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Monday, March 28, 2011


In June, I will be giving a workshop at SDSU entiled:  Telling Tales:  The Impact of Storytelling on Early Literacy Development (or something like that...)  What I am focusing on is not writing/storytelling, but good, old-fashioned sit-around-the-campfire storytelling or bard-with-a-harp-in-a-castle-hall storytelling.

The oral tradition.

So, even though I don't tend to plot out my stories, I do plot out my workshops.  And I already know a lot of what I want to say (and need to say).  However, I thought it would be interesting to ask my friends out in blogland if they have any questions about storytelling or storytellers.

The how, the when, the why, the why not.....or anything you always wanted to ask a storyteller but never had the chance.

Well, your chance is now.  Ask away!  (And if you don't have a genuine question yourself, feel free to think up something that a future teacher might ask.....)


P.S.  I am starting to jot notes on a new project.  It is not the one I thought I'd be working on next.  It is a strange one that just kind of reared its head a week or two ago, but I keep stumbling across things that bring it to the front of my brain.



Catherine Denton said...

Do you dramatize any during the storytelling? (Act it out?) I assume you use different voices but maybe not. How do you bring each character to life?
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Solvang Sherrie said...

We used to have a storytelling festival every year here in Solvang. It was such a blast, a totally different way to experience a story. I'm curious about the impact on early literacy development that you mention: is it stronger with oral storytelling than ordinary reading?

Nisa said...

Why isn't there more oral storytelling? I remember someone coming to our local library when I was a kid and she was amazing! I'll try and think of some questions.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Do your stories change a little bit everytime you tell them or are they the same each time you tell them?

Good luck on that sneaky SNI!

Paige Keiser said...

Boy I wish I could come hear you talk! How about what kind of props do you like to use when telling a story? Or do you use them at all?

Julie Dao said...

I so wish I could come to your workshop! Unfortunately I'm best with words when they're written. I'm not eloquent or well-spoken, and have always envied those who spin a beautiful yarn with just their brains and their voices. Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it will be a fun workshop. I remember storytellers at the library when I was young. Some of the stories were told using puppets as props.

Anne Spollen said... do you pick which stories you want to do? Is it the language, the rhythm, the images?

Wish I could be there.

Anita said...

What about when the crazy kids shout things out, run around? What then?

Lydia K said...

I'm wondering when storytelling went from a purely oral tradition to being written. What was the first novel, for instance?
Good luck getting ready for your lecture!

storyqueen said...

Catherine-Yes, actually, some of the stories I tell are interactive, meaning not only do I act stuff out, I make the audience do it as well.

Sherrie-It's not stronger, but different. Oral storytelling requires the brain to create the images in the head on its own, without help from pictures, so the brain has to work more...which is good.

Nisa-That is a great question. I wish I had the answer...

Sharon-Some are the same (mostly) some are different depending on the crowd. (And SNI is naughty!)

Paige-I have some puppets that help me introduce some stories...and there are a couple that have props, but most do not.

These questions are great, guys!

Julie-Most of the stories are not spun by me, just memorized by me. Old folktales and such. (And I wish you could come, too!)

Susanne-I remember storytellers from when I was a kid, too. One told the story of a really big turnip and I was captivated.

Anne-Mostly it'st just the story. Something about it makes me want to learn it and tell it. Of course, in my job, I tend to pick things I can somehow relate to the curriculum. Kills two birds, you know?

Anita-I chuck my crown at them. No, seriously, I chuck my crown and my jewels at them.

Lydia-Leave it to the doc to ask me the hard one! I wish I knew. I mean, writing became necessary to share stories between cultures, I think....

Jackee said...

Interesting for sure! Can't wait to hear more about your new idea.

I would love to know how to build tension with the spoken world. Beyond voice inflection, I know there is more it takes and I'd love to hear what you think of that talent.

Good luck planning your lesson!