"A Pocketful of Stories"

Classroom Storytelling Activities

1. Tell and re-tell
Teacher tells (or reads) a story to class. Individuals re-tell the same story in pairs, in small groups, or to the whole class. Sometimes it is not necessary to have one child tell the whole story but rather take turns until the story is told. Variation: the small group chooses a storyteller and helps him/her prepare the story for telling to the whole class.

2. Tell a familiar story from another perspective. Example: the wolf's viewpoint in Little Red Riding Hood.

3. Tell a personal story about something that happened to you, about someone who is important in your life.

4. Tell "whoppers" or tall tales. Start a "Liars' Club". Who can tell the wildest tale? This is especially useful for primary children who may be reluctant tellers.

5. Conduct interviews with well-known story characters. The teacher may be the “interviewer” while the children play the role of the famous character. The interviewer’s questions may help to lead the character through the events of the story or may ask for new information.
E.g. “Tell us, Mr. Wolf, had you ever eaten any other old ladies before you met Red Riding Hood’s grandmother?”

6. Create your own stories following the typical format of a folk tale. Who is the hero? What challenge must be overcome? What obstacles are presented to prevent the hero from reaching the goal? How are they overcome? Element of magic?

7. Map out the main events that occur in a story to aid in the telling. Once children learn to create story maps for telling, the skill can be applied to their personal writing experiences.

8. Give the students a story outline (story map) and have them tell it filling out the details to make the story more interesting.

9. Examine stories that should be read rather than told because the language needs to be maintained as it was written or because the pictures carry the story.

10. Make a bulletin board display of:
• story openings "Once upon a time..."
• heroes/heroines
• villains
• magic spells
• story endings

11. Examine different kinds of stories: fables, legends, fairy tales etc.

12. Have older students learn stories that they can tell to younger children in the school.

13. Start a “Storytellers’ Club” where stories are shared.

14. Challenge students to learn a story that someone in the family remembers from childhood.

15. Have a multicultural festival, learning and telling stories from many cultures.

16. Integrate stories from other cultures or other eras into the social studies program.

17. Find several versions of the same story, eg Cinderella.

18. Collect “creation stories” – why the bear has a short tail, why the hare is always running, etc.