Grade: Middle
Subject: Literature

#3603. Sorytellers Past and Present

Literature, level: Middle
Posted Tue Jan 10 15:38:22 PST 2006 by Jennifer Romaine (
Northview Intermediate, Duarte, CA
Materials Required: 9th grade Prentice Hall textbook, Prentice Hall videodisc, audio or video recorder and tapes
Activity Time: 90 minutes
Concepts Taught: Oral Tradition

Lesson 1: Storytellers Past and Present

This lesson is designed to introduce the students to the tradition of storytelling. Students will read an interview with Olga Loya, a modern storyteller. Her words give students an opportunity to feel connected with the ancient tradition of storytelling and hear how to share these stories with a modern audience.

Standards-Based Objectives:
• Understand and appreciate the richness of oral storytelling (R3.0)

Students will tell stories orally; a story that he or she identifies with their own family or background. Students will recite their story and record it on either a videotape or audiotape. Students will also write reflections on their experiences with oral storytelling.

Anticipatory Set:
Watch and listen to videodisc: Storyteller Olga Loya tells "La Cucarachita."

1. The teacher will read Storytellers Past and Present: a Present-Day Storyteller Speaks out loud to the students.
2. Lecture:
• A Traditional Storyteller
• Latin American Folklore
• About sharing stories, using Internet resources Effective Storytelling: a Manual for Beginners, and Tell a Story! A Guide to Storytelling,
3. Pairs or small group work.

Checking for Understanding:
After the story, the class will come together for a group discussion. The teacher should ask two questions to check for understanding:
• Ask the students to share their ideas about why Olga Loya's father needed more time to tell the same story.
• Ask the students why family stories die if no one tells them.

Guided Practice:
The teacher should have the students work in pairs or small groups. The teacher should invite each student to share one story he or she identifies with their own family or background. To practice, the teacher should encourage the students to tell the story more than once to variety of listeners, so that they learn how slight variations in the story can change its effect. During storytelling, the teacher should instruct the students to write down some notes on his or her story and the process of storytelling to share with group members or the teacher before the end of class. (Standards LS1.5, LS1.6, LS1.7, LS2.5)

Independent Practice:
The teacher will instruct the students to record their stories that they shared in class, either on video or audiotape for homework. Students should use the Internet resources presented in class for help. They should also be instructed to write a reflection on their experience with oral storytelling.

The teacher should conclude the lesson by asking students to summarize what they learned about storytelling, the oral tradition, and how they feel about sharing their own stories orally.

The students will be graded on their recorded story. The teacher may use the following questions to determine the appropriate grade:
1. Did the student recite a story that he or she identifies with their own family or background?
2. How well was the story narrated? Clearly? With emotion and feeling? Narrated like a storyteller?
The students' reflection should also be taken into consideration during assessment.