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March 21, 2017

posted Mar 19, 2017, 5:51 PM by Karen Klemchuk   [ updated Dec 7, 2017, 9:38 AM by Sally Kuhn ]

We have finished our epic class novel Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and have been struck by how much storytelling was a part of this riveting, grand narrative. Our novel test will be on Tuesday and will be open-book.

Mildred D. Taylor, the award-winning author based her novel (actually a series) on stories her father told her when she was growing up. She also included storytelling in the plot, as main characters used that technique to impart important characterization or background information.

We will now try our hand at storytelling ourselves. I grew up in a family where stories were shared not only at holidays and family get-togethers, but nearly on a daily basis. I told a family favorite to the students to model how storytelling is done. They laughed, got a glimpse into my life when I was six, and now they know me a little better. We ALL have a story or two (or more) in us - they are a part of our family history and should be shared.

Students were to interview a family member to hear a story about someone in the family or maybe even about themselves: a special, day, a funny thing that happened, maybe even a shocking, surprising or touching moment. After completing the interview, students were to then organize their thoughts on a graphic organizer to then practice their storytelling technique. This should include: eye contact with the audience, vocal expression and background about where their story came from. They may use notecards and the story should be between 1-2 minutes - 3 or 4 if the student is a "ham" like me!