Kathleen and I went to the Tester day workshop, which was held at Lincoln University.
The workshop was presented by Lisbeth Swanson, who has over 30 years of experience in education. Her experiences include a Principal position, working in support services, RTLlit and a few more.
Purpose of the workshop
Storytelling Schools was founded by a group of teachers and writers in the U.K. Their main idea is that by learning to tell stories and make verbal presentations, children develop greater oral communication skills while mastering the language and ideas they need for subsequent writing. The teachers all across countries have been noticing that the oral language skills of new entrant children have been decreasing over the years. We need to ‘gift’ our children the language they need and through storytelling we are able to do this.
Some children heard thirty million fewer words by their 4th birthdays than others. The children who heard more words were better prepared when they entered school.
The hierarchy of Literacy
Spoken language at the heart of literacy.
Key elements of the Storytelling:
The elements of storytelling:
- Setting the scene - Use of props such as a cape, a hat, chanting or special chimes etc. Make this an exciting experience and build up the anticipation...
- Story - Fairytales stories are a good start as the storyteller needs to be able to tell the story from memory. The storyteller needs to know the story well.
- Use gestures as a signpost of the story development
- Plant the keywords
- Have participant parts - join in for repeat phrases, chanting or singing etc.
- Story map - as soon as the story ends, ask children to draw a story map
- N.B. Get the children to draw the map themselves and don’t provide them with pictures to glue on
- Teach how to talk the map
- Just the bare bones of the story - summarising
- Get children to talk their map to their peers - memorising
- Get the children to take the story map home to tell their parents (Let the parents know what it’s about prior)
- Story tiles - Can be gestures only or the keywords with gestures.
- Story stepping
Stepping - paragraphing skill
Shortening the steps - more summarising skills
- Plot Matrix - This should be done as a whole group.
This can be filled out in writing or pictures.
- Mood map - Could use the Mood map for each matrix. This also should be done as a whole group.
- Play - Story spoons, puppets, props, costumes, Painted stones, small world play, story suitcase, living exhibition story (items from a story)
- Character interviews / Hot seaters interview
- Story map can be put on display after the plot matrix is done.
- Thought Tunnel - pros and cons
Story corner with books and props
We felt that it would be a great way to improve our children’s listening and oral language skills, not to mention expanding their vocabulary. We both came away excited about getting storytelling started in our school.
Written by Joanne & Kathleen