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The Story Blanket
- Select a story for the class to perform. It may be:
- one of the stories from the website, Our Voices, Our Stories;
- a story found through your school library; local public library or through interlibrary loan.
- one of the stories written by the students in Lesson 1.
- Make sure the story can be performed easily. It should have a simple plot with few characters.
- Over the course of 2 to 4 classes, students will be immersed in the story, reading it over several times to recall all the main parts.
- In a class discussion, divide up the story into the beginning, middle and end. Have students identify the integral parts of the plot and characters.
- Write a class synopsis on chart paper (a large sheet of paper that can be taped to the blackboard or wall) for everyone to see. As a class, summarize the story in point form.
- Practice retelling the story, as a class, first with and then without the summarized points of the text. As a group, incorporate some of the Storytelling Hints to get the students accustomed to oral storytelling techniques.
- Divide the class into 2 groups. Each group will perform the story separately.
- Divide up the parts of the story for each group. Assign a part of the story to each student.
- Have each student re-write their part of the story in their own words.
- Ensure that each group reads through all of their scenes aloud to check for continuity. Each part of the story should flow smoothly into the next to create a cohesive whole.
- Students should edit the scenes to achieve an even flow in the script, as necessary.
- Have each group practice the story and make a plan for how they would like to perform or "tell" it.
- Encourage students to be creative. Add music, props, incorporate costumes, sounds or rhythmic movements. Each group should incorporate at least 3 to 4 ideas from Storytelling Hints.
Students may wish to act out the story behind a lit screen (a bed sheet can be hung up that is back-lit by an overhead projector to achieve this).
Note: Please see Evaluation Tools to evaluate student participation.