Category Archives: middle school

Days 2 and 3 Middle School Student Storytelling

Days 2 and 3 Middle School Student Storytelling

I began the Vacation Arts Experience 2012 offered by EastConn  www.eastconn.org with the distribution of stories to the middle school age students. They had 3 minutes to  scan a story and move to the next, until they found one they wanted to read  through. By the end of their first class in storytelling they had read the story and created it in  Play-doh, felt or a cut and paste mural.  Here is the link to report on Day 1:
 http://carolynstearnsstoryteller.wp.wordpressmulti.com/teach-storytelling-to-middle-school-students-yes/

Repeating the story to partners as they finished a project reinforced the details in the student’s minds, and had them telling right away. This felt board was made using a science fair tri-fold, a can of spray adhesive, and  a large piece of felt from Walmart!

Day 2 began with a cartooning session. We might call it storyboard, but these middle school kids are familiar with the term “cartoon”. Tell your story in  8 squares. I had to remind them  frequently this isn’t art, you are not being graded, it is a learning tool.

This felt image and the cartoon before it both depict the story of “The Harvest That Never Came“. You can read it at www.aaronshep.com/stories.015.html  I appreciate Aaron Shepard’s website it had the length and age recomendations along with genre, culture, theme. I found a couple of stories there that fit my needs with these kids.

Day 3

Using ideas I found through Karen Chace’s website and blogs  www.storybug.com  and www.karenchace.blogspot.com  I helped the students focus on finer details of their story.  I shared my resources with the students, a side lesson in cooperative work with others in the same profession.

We used this art gallery to highlight specifics of the story. They liked moving from place to place to add to the gallery. Keeping them up and moving kept the energy flowing and the excitement high.

Students drew in their main character to that gallery. I asked them to think about what the character looked like to them. Labeling parts of the story helped when referencing it and the descriptions and images helped them become better acquainted with their story character.

Another gallery was filled with scenery images.

This gallery introduced smell to their story. What  does a jail cell smell like, deep in a forest what do frogs smell? What did Black Beauty smell at the horse fair?

The final Gallery was to tell about the weather during the story. Each stop on the gallery tour made them take time to think about description and  create an inner vision of the places in the story.

3 Hours  with me in 3 days and we need to share our stories. It is not enough, but what we had. I did not want a stage experience in this fast paced Arts camp and was happy when an 11th hour idea hit.   We moved into our room to find this campfire ready and waiting. It had felt flames and was accompanied not by Smores but Oreos!  Everyone sat in a circle and shared their stories and  cookies.

From that campfire two students found the strength and  desire to share stories with families at the end of the 3 day Arts Experience. I was able to share with families a brief background of the story experience and invite all the families to listen to their students story at home.

Teach Storytelling to Middle School Students- YES!

Teach Storytelling to Middle School Students- YES!

Saying yes to teaching a spring vacation storytelling class was a “no brainer”, as the kids say. I love helping kids discover their voice and the power of story….. Day One  Four rotations will come to me over the course of the day. Each group will have a high school aged guide. They will stay… Continue Reading