciate your support and personal integrity.

                                                                                                                                                   

19 comments:

Ms. Piazzi said...

What great comments from those kids! You can tell that they were respected and encouraged, and learned to treat you that way as well. I think that three of the stories were "Fortunately" (or That was Good...), The Three Wishes, and The Swiss Family Flyingcheese... or maybe Aladdin's Holey Yellow Carpet...or The Boy Who Cried Wolf meets The Three Billy Goats Gruff.
Congratulations on another successful residency, and on your book as well!

Karen Chace said...

Hi Joanne,

Thank you for your wonderful comments and note of congratulations. You have two of the three stories correct. The last one is wrong. Try again!

Karen

Tony Toledo said...

Ms Piazzi beat me to answering.. My guesses, The Three Wishes, Three Little Pigs, That's Good, NO That's Bad. I am going to buy your book, Ms Chace. Yes, I am. Grin.

Karen Chace said...

Hi Tony,

Thanks for playing but imagine a buzzer going off...bzzzzzzz wrong answers. :)

Karen

Tony Toledo said...

Oh, the buzzer! The crowd ohs and ahs and I slink off stage wondering what in the world the three stories are. On my best days I am only average. Golly, gee whiz, today must be one of the below 50 percent days. Rock on, Karen Chace, Rock on!

Karen Chace said...

You my friend could NEVER be average! :)

Karen

Ms. Piazzi said...

"The Daring Young Man and the Flying Swiss Cheese?" "Spongebob Squarepants' Forest Flight?" "Tie a Yellow Blankie Round the Old Oak Tree?" I give up!!

Anonymous said...

"The Daring Young Man and the Flying Swiss Cheese?" "Spongebob Squarepants' Forest Flight?" "Tie a Yellow Blankie Round the Old Oak Tree?" I give up!!

Joey Talbert said...

So, I am hopeless with computers and have no idea if my first reply actually got to you, so I am trying again :)
My guesses are; Fortunately, Unfortunately
The three wishes
An aesop's fable about a crow with a piece of cheese and a fox who tricks her into dropping it. I think it is called the fox and the cheese.
Joey

Karen Chace said...

Hi Joanne,

Ding, ding, ding...winner winner chicken dinner! You got all three!! I will make sure you receive your book when it is published this July. Congratulations.

Congratulations and thanks for playing along. I will make sure you receive the book when it is published this July!

Karen

Karen Chace said...

Oops, that last message was meant for Joey Talbert; she is the winner!
Thanks for playing along Joey.

Karen

Ms. Piazzi said...

No, you got it right - Joey's real name is Joanne!

Joey Talbert said...

Yipee!! Not only did I manage to reply, but I won :) I am so excited!! I can't wait to read your book. Thanks!
Joey

Jackson Gillman said...

I see that #3 still has people stumped, but perhaps Joanne was getting warm. How 'bout: Three Billy Sheep Fluff?

Karen Chace said...

Hi Jackson,

Sorry, baaaaad choice, no luck Try again. :)

Karen

Joan said...

three wishes
fox and cheese--I di d not know the third, fortunately, unfortuanlately but glad someone else got it---I will have to look that one up!

Karen Chace said...

Hi Joan,

Thanks for trying. :) Yes, that story is also known as Oh That's Good/No That's Bad. A great tandem tale for students to tell. So much fun.

Karen

Beverly Cottman said...

I love the piece of cheese falling out of the tree and not a crow or fox in sight. The marvelous images story listeners form in their heads and the fabulous art work that is produced is what keeps storytelling alive. Peace.

Karen Chace said...

That is such a lovely observation Beverly! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

Karen