Sometimes we tell stories in the library.
This year marks my third 3rd Grade Storytelling Festival in the Upham Library and I do feel like they get better each time around.
Thanks to the Upham PTO awarding us a mini-grant, we were able to bring in a professional storyteller to both 3rd grade classes to tell stories, but also to talk about the process of selecting and learning a story that you want to tell. Cindy Rivka Marshall was that storyteller and she was great (here's the link to her website: link). The students enjoyed her storytelling and we also put her story mapping idea to work.
My emphasis in this unit is that students select a story they like - after all, who wants to tell a tale that they can't stand? They can chose from a wide variety of folktales from all over the world. We use folktales for our storytelling because these are stories that started off being spoken aloud long before they were written down. After picking a story to tell, students need to learn the story in their own words rather than memorizing the words from the book. After students learn the story and can tell it all the way through in their own words then they start to add different voices and changes in the volume of their voice as well as movements and gestures to make their telling more interesting and engaging for the listeners.
To take some of the performance pressure off, we had students scattered around the library performing their story to who ever stopped at their station. Students were able to tell their story on average 3-5 times and many of them told me that each time it got a little better. Our audience was made up of classmates (everyone got to be both storyteller and listener), parents and kindergarteners.
I hope everyone gets a chance to roast some marshmallows over the campfire this summer and tell a story under the stars. It doesn't get much better than that.
Congratulations to all my 3rd grade storytellers!