Storytelling in the Classroom
Example Outline For a Three Day Workshop
Define the goal / purpose for the story you want to tell
- Do you want to enhance a curriculum topic?
- to give a better understanding of history and historical people
- to help students with creative language arts through examples
- to teach animal adaptations, plant uses, and much more through memorable stories
- to open minds to scientific discovery
- to develop deeper understanding about geology, astronomy, and more
- to help preschoolers and older children develop a head for math
- Do you want to improve empathy and mental health?
- better understanding of motivations and human nature
- to help deal with stress and emotions
- encourage with stories of people like them growing and succeeding in their own ways
- Or something completely different?
Choose the best story to accomplish your goal / purpose
- Consider stories you saw / experienced, heard, and read
- Consider your audience – age, level, interest
- Search for stories by motif – librarians are a great help
- Could it be an urban legend?
- Maybe a trickster story?
- can be human animal, or other characters, even the wind
- are often cautionary tales
- Do you need a story that teaches and heals? I have found that stories connect the 4 aspects of the sacred hoop mind /body/ heart/ spirit
◦ Create your own story
Develop your story
- Become familiar with the story
- decide on the setting
- use the Story Development Activity Sheet
Develop the characters
- Decide who’s point of view to tell the story from
- is it the traditional hero / heroine – or someone else?
- Choose any other characters you need to offer interest, relationship, and to move the story along
- get a good idea about their temperament and relevant likes and dislike – these will make your stories live
Colour the Story
- add vibrancy and interest to the story
- consider what the characters smell, see, and feel
- include plot twists and problems solved along the way
- consider symbolism and foreshadowing
Bring Yourself to the Story
- What are some things you know and can talk about in your story? Maybe you can start a fire with no matches or lighter (or gasoline – lol), maybe you tie knots, canoe, pick berries, bake or fry bannock, grow a garden, use natural medicines, swim, play hockey, bead or tuft. Whatever you know can become a rich part of the right story.
Develop storytelling as part of your curriculum
- “Oral language is the foundation of literacy…to become discerning, lifelong learners, students at all grades need to develop fluency and confidence in their oral language abilities” -Alberta Learning, English Language Arts Curriculum
Developing Vocal & Posture Awareness
- We all have habits that affect our posture and vocal abilities. Learn about yours.
You can also read stories, or share recordings
- It may not be possible for you to personally tell every story that your class would benefit from. You could read to them utilizing storytelling skills to bring interest. You can also share recorded stories that you may find. I’ve got many available in my StoryWork Library.
Share the stories developed during the workshop
- get used to telling your story so you don’t lose it
- get some valuable feedback