Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘key’

Storytelling Starters ~ Props 2: The storyteller

Saturday, January 26th, 2019

So here I am, thinking about props and the usefulness of them. Props attract attention, they hold attention. Interesting objects, puppets, dolls together with fascinating bags and boxes: all can be part of the art of the storyteller. Last week, I wrote about the single object that may set the scene for a story. But a set of objects can also be good as well as fun to put together.

A set of objects sets the scene in a different way. It reflects the fact that there will be different scenes in the story and is very helpful for younger children. Showing the objects one by one before the story begins gives them an initial sense that the story will progress through different scenes. Then showing them again at the end is a great way to remind them of the story. Perhaps you do this as you put the props away in the bag or box from which they’ve emerged. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Key

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

Problem: storytelling in schools is in decline.

Question: what can be done about it?

This week I’ve been given some good ideas. Here’s one.

Response Archive:

The Response Archive idea was sent to me by Hilary Minns of Warwick University. It involves noticing, then noting down, key moments in children’s responses to oral stories they’re being told. The children can be of any age. The responses could happen either during the telling or after in the course of some talk or activity following the telling.

Recording the responses would be a way of beginning an archive of evidence about the value and benefits of storytelling in education. This is greatly needed in my view and Hilary and others agree.

Example: The Gingerbread Man

Here is the example Hilary sent me of the kind of responses that might be captured for the Response Archive. One  student on her storytelling module at the University recently told her class the story of The Gingerbread Man. Afterwards the student role-played being the Gingerbread Man. The children came up with questions. These are the questions they asked:

Why did you run out of the house?
How did you escape from the oven?
How come you were real when you were made out of playdough?
How did you get on the fox’s tail?
Why did you trust the fox?
Did your leg hurt when the fox bit it off?
What was on the other side of the river?

Good, hey? The questions demonstrate how keenly the children had listened to the story and how intelligently they were thinking about its implications. For anyone of the view that these days, it’s difficult to get children to listen, think and speak, let alone be creative, the example could be key.

Action: (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Magic of Objects

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

You know a story is working its magic when a listener says they were really inside it. That’s what child after child reported this Wednesday in one of the classes where I was telling stories at St Stephen’s Primary School in Shepherds Bush. I’d asked them what they’d felt during a story I’d told them. ‘As if I was in it.’ ‘Like I was there.’ ‘I felt like it was happening to me.’

The same kinds of thing were said on Thursday at Session 3 of the Parents’ Storytelling Course at Kensington Palace. The parents on the course are a terrific group of people, all of them mums except for one dad. One said this week, ‘This storytelling course is really changing my life.’ It was the greater depth of their response to the world around them that several had noticed – like they were going more deeply into the things around them. One had done lots of Internet research on historical personages linked with the palace. Another is now bringing some of our storytelling techniques into the nightly storytelling she does with her children.

‘It makes them really involved,’ she said. ‘My son is aged nine. Now he is paying more attention.’

Making things happen (more…)