Students in EAL class have been improving their storytelling skills by reading and retelling folktales, pourquoi tales, and fables for the ‘STORYTELLING’ Unit of Inquiry. They have learned many different storytelling techniques such as using actions and gestures, changing and projecting their voice, and interactive call and response techniques with the audience.
We have practiced several variations of an improv activity called story circle. They create and tell a story together on the spot, as a class. One person starts the story and stops at opportune times for the next person to pick up the story. The first time we tried this each person was responsible for only a word of the story. The next time, each person was responsible for adding a sentence or two. They had a lot of fun adding new and silly events to the story.
Currently, the students are working in pairs to develop partner fable retellings. We are using the book You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You where each pair has chosen one of Aesop’s fables to read to each other. The fables are short and perfect for partner work.
Here is an example: The Rooster and the Fox.
To add another modality to the presentation, the EAL students are using the iPad app
to create and record the fable.
For this, they must choose photos of the characters and any props they need for the story. It has been wonderful to watch them working as partners, negotiating which photos to use, cutting out the what they need from the photos using stylus pens and then using their imagination to design the story. I can’t wait to see what they come up with!