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Curriculum Overview and Timeline

Introduction To Storytelling (pre-performance)

Grade(s) adaptable to 1-5 Number of Residency Classes: 8 weeks

Art Form: Storytelling Duration of each Class: 45-60 minutes

The goal of this curriculum is to introduce elementary school students to traditional storytelling
and provide them with arts-learning experiences that teach the fundamentals of storytelling and
that also align with English Language Arts standards and connect to other learning disciplines.

Class 1:
Where Stories Come From - Historical and cultural context

Curriculum Connections:
Language Arts: I understand and use elements of story
Career/Life Skills: I use critical and creative thinking skills
Social Studies and World studies: I understand why stories are important

Objectives (Arts Standards) Students will:


1. Listen to and experience the fun of storytelling
2. Express themselves with creativity and imagination
3. Identify the beginning, middle and end of a story
4. Learn to identify different types/genres of stories
5. Apply imagination to improvise alternative narratives to a story (Homework)

Instructional Activities
Lesson Steps
1. Opening Exercise: Would you rather be. (10 Min) (Creativity and imagination
As a simple introduction students take turns using their creative imagination to respond to the question
Would you rather be a ____ (for e.g. a frog) or a ___ (for e.g. a lizard)? saying their name with an
explanation for their choice.

3. Storytelling: Where Stories Come From (critical assessment) (15 Min)


Students listen to a Where Stories Come From, a traditional Zulu tale.
a) Students recall the storys sequence with the following prompts
How did the story begin?
What was the problem to be solved? Then what happened?
How was the problem solved? How did they story end?!
b) Students discuss the structure of the story to identify the beginning, middle and end of the tale.

5. True or False? Types of Stories (the cultural significance of Storytelling) (15 Min)
Class discusses the Zulu tale of stories using the following prompts:
Is it (Zulu tale) a true story? Why do you think its true/false
What kind of story do you think it is?
Why are stories important? How many different types of stories do you know? What makes them
different?
Class learns about Folktales, Fables, Legends, Fairy Tales and Personal Story.

Closing Exercise: Do as I do & Say Good-bye (Affective Skills)


Students follow prompts to say good-bye using a range of emotions. Sad, happy, proud friendly etc.
Homework: Students will use their creative imagination to create/invent a back-story for their favorite
character using the following questions as prompts:

What was your favorite animal in the Zulu tale and why?
Using your imagination give your character a name.
Where do you imagine your character born?
What do you imagine you favorite character did when your character was as old as you ?

Class 2:
A Good Story is Like A Tasty Pie - The elements of story

Curriculum Connections:
English Language Arts: I can use the vocabulary of story structure
Career/Life Skills: I understand story telling as a form of communication

Objectives Students will:


1. Apply the vocabulary of story structure
2. Use body and voice to express themselves creatively
3. Express themselves creatively in improvised, alternative backstories for the Zulu Tale
4. Create story maps/ storyboards for their own stories

Featured Tale: The Answer Is in Your Hands (A tale from India)

Instructional Activities
Lesson Steps
1. Opening: Sweet Potato Pie (Creative expression with body and voice) 5 min
Students learn and perform (as a group) Sweet Potato Pie call and response poem modeling the
facilitators gestures, movement and vocal inflections.

3. Storytelling: Making a Tasty Pie 15 min


Students listen to a The Answer Is in Your Hands (A tale from India)
c) Students recall/review the parts of a story using pie making (beginning, middle, end) as a metaphor.
d) The class discusses the tale and identifies the main ingredients/elements that go into creating a story
Character - Who was involved?
Setting - Where did it happen? what time period?
Events - What happened
Conflict/challenge/plot - What set events in motion or what problem arose?
Theme - What does this story teach us? or Why is it important?

4. Share your Pie (Life-skills: speech and presentation) 15 min


Students present the animal back stories they have improvised and explain why they chose a particular
animal character

5. Homework & Closing Exercise: 10 Min


Homework: Storyboard (handout)
Students will draw a picture and write a sentences or phrases to describe the main events as they
happened in The Answer Is in Your Hands

Closing: Class performs Sweet Potato Pie.

______________________________
Class 3: So What? - Themes and Morals

Integrated Subject Area: English Language Arts, Drama,

Objectives Students will:


1. Identify the main purpose of a story
2. Identify the main events and retell details of a story
3. Identify the message/ meaning in the tale told
4. Apply text structures to plot and organize their own stories
5. Perform/present their character backstories

Instructional Activities
Lesson Steps
1. Opening Exercise Do as I do. 2 min
Students do a group performance of Sweet Potato Pie using different vocal inflections, emotions and
gestures.

2. Storytelling: Anansi and the Figs 10 min


a) Students will listen to an Anansi tale involving multiple animal characters
b) Students discuss the elements of the story and map them on a class story map.

3. Mixing Ingredients for Stories 5 min


a) Students review the back stories they created and begin a story map to brain storm ideas for an
original short story about their animal character
OR
b) Students begin to create written storyboard of their stories listing the beginning, middle and end of their
story as well as details of the main events.

4. Share your Pie (Life-skills: speech and presentation) 25 min


Students do brief presentations the animal back stories they have improvised and explain why they chose
a particular animal character

Closing Exercise: Do as I do (Affective Skills) 5 min


Count-down, Shake it out & say good bye - students follow prompts for a physical and vocal exercise
Homework: Students complete their story maps or storyboards

______________________________________________

Class 4: See then Tell - Visualizing Stories

Curriculum Connections:
English Language Arts: I understand and use the elements of story
! ! ! I listen actively and respond to verbal prompts
Career/Life Skills: I understand how to use my voice to communicate effectively

Objectives Students will:


1. Describe a story as they picture it in their imaginations (visualization)
2. Utilize a combination of drawing and writing to create storyboard of their stories
3. Create narratives recounting sequenced events
4. Apply vocal control techniques
5. Utilize facial expressions for communication

Instructional Activities
Lesson Steps
1. Opening Exercise: Do as I do. (performance skill: volume, emphasis and projection) 5 min
Students recite Sweet Potato Pie slowly giving each line a different attitude and intensity.

2. Storytelling: How the Spider Got Long Legs 15 Min


Students listen to How the Spider Got Long Legs (Anansi) a tale involving multiple characters, dialogue
and narrative
Students will respond to prompts such as:
Describe the characters you saw as you listened to the story
How did you picture the setting? What did it look like?
What did the character ____ look like to you?

3.Picture Your Story 20 min (performance skill: visualization for memorization)


Using their imaginations students will create visual storyboards (with text) of their stories.

4. Closing Exercise: Do as I do (Affective Skills) 5 min


Count-down, Shake it out & say good bye - students follow prompts for a physical and vocal exercise

Homework: Students use their visual storyboards to help them memorize their stories
___________________________________________

Class 5: The Tools of The Teller

Curriculum Connections:
Career/Life Skills: I can apply vocal and physical techniques to become a more effective communicator
I can work collaboratively with others! !

Objectives Students will:


Utilize voice and body for expression
Apply cultural knowledge to interpret a situational routine
Utilize creativity and imagination to respond
Collaborate with their audience in co-creation

Instructional Activities
Lesson Steps
1. Opening Exercise: Zoom, Zip and Focus (modeling exercises) 5 min
Students learn and repeat a series of warm up exercises to prepare their vocal and physical storytelling
instruments.

2. Tellers Tools 35 min

1. Voice
a) As a group students are prompted to say phrases/sentences using different situational and !
emotional context and situations e.g.:
Say "I want a glass of water" as though you were tired, happy, angry, disgusted,
embarrassed etc.
Imagine you are in the principals's office and she has just given you a bad report, what
would you say choose - the emotion and the voice.

b) Individually students perform a phrases/sentence in the character of their favorite animal from the
Zulu tale.
2. Body language
a) Two students hold up a sheet

b) Two more stand behind it, the sheet covering their torsos and upper legs. Students behind the sheet
are instructed (in a whisper) to act out an emotion.

c) The rest of the class tries to guess the emotion Class discussion: have the students point out what
made them know which emotions the performers were imitating.

This is called cultural knowledge. We know when people are angry, sad, excited, etc. We don't always
know why we know, but we do know.

3. Imagination (Cognitive skill: divergent thinking, cognitive flexibility)


An imaginary box goes around the circle/class, each person pulls out and uses an object until everyone
has guessed what it is.

4. Collaboration/Audience Awareness. (Life/Career, affective, social, emotional & communication skills)


a) A student will choose something complex or esoteric, and no one will be able to guess.

b) They then have to collaborate with the audience, help them, give them clues. The challenge is to
provide the clues (communication) needed to make the link the audiences mind.

3. Closing exercise: Count-down shake-out 5 min


Homework: Memorize and practice telling their stories
_____________________________________

Class 6: Characterization: Vocal and Physical skills

Curriculum Connections:
Career/Life Skills: I understand verbal and non verbal communication

Objectives Students will:


1. Utilize voice and body as tools for expression
2. Apply their 5 senses for performance
3. Create a character using their voices and bodies
4. Practice and apply vocal techniques

Instructional Activities
Lesson Steps
1. Opening Exercise: Zoom, Zip and Focus Do and I do (modeling exercises) 2 min
Students participate in a series if warm up exercises to prepare their vocal and physical storytelling
instruments.

4. Animal Voices: (performance skill: vocal characterization) 20 Min


a) Students participate in a game designed to teach them how to find voices for the characters in their
stories by using different body resonators.

b) Students take turns performing a line from their stories using their choice of one of the 4 animal
(Mosquito, Giraffe, Horse, Bear) voices

5. Animal Fair: Pair Share Tell 20 min


Working in pairs and using their storyboards students tell each other their animal stories
6. Closing Exercise: Do as I do 5 min
Count-down, Shake it out & say good bye - students follow prompts for a physical and vocal exercise

Homework: Students continue to memorize their stories and practice telling them to family/friends at
least 2 times if possible

_____________________________________________

Class 7: Applause, Praise, Questions and Suggestions

Curriculum Connections:
English Language Arts: I can analyze and critique a storytelling experience using
Career/Life Skills: I can present in front of an audience and accept praise & suggestions for
improvement

Objectives Students will:


Respond , analyze and critique a storytelling experience
Present stories they have written, sequencing story points, identifying character, setting and conflict
Observe and critique each others performances

Instructional Activities
Lesson Steps
1. Opening Exercise: Zoom, Zip and Focus (modeling exercises) 2 min
Students engage in a series if warm up exercises to prepare their vocal and physical storytelling
instruments.

2. APQS: Applause, Praise, Questions and Suggestions (aesthetic valuing and presentation) 15 min
a) Students learn the APQS feedback method
b) Students listen to a short tales/stories and respond using APSQ

3. Tell me More (Part 1) 20 min


Students present their tales (with or without the help of their storyboards)

4. Closing Exercise: Do as I do (modeling exercises) 2 min


Count-down, Shake it out & Say good bye - students follow prompts for a physical and vocal exercise

Homework: Students continue to memorize their stories and practice telling them to family/friends

_____________________________________

Class 8: Tell Me More 45 min

Curriculum Connections:
English Language Art: I can use my imagination to create a story
Career/Life Skills:

Objectives - Students will:


Present the stories they have written, sequencing story points, identifying characters, setting and conflict
Observe and critique each others performances
Instructional Activities
Lesson Steps

1. Opening Exercise: Zoom, Zip and Focus (modeling exercises) 1 min


Students engage in a series if warm up exercises to prepare their vocal and physical storytelling
instruments

2. Tell me More (Part 2) 40 min


Students present their tales (with or without the help of their storyboards)

3. Student Self Assessment 3 min

Did I use all my storyteller tools?____

Did I present my story and sequence the events?____

Did I use characterization in my presentation?____

3. Closing Exercise: 1 min


Final class performance of Sweet Potato Pie

Class Assessment Checklist


Story Elements ! Technique

Students Setting: Identified the Identified the Sequenced Vocal: Characterizatio


identified main challenge or story points Speaks with n Total
the characters conflicts with a an Characters are Points
where beginning appropriate believable to
and middle and volume for listener.
when of end the audience
the story to hear.
Vocal
expression
to tell the
story.

Clara
6
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