Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘repetition’

Storytelling Starters ~ Wintering Out 1

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

The evenings are getting darker and I’m starting a new series of postings. Wintering Out is the title and it starts with Dark, Dark Tale, a Story Chant that’s great with children and also with adults as a piece of fun in workshops. Next week and in the run-up to Christmas, I’ll bring other seasonal tales and chants into the mix.

Storytelling in Education: good news and bad news 

But first, to continue my recent theme of Storytelling in Education, let me give you my week’s good news and bad news. Both came in the same email from a Literacy Adviser in Pembrokeshire for whom I’ve done loads of work in the past, including a series of extended teacher courses. On one of those courses, now quite a few years ago, I told the Pembrokeshire legend of Skomar Oddy and I remember how much it appealed to one of the teachers. The children in her class  loved this particular story and she based lots of writing and art work on it.  Well, my Literacy Adviser’s email told me that when she recently went into that school, there was a whole new fresh display on the Skomar Oddy story. This was music to my ears. It shows that teachers who fall in  love with storytelling can make really good use of it year after year and that a good story never goes out of fashion.

The bad news was that, in these current times, there’s no longer any central funding in Pembrokeshire for the kind of storytelling in education work that I did so much of there. It’ll now be down to individual schools. That’s it – at least until people realize once more how important it is to fund this kind of work! Another worrying and retrograde step.

Dark, Dark Tale: a Story Chant for Winter

Once upon a time there was a dark dark wood.
In the dark dark wood, there was a dark dark path.
Along the dark dark path, there was a dark dark gate.
(Shall we go in through the gate?)

Behind the dark dark gate was a dark dark garden.
In the dark dark garden, there was a dark dark house.
In the dark dark house, there was a dark dark door.
(Shall we go in through the door?)

Behind the dark dark door, there was a dark dark hall.
Along the dark dark hall, there was a dark dark room.
In the dark dark room, there was a dark dark box.
(Shall we open it up?)

Oh my goodness! What was that? (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Making Connections 2

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

Making Connections moves on this week to another story involving a key and the role of pattern in it. It’s a story in the style of the traditional tale.

Keys – and a tale for telling to children

Traditional tales

Traditional tales are one of the three great categories of stories where storytellers look for stories to tell. For some, their favourite category is personal tales like my last week’s story of a forgotten key. Others believe that storytelling is essentially about creating new stories, maybe even making them up on the spot. That’s something we’ll move to in a couple of weeks.

For most of the working storytellers I know, however, traditional tales form the bedrock of the stories we tell. We may reformulate a story, update it, relocate it or otherwise change it in all kinds of ways. But we like to maintain that, whatever we do, traditional stories are fundamental. They’ve stood the test of time. They occur in all cultures. They contain keys to the problems of life. Myth or legend, fairy story or fable, ballad or morality tale, they are at the heart of storytelling.

For many people – new storytellers especially – this raises one immediate problem. (more…)