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Lesson Plans for You to Use in
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"Every part of the presentation was superb." - Conference attendee at the Ohio Foreign Language Conference

A Little Bit of History
Storyteller and author Donald Davis says that, “A story is like a line, a wire between the teller and the listener. Both people hold each end of it, and the story walks on that wire between them.”

Oral storytelling is the relating of a tale through voice and gesture. It is not the same as reading a book or reciting a poem. Oral storytelling is more like a conversation. A storyteller creates a series of images. In response, audience members might sit up straight and look intently back at the teller. They might yawn and fidget in their seats. They might smile, laugh and say the words of a familiar story right outloud with the storyteller.

All these responses communicate what the audience is thinking, and the teller can adjust the pace and choice of a story in response. Storytelling is like a musical concert. When the concert is over, the music is only a memory. When a storytelling performance is over, the story is also a memory, but unlike a music concert or a play, storytelling occurs for a particular group, and stories can be adjusted and changed according to the needs of the moment.

For the Lesson Plan discussing the use of Stories, Telling, Writing and Listening, click HERE to open the PDF file Lesson Story Plan.

(Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and download this document. To download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader click HERE.)


Spine Tinglers

Many spooky stories stem from folklore.  Stories such as The Teeny Tiny Woman, The Golden Arm, Boney Legs and Wiley and the Hairy Man appear in picture books and story collections, but they were first told from fiend to friend, parent to child and grandparent to grandchild.  Every culture across the planet has their own collection of spine tinglers because everyone likes to be scared when they know they will come out fine on the other side.

When I was a school librarian, I kept a list tacked up behind my desk for Alvin Schwarts's Scary Story books.  We couldn't seem to buy enough copies.  Spooky stories, when chosen well, are enjoyed by children and adults alike.  They are an exciting and appropriate way to explore the world of folklore.

For the Lesson Plan that is aimed at 1st-2nd grade, click HERE  to open the PDF file  Is That Really True?

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Telling Stories with String
Did you learn Cat’s Cradle when you were in school? String figures and string stories have been around for almost as long as people have been on earth. It is impossible to name a continent which does not have its own set of figures representing the people, objects and animals found there. The Navajo used string figures as a way to encourage the memorization needed for the complicated patterns involved in weaving and sand painting. Some cultures used figures as astronomical devices. Other cultures used them in religious ceremonies. Most often string figures have been used just for fun. They have helped many long winter nights to pass quickly in an igloo or a hogan.

When children learn to create string figures, they are exercising their powers of concentration and coordination and creating paths of muscular memory. Learning a new skill, such as this, can sometimes be frustrating, but it just takes a little patience. The reward is always worth the effort.

For the Lesson Plan Telling Stories with String, click HERE to open the PDF file.

(Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and download this document. To download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader click HERE.)



"It was great. She inspired me to tell stories." - Another conference attendee at the Ohio Foreign Language Conference


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