My storytelling work in schools takes many different forms including class workshops, small storytelling intervention groups, storytelling weeks, staff training, storytime……
If you’d like to find out more, check out Storytelling for Schools
Here are a few highlights....
Jack and his Dog
I had just told Jack and the Beanstalk and we were discussing the characters in the story. One child absolutely loved animals and asked to be a dog in the story, so he became Jack’s dog. Together, Jack and his dog climbed the beanstalk and hid. The smallest child in the group had chosen to be the giant, she came stomping over, hands on hips then stopped.
At that moment when she might have said ‘Fe Fi Fo Fum’ she said ‘I don’t know the words’
‘You’re the giant, what do you want to say?' I replied
She thought for as second, looked around the room and said ‘I’m gonna eat you and your dog’
The children in the storytelling intervention groups are encouraged to share their ideas which then become an integral part of the story as it develops hence Jack having a dog.
By encouraging the children to tell the stories in their own way, in their own words there is less pressure to say the right thing. They then gain confidence in their own ideas and ways of expressing them shown beautifully by ‘I’m gonna eat you and your dog’!
Wimbledon Park Primary School Ofsted Report
'Small storytelling groups provide valuable opportunities for disadvantaged pupils to practise talking about and sharing their ideas before writing them down. As a result, disadvantaged pupils make rapid gains.’
We’d just reached the part in Jack and the Beanstalk where the giants (we had three giants) needed to go to sleep, then Jack could sneak out of her hiding place and steal something, but one giant started waving her hands around.
‘What’s happening Giant?’ I asked
‘I’m dancing, I always dance before I go to sleep’ she replied.
All the other giants stood up and danced. They then settled themselves down to sleep. Jack then sneaked out and the story continued….
Encouraging the children to share their ideas and work collaboratively are integral to the groups.
The Giant shared a new idea, her love of dancing. The other children listened and accepted her idea making it part of the story, it was wonderful collaborative working and definitely a confidence boost for the giant.
Also, the girls chose to be Jack and the giants, traditional male characters. In storytelling we can explore and challenge gender sterotypes and roles.
What people say about me and my storytelling.....
'X loved Hannah and her stories. He was closer and closer to the screen as the plot thickened. I loved it too!' Reception Parent
‘I love it when Hannah tells stories, I want to be a Storyteller when I grow up!’ Y4 Pupil
'The children Hannah worked with in Y5 have blossomed' Y5 teacher
'X has definitely become more vocal (after storytelling interventions). Now she contributes more during discussions and we have even had to ask her to stop talking!' Y6 teacher
‘I wasn’t listening and kept getting into trouble but now we have a chance to tell stories it's really helping me’ Y5 pupil
Giving the children a chance to work on collaborating with others in a small (storytelling) group has been great for confidence and social skills.' Y1 teacher
'I love it (storytelling) cos it’s like we’re travelling to other places' Y2 Pupil
'The children in the storytelling group have become more interested in books and reading' Y2 teacher
'Storytelling is the only time he really comes out of himself all week.' Nursery Nurse
'My favourite bit was when I told a story, it was scary but I did it!' Y3 Pupil