Using Storytelling to Introduce a Science Unit on Spiders (3)



Students will be introduced to storytelling by seeing the teacher as the model and then become the storyteller himself or herself.


1.The Greek myth about Athena & Arachne (Arachne claims to weave)

   as good if not better than Athena, the God of Arts & Crafts.  Athena

   decided to have a contest and at the end, agreed that Arachne indeed

   is a talented weaver.  Athena declared that Arachne will be allowed

   to  weave the rest of her life as…..a spider!)

2. The story map of this myth done by the teacher.

3. Filler paper, graph paper (1") and pencil


1.     Be introduced to storytelling by hearing a Greek Myth about

spiders from the teacher and seeing her story map of this story.

2.     Pair students up to write letters as the characters involved in the myth.  One would be Arachne begging for forgiveness, the other student would be Athena, deciding to forgive Arachne or not.

3.     Students will share these letters with the class.

4.     Write a short fictional story about spiders.

5.     Do a story map of their story.

6.     Tell their story to the class.

(Procedures 2 & 3 were ideas I received from my district's Literary Training class instructor.)


          The feather which I made in my Storytelling class has now become the symbol that tells my students to come to circle for a time of sharing.

Holding this feather, I began to tell them the Greek Myth about Athena and Arachne with much drama.  At the end, my students asked if I can tell them more Greek Myths.  That was a wonderful affirmation to the power of storytelling. 

          I said I would tell them more, but first, I want them to pair up and write a letter.  One would be Arachne, asking for forgiveness and be changed back to a mortal, the other would be Athena, deciding to be merciful or not.  Students wrote independently and came to the front of the class to read their letters.  The Arachnes were sitting on edge waiting for their verdicts and the class had such fun in the suspense.  Whenever Arachne was forgiven, the students all clapped spontaneously.  They all agreed that it was so fun.

          The next day, they had the choice of writing a short story of how the spider came to be or any story to do with spiders.  I told them that they will have a chance to tell their story to the class after revising.  I couldn't believe the level of engagement.  They worked on this story for about an hour or more and wanted more time.   Next came the story map.  That was fun for them as well.

          Time came for the actual storytelling using their story maps. Most of the students didn't even need to look back at the story map.  They were not very dramatic at first, but with a little encouragement, each student got into it more and more


          In our reading program, there is a non-fiction book on spiders.  We will read and discuss this book in reading groups.  I also plan to read Charlotte's Web aloud to them.  For art, we will make spiders with pompoms and pipe cleaners as well as weave a web with yarn on black paper.













































Making an effort to increase student learning by integrating  storytelling will help children gain meaningful context to their lives.