Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dicing Up Your Story: New Storytelling Activity

Song Dynasty
by
Su Hanchen, mid 12th Century
Yesterday I met with my sixth and seventh grade storytelling troupe. They have already selected their stories so we spent some time identifying where they could add gestures as they told their tales.

I began by asking them to tell aloud, separately, and simultaneously. As I walked around the room, listening and watching, I noticed many natural movements coming to life.  One student, Soraya, was completely immersed in the story; her body bent forward, arms outstretched, her face displaying all the hallmarks of an intense conversation as she spoke some of the dialogue. So convincing was her body language I had to look twice to see if she was actually speaking with another student. When I remarked on it later during our discussion, she was surprised by my description. She truly didn’t realize what she was doing; it was a natural extension of stepping into her story.


After everyone finished I asked them to complete the written exercise,
Giant Gestures, then called everyone into a circle. Using a large, foam dice each student took turns tossing it. Whatever number came up they performed that number of gestures from their story, while explaining the part of the story the gesture complemented. Since the numbers went from one to six, and the written exercise only asked for five gestures, if six came up they shared five gestures and one facial expression.


They had a great time and didn’t want to stop. Luke, another student asked, “Do you know the Wonder Ball song?” He suggested we pass the dice as we sang the song, and the student left holding the dice would share a gesture. I liked the idea and added, “Since three is the magic number in fairytales let’s share two gestures and one facial expression.” Once a student was ‘out’ they sat in the middle of the circle urging their friends on.

I can easily imagine this dice being used for other story parts as well. Perhaps you might attach something specific to each number. For example:
#1 = gesture
#2 = two lines of dialogue
#3 = three facial expressions
#4 = four adjectives to describe someone in your story
#5 = use your five senses to describe the setting of your story
#6 = share six (major or minor) events that happen in your story

* These games are free for you to use in your work. However, I  do ask that you respect copyright and offer attribution.
 

After both games they completed a second written exercise, Story Snapshot. I was delighted to read the highly descriptive and detailed answers they gave for the questions. The combination of telling their stories aloud, completing Giant Gestures first, transitioning to activities that engaged the entire body, and back to one last written exercise, Story Snapshot, worked! The entire process complemented and reinforced their gestures, facial expression, story sequence, imagination, and team spirit, and they had fun in the process!

Next week I will try out a new activity, based on another childhood game. I will let you know how it turns out!
* Both exercises, Giant Gestures and Story Snapshot can be found in my book,
Story by Story: Creating a Student Storytelling Troupe.


Note: Yes, I know that normally the singular for dice is die. However, when I double checked before posting the blog this is what I read: The New Oxford Dictionary of English, Judy Pearsall, Patrick Hanks (1998) states that “In modern standard English, the singular die (rather than dice) is uncommon. Dice is used for both the singular and the plural.”


Karen Chace 2014 ©
This blog post was researched and compiled by Karen Chace. 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.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Following the Breadcrumbs XIX: Stor e Telling July August 2005

Hansel and Gretel
by
Richard Scholz, 1905
I am traveling back in time and updating all of my Stor e Telling columns for Storytelling Magazine since 2002 I have checked all of the links, updated those that have new URL's and deleted others that have found their way to the Internet graveyard.

I will continue to update the columns and post them on my blog until all of the breadcrumbs lead to the end of 2006. At the end of the blog you will find links to the columns from 2002 - 2004 and 2007 - 2013.


I continue to write for Storytelling Magazine but will not be adding current columns until the following year. If you want immediate access to the newest websites, consider becoming a member of the National Storytelling Network and support the arts!  Please feel free to comment on the blog and let me know if you find this useful. 


Get ready for all of those campfire storytelling performances this summer. Two sites chock full of songs, skits, finger plays, chants, jokes, riddles, tongue twister and stories to keep the scouts swinging and swaying.
The Macscouter
http://www.macscouter.com/

Tail Slap - This site is no longer active but you can still access all the fun via the Wayback Machine link.
http://web.archive.org/web/20050209110552/http://www.hwdsb.on.ca/tailslap/funstuff.htm

The California Institute for Ancient Studies
If you are producing a program on ancient history or the bible, this site is worth a visit. From Agamemnon to Zoster, this site offers information on Egyptian and Biblical figures. There are also chronological charts, graphs, timelines, maps and pictures.
http://www.specialtyinterests.net/index.html

Contemplations from the Marianis Trench
Hundreds of ballads and folk songs from England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and America. Also lyrics, background information and midi files so you can revel in the music while you surf. Thanks to Granny Sue Holstein for sharing this site.
http://www.contemplator.com/

The Hans Christian Andersen Center
In celebration of HCA’s  200th anniversary I offer you this incredible site; a dazzling array of information on his life and works, with additional links to music, manuscripts, illustrations, and more. You can even read his works in 123 different languages
http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/index_e.html

Shanties and Sea Songs
Well shiver me timbers! This site offers a boatload of shanties, pilot verses and sea songs. There is also a treasure chest full of CD and book recommendations, and information on tall ships, pirates, and sailing books. You’ll be singing and sailing the seven seas in no time at all!
http://shanty.rendance.org/index.php 

State and Regional Arts Councils and Agencies
From Alabama to Wyoming, a comprehensive list of contact information for state and regional agencies.
http://artscouncil.ky.gov/Resources/Link_NAA.htm

 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 
Stor e Telling Columns 2002 – 2004
All 16 blog bogs, with a brief synopsis for reach one in an easy to access post at the link below.
http://www.karenchace.blogspot.com/2014/10/stor-e-telling-resources-2002-2004.html
 

2005

January February - Fables from Aesop and Robert Lewis Stevenson, spooky stories in time for Halloween, resources sponsored by the California Council for the Humanities, myths and legends from the British Isles and more.

March April - At the link you will find sites on Buddhist Studies, Cambodian folktales, lesson plans, public domain music from a variety of cultures, myths, legends and more.
http://karenchace.blogspot.com/2014/10/following-breadcrumbs-stor-e-telling.html

May June - There are resources for song lyrics, lessons plans connected to our historical parks in the USA, Hodja, Birbel and Jakata stories, over 544 dragon tales and more. http://karenchace.blogspot.com/2014/11/following-breadcrumbs-stor-e-telling.html

2007 - 2012

Stor e Telling Columns 2007-2012
All 31 blog posts, along with a brief synopsis for each one, in an easy to access post at the link below.
http://karenchace.blogspot.com/2013/12/stor-e-telling-columns-2007-to-2012.html 


2013

From 1001 Night to 2001 Story Resources – This link will lead to you one blog post with all of my columns from 2013.
http://www.karenchace.blogspot.com/2014/06/from-1001-nights-to-2001-story.html 




Karen Chace 2014 ©
This blog post was researched and compiled by Karen Chace. 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.