Generic ideas for Study Guides
Marilyn Kinsella www.marilynkinsella.org
Thanks to: Judy Nichols www.storyteller.net/tellers/jnichols.
The Tipi Tellers www.tipitellers.org
Heather Forest www.storyarts.org
Angela Davis www.yarnspin.com
The following ideas were developed from my own experiences as a classroom teacher for 11 years, my storytelling as a professional storyteller in schools, and from ideas from other storytellers who are listed above. Many storytellers offer the same ideas but are written differently. I tried to consolidate those ideas into one list. If anyone has any corrections or additions to this list, please notify me at email@example.com If any teller wishes to use these list, please do. Copy it and put your contact information on it.
|Use cause and effect with paper chains for the story. This could be a group or individual project.|
|Make flipbooks for sequencing events.|
|Take a piece of paper fold in half lengthwise and then into thirds; then unfold it to make six panels. Number them 1-6 and draw pictures in each cube from the scenes in the story.|
|Draw a picture that includes at least two of the characters in the story. Then, draw word bubbles above their heads and write a conversation between them.|
|Retell the story from a different character’s point of view.|
|Expand the story beyond its known beginning or ending,|
|Learn about the geography, customs, music, history, and people behind different folktales.|
|Study the plants, animals, weather, or astronomical conditions mentioned in different folktales.|
|Research foods or recreate recipes and crafts described in different folktales,|
|Explore the scientific validity of the plants and animals in the folktales.|
|Explore the mathematical validity of happenings in the folktales.|
|Create a timeline of the plot. Investigate structures in the plot: equations or balancing elements, cause-and-effect situations, sequences, prediction, etc|
|Learn games, songs, dances, and arts from the original culture of the folktales.|
|Retell a story to family members, school staff, classrooms of younger students, residents in nursing homes or nearby preschools.|
|Form a storytelling club at school and produce a storytelling newsletter.|
|Use movements and gestures instead of words to tell parts of the story.|
|Have a radio interview with one of the characters from the story.|
|Make a play, a narrative play, a puppet show or a readers’ theatre from the folktale.|
|Compare two versions of the story's plot as told by different authors or by two or more cultures. Notice similarities and differences|
|Retell the story as a diary entry, a newspaper column, or a letter to a friend|
|Write on the chalkboard all the scenes from a folktale. Give one scene to each child (or 2). Have them draw the scene using thin black markers and write a few sentences about what has happened. Reproduce each page so each child will have a book. They can color it when they get it back and add a title cover of their own making.|
|Ask students to listen carefully to the tale so that afterwards they can answer simple, factual, non-subjective questions such as who, what, where, or when.|
|Click here to access Ideas by Angela Davis that can be used for any story. Scroll down to the pages called: "Connecting the Story," "Analyzing the Characters," "Story Observations." "Find and Alphabetize the Word," "Using a Venn Diagram to Compare Likenesses in a Story"|
|Make a story pyramid:|
|Milbre Burch has some wonderful questions and activities for the classroom. There are questions to pose to the class both before the storyteller's visit and after. You can find her compilation at: http://www.kindcrone.com/tsw_study_guide.html#cc|
|Make up word problems from the story. See http://www.mathstories.com/Book_17_3pigs_grades23.htm|
Here are some websites that have "generic" ideas that can be applied to a variety of folktales or authored books:
This provides a detailed description of how to implement a lesson called "Folk and Fairy Tale Cyber Dictionary." It combines learning alphabet and visual art. Rubric, standards, directions and examples. Excellent site.
Comment: Storytellers want the students to use their imaginations and go on a magical journey to places far and near, to meet people known and unknown, to see animals both real and mythological. The story stands alone as a great educational tool. Nothing needs to be done for the story to work. However, in the current educational atmosphere to see tangible results, we offer suggestions on how teachers can relate the stories to the curriculum. If one or two of the activities dovetail in a teacher's lesson plan, then by all means use it. We don't mean to add anything else to teachers' already busy schedule. Perhaps, the teachers can see other ways to extend the story - maybe even using an existing lesson plan that complements the story.
(Comments solely those of Marilyn Kinsella)
For ideas on individual study guides for a particular story or story program, go to Study Guides for Elementary Schools.
Marilyn Kinsella - firstname.lastname@example.org
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