7/16/2007

More Once Upon a Time




First time telling stories since we left for California almost three weeks ago. I felt dry and weary, not really in the mood. But once I heard the calls, "hey its the storyteller" I perked up and my brain started turning over.

A wide-eyed seven year old pulled at my sleeve. "Are your going to tell us the Thunderbird again?" He remembered a story from three weeks ago - wow - that's what keeps the storyteller coming back.

I told two new stories, Rabbit, Tiger and the Hurricane and How the Beatle Got Its Colorful Coat, then The Name of the Tree which has a big part for the kids and ended with a longer story, my sort of tall tale version of The Queen Bee, a Grimm's Tale.

During the school year I tell stories at this location once a month, for the summer I am coming every week. In April I took Audubon Storytime to a near-by elementary school and recognized half the students in the second grade. I feel lucky to I know this group of youngsters quite well.

Today they behaved as they always do, starting out restless and noisy, then falling into the stories, quieting down and really listening. And, as it turns out remembering.

Its this behavior pattern that makes storytelling so important in the classroom.

On working with a familiar group:

There are challenges and rewards in telling regularly for a familiar group. The ages this summer range from 6 to 11 years old and there are forty in the group. Along with the campers there are 8 teen counselors. For their weekly programs I try out new tales and include favorite stories. Since half of the group knows me from the school year and the rest are new faces it is a wonderful opportunity for gathering audience reactions to the stories. The challenge is keeping ahead of them with new stories; the rewards are the opportunities for audience feedback.

Whatever - the bottom line is - its FUN.

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