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ARCHIVED - Our Voices, Our Stories:
First Nations, Métis and Inuit Stories

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Educational Resources

Oral Storytelling

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Activity 1.2
Writing a Cultural Story

  1. Bring a selection of Aboriginal stories to class. Suggested stories/story titles can be found on the Our Voices, Our Stories website. Aboriginal stories may also be available at your school library, local public library or through interlibrary loan.

  2. Have students familiarize themselves with a selection of stories. They can either read them on their own or in groups.

  3. Discuss and identify, as a class, the common elements found among the stories (i.e., moral of the story, explanation of a phenomenon, etc.).

  4. Once your students are more familiar with the genre, they will be able to begin writing a story of their own. Students may write a story from their own cultural perspective or select a familiar story to change and re-write.

  5. If a student writes his/her own story, the story must include one or more of the following:
    • an explanation of a belief about the world (i.e., the importance of community);
    • a moral (i.e., why honesty is important);
    • the origin of a custom (i.e., why people wave to say goodbye);
    • the origin of a natural phenomenon (i.e., why the leopard has spots).

  6. If the student re-writes a familiar story they may:
    • select a fairytale, fable, myth, or a favourite cultural story;
    • change the setting, introduce new characters or remove characters;
    • modify the beginning, climax or resolution;
    • change the moral or lesson learned, etc.

  7. Students may create a storyboard to help plan their stories.

  8. Students may illustrate their stories using a variety of techniques. Have them go through the selection of illustrated stories they reviewed at the beginning of the lesson to get inspiration from the different styles of illustration and to view colour combinations.

  9. Go online! Students may submit their stories and have them posted online as part of the virtual exhibition for Our Voices, Our Stories. Instructions are available online.

Students may interview a relative, Elder or important person in their lives and listen to their stories. Students can record these (with permission), then re-write and illustrate their favourite stories.

Note: See Evaluation Tools to evaluate student participation.

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