Children Tell Stories: Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Introduction XV

Storytelling: The Rewards are Well Worth the Risks xv

How to Use this Book and Companion DVD xviii

Storytelling Is Fun! xx

1. The Power of Storytelling in the Classroom 1

An Ancient Tool with Enduring Power 1

Differences Between Storytelling and Story Reading 3

An Authentic Activity That Motivates Students 7

Imagination and Visualization 9

2. The Educational Benefits of Storytelling 13

Literacy Benefits 13

Enriching Emotional Development 20

Appreciation of Diversity and Cultures Other Than One's Own 23

Opening a World of Storytelling 25

3. Getting Started with Storytelling 27

The Importance of the Teacher as a Model 27

Setting the Tone for Storytelling 28

Telling Family and Personal Stories 29

Telling Jokes and Reciting Poems 30

Telling Stories with Puzzles or Riddles 31

Telling Stories Using Wordless Picture Books 31

Retelling Stories 31

Story Games 34

Story Theater 46

4. Planning and Preparing for a Storytelling Unit 47

Length of the Unit 47

What You'll Need 48

Planning for a Culminating Festival 50

Why We Discourage Contests 51

The Importance of Teacher Expectations and Encouragement 51

Dealing with Family Members with Reservations or Concerns 53

Enlisting the Aid of Others 54

Physical Setting and Rituals for Storytelling 58

How to Include Students with Disabilities 58

Working with English Language Learners (ELLs) 59

Cultural Differences 60

The Use of Props 61

Students Telling Stories with Partners 62

5. Introducing a Storytelling Unit 65

Observing Live Storytelling 65

Understanding the Importance of Storytelling Past and Present 66

Understanding the Practical Importance of Storytelling Skills 68

A Sense of Safety 68

Dealing with Nervousness 69

Listening Skills 70

6. Helping Students Choose Stories to Tell 75

Tips for Selecting Stories to Tell 75

Modeling Storytelling for Your Students 91

7. Helping Students Learn Their Stories 93

Creating an Awareness of the Oral Tradition 93

Making the Stories Their Own 95

Methods for Learning 96

Ways of Practicing 102

Specific Suggestions for Classroom Practice 103

Developing Characters 105

8. Helping Students Tell Their Stories 107

Beginnings and Endings 107

Change Your Voice in Many Ways 109

Put Expression on Your Face 117

Use Gestures to Help Listeners See Pictures in Their Minds 119

Look at the Listeners 124

Working with an Audience 125

9. Teachers Coaching Students, Students Coaching Students 129

Keep Your Priorities Straight 129

Our Style of Coaching Young Tellers 130

Coaching Older Students 133

Creating a Safe Environment for Risk Taking 134

Teaching Student Tellers How to Coach One Another 135

The Teacher/Leader's Role 140

Handling Various Problems 140

Suggestions to Keep Things Interesting 145

Tools That May Help 145

10. A Celebration of Stories 147

On the Road to Other Classrooms 148

A Family Storytelling Festival 148

A School Storytelling Festival on a Grand Scale 157

How to Celebrate in Your Community 158

More Creative Ways to Celebrate Storytelling 159

11. Assessing Student Storytellers 161

Self-Evaluation 161

Working with Rubrics 164

Using Assessments to Help with Fund-Raising 166

12. Storytelling Clubs and Troupes 169

Establishing Goals 169

Get 'Em While They're Young 171

Group Size 171

Laying Down the Ground Rules 173

How a Long Running Middle School Troupe Worked 174

Where Troupes Can Tell 176

Fund-Raising Ideas 176

For More Activities 177

13. Helping Students Develop Family and Personal Stories
for Telling and Writing 179

Sharing Your Own Stories 180

Collecting Family Stories 182

A Culminating Family Stories Event 191

14. Storytelling as an Integral Part of the Curriculum 197

How to Use Storytelling to Enliven Various Subject Areas 197

Character Education 217

Stories as Healing Tools 218

Integrated or Thematic Units 219

Conclusion: Words Take Wings 221


A: Suggested Stories for Students to Tell 225

Stories from Our Anthologies Categorized by Difficulty for Telling by Second Through Eighth Graders 225

Bibliographies of Stories for Telling 228

Suggested Picture Books for Telling in Four Categories of Difficulty 229

Suggested Anthologies with Tellable Stories in Three Categories
of Difficulty 237

B: Storytelling Resources 242

Finding the Best Recent Resources: Storytelling Awards 242

Favorite Storytelling Sources 243

Storytelling Recordings 244

Storytelling Web Sites 251

Works Cited 253

Index 259

Companion DVD

Children Telling Stories: A Storytelling Unit in Action (20-minute video)

Four Students Sharing Stories at a Family Storytelling Festival (video)

Twenty-five Stories in Printable Format for Students to Tell

Sources for Stories in the Book and on the DVD